Years in the field: 7
Topic: Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization
A student came in for walk-ins to discuss the financial hardship her family recently experienced. While her family was able to support her education in the US in the past, unforeseen circumstances have changed their level of support.
We discussed employment regulations for F-1 students and on-campus employment. She has an on-campus position of 13 hours, but we suggested she ask her supervisor if they could increase her hours to 20.
Because her financial status was severe, she requested to apply for Severe Economic Hardship employment authorization. Detailed information regarding this process can be found in the NAFSA Adviser’s Manual 360 in Chapter 3.I.3. Regulations for this option can be found in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(ii).
We assisted with the following process:
- Reviewed Preconditions, Procedures, and Regulations for filing the application with USCIS. While this is an option to apply for work authorization, there is not guarantee by our office that it will be approved the USCIS.
- As a DSOs, we reviewed her eligibility, updated SEVIS with a recommendation for employment, printed a new I-20 and wrote a brief support letter for the student.
- The student assembled the appropriate materials to send to USCIS
- I-20 with Recommendation for Severe Economic Hardship
- 2 US Passport photos
- Copy of I-94
- Letter from student explaining the circumstances
- Copy of Passport ID
The student is currently waiting for adjudication from USCIS.
Setting policies and procedures for cases that do not come across your desk often will help with advising students confidently. Finding on-campus solutions can help students while the application is being adjudicated. Ensure the student you are here to assist, but the adjudication of the application will be completed by USCIS and not the ISSS office.