F-1 Visa Employment Opportunities Off-Campus Employment

January 17th, 2008 by Brian D. Zuccaro

An F-1 student may be authorized by the school’s DSO to work off-campus on a part-time basis based on severe economic hardship. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2 (f) (9) (ii). The severe economic hardship must be the result of unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control. The student cannot work more than 20 hours a week when school is in session, but can work full time during holidays or school vacations.

Examples of severe economic hardship are:

  • Loss of financial aid;
  • Loss of on-campus employment;
  • Substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate;
  • Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs;
  • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support;
  • Medical bills; or
  • Other unexpected and substantial expenses.

The DSO may permit a student to work off-campus if:

  • The student has been in F-1 status for one full academic year;
  • The student is in good academic standing and carries a full course of study;
  • The student has demonstrated that off-campus employment will not interfere with the student’s full course load; and
  • The student has demonstrated that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship and that on-campus employment is unavailable or insufficient to meet the student’s needs.


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