Center for International Services & Programs

Work Permission due to Economic Hardship

International students who have maintained and are maintaining their F-1 status and have completed one academic year of study in the U.S may apply for work permission if they have a legitimate unforeseen economic hardship.

Approval for work permission is granted by USCIS through the mail and may take 90 to 120 days to process.

What is work Permission due to Economic Hardship?

Since you are obligated to show proof of financial support to obtain an I-20, your circumstances of financial hardship must be proven to be unforeseen. Example may include, but are not limited to: severe fluctuation of your home currency; inability of your sponsor to continue sponsorship, death or illness of your sponsor,a crisis in your home country, (war, political turmoil) which prohibits the transfer of funds from your country to the U.S.

As with all work permission granted by USCIS, 20 hours of work per week is considered part-time and any amount over 20 hours of work per week is considered full-time. You may use your work permission.

1. while school is in session (part-time only)
2. during vacation (part-time or full-time)

Working will assist you in meeting your expenses, but will NOT enable you to cover all expenses. If permission is granted it will be granted in one year intervals and may be renewed until the completion of studies.

How to Apply for Work Permission due to Economic Hardship?

1. Draft a letter explaining the reasons for your unforeseen economic hardship
2. Attach any supporting documentation
3. Complete Form I-765 
4. Submit the above to your International Student Advisor

What to mail to USCIS for processing?

1. A photo copy of your SEVIS Form I-20 with the employment endorsement
2. Completed Form I-765
3. A photo copy of your passport ID pages and
4. A photo copy of your Form I-94 card 
5. Your letter of explanation and supporting documents
6. Two passport photos (effective September 1, 2004)
7. $ 380 check or money order made payable to USCIS 

Send all materials will be mailed by CSU International Center to the USCIS Service Center.

Where can I download Form I -765 and other immigration related forms?

All the Immigration and Employment Authorization (Form I-765) forms can be downloaded from USCIS website. Please visit the following link to download the required forms: link

Download Form I-765 in PDF format here:

For further information contact: