Severe economic hardship employment allows students who have unexpectedly lost their funding for their Baylor education through circumstances beyond their control to work off-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week (maximum 40 hours per week during school breaks including summer.) USCIS grants Economic Hardship employment in increments of one year at a time.
In order to be eligible for Severe Economic Hardship employment, you must…
Have been in F-1 status for a minimum of 1 academic year
Be in good academic standing and be enrolled full-time
Be able to show that employment will not interfere with maintaining full-time enrollment
Be able to prove that the economic hardship was caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond your control
Examples of Unforeseen Circumstances:
Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student
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
Other substantial and unexpected expenses
Documents To Mail to USCIS
Copy of Current I-20 with a recommendation for Economic Hardship Employment
Copies of All Previous I-20s
Most Recent I-94
Copy of Your Passport valid for 6 months into the future
Copy of Your F-1 Visa
Form I-912 - Optional
If you are unable to afford the $410 fee you may request that USCIS waive the fee for your application
2 Color Passport-Style Photos taken within 30 days
Check or Money Order for $410 made payable to the Department of Homeland Security
Only submit this if you are NOT submitting Form I-912 as part of your application
Letter from You explaining your financial need and how the economic hardship you are experiencing is due to circumstances that were beyond your ability to control or predict
Letter from Your Financial Sponsor explaining the circumstances that were beyond his or her ability to control or predict that justify why he or she can no longer fully support you financially
Supporting Documentation (ex: newspaper articles about the financial problems in your home country, proof of changes in the currency exchange rate, articles about natural disasters, medical bills, evidence of illness or death of sponsor, etc.)
Application processing times vary from 3 to 5 months. You may not begin working until you have received the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and the dates are valid.
The student contacts their DSO to discuss their eligibility for Severe Economic Hardship employment.
If the student is determined to be eligible, they then complete the Severe Economic Hardship application in Global Bears.
After determining eligibility, the DSO updates SEVIS with a recommendation for Severe Economic Hardship employment.
The DSO prepares a new Form I-20.
The student mails their documents to USCIS within 30 days of the Baylor DSO recommendation. The list of documents can be seen above.
USCIS reviews and approves or denies the Economic Hardship employment request.
If approved, USCIS will send the I-797 receipt within 2 weeks and an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) within 3 to 5 months to the address that the student provides on the Form I-765.
Upon receipt of the EAD, the student will verify that the information on the card is correct, and then upload a copy of both sides of the card in Global Bears.