Economic hardship

Student Emergency Grant

The Student Emergency Grant offers limited emergency financial assistance to currently enrolled students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an unexpected situation. The fund is designated to offset short-term financial need and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid. Awards are not considered loans and do not require repayment. Current international students qualify to apply for the Student Emergency Grant if you meet the eligibility requirements.

F-1 Employment based on economic hardship

If you are experiencing an economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond your control, and you have not been able to obtain on-campus employment, you can apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an off-campus work permit after you have been in lawful F-1 status for at least one academic year.

What steps do I take?

Schedule a meeting with your OISS advisor and bring these documents:

  • Completed Form I-765
  • Supporting documents that verify the economic hardship (such as a letter from home, documentation that verifies significant fluctuations in currency exchange rate, or copies of medical bills, etc.)
  • Photocopy of all Form I-20(s)
  • Photocopy of your passport page listing biographical information and expiration date
  • Photocopy of Form I-94 
  • Photocopy of the data pages in your passport
  • Two passport photos

After reviewing your request, your OISS advisor will recommend to USCIS whether your employment authorization be granted.

Submitting your application to USCIS

Gather the documents listed above and a check or money order for $410 payable to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and send them by certified mail to:

  • For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries: USCIS; PO Box 21281; Phoenix, Arizona  85036
  • For Express mail and courier deliveries: USCIS; Attention: AOS; 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S; Suite 100; Phoenix, Arizona  85034

Receiving results

If your application is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to you. You must submit a copy of the EAD to OISS. USCIS regulations require this copy be kept in your file.

If your application is denied, you will be notified in writing.

Please review the Employment Based on Economic Hardship form for more information.