Severe Economic Hardship

If your financial situation has changed since entering the United States and you need to find employment due to severe, unexpected financial difficulties, you may be able to receive authorization to work off campus.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants this authorization for F-1 students. The Office of International Affairs grants the authorization for J-1 students on an IUI DS-2019.

It is generally difficult to obtain this authorization for F-1 and J-1 students. To qualify:

  • You must have been in the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa for at least one academic year
  • You must have been enrolled full-time for two (fall and spring) semesters
  • Your situation must be severe, unexpected, and beyond your control
  • You must be able to provide documentation to show how your financial situation has changed since you were issued your last I-20 or DS-2019.

To learn more, make an appointment with an OIA advisor by calling 317-274-7000.

What Do I Need to Know if I Am Granted Severe Economic Hardship Work Authorization?

If you apply for and are granted this type of authorization, you will be eligible to work up to 20 hours per week (including all employment held on and off campus) during the academic year and full time during university vacation periods.

Please note the following requirements:

  • You need to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status.
  • If you are an F-1 student, you need to have been enrolled full time for at least one academic year.
  • You need to continue full time enrollment during fall and spring semesters while pursuing employment.