Off-Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship


Having been admitted to the University and issued a Form I-20, you have shown that you have sufficient financial funding (provided through family funds, financial sponsors, etc.) to cover your education expenses throughout your studies at Florida International University. As an F-1 student, you are fully aware that your employment options are very limited. However, an F-1 student who suffered a SEVERE ECONOMIC HARDSHIP or a serious and extreme financial emergency that is UNFORESEEN and BEYOND THEIR CONTROL may be eligible to apply for Off-Campus Employment Due To Severe Economic Necessity.

ISSS recommendation is required and application is submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services-Texas Service Center (U.S. BCIS-TSC) official authorization is granted by BCIS.

You MUST meet the following qualifications to be eligible to request this off-campus employment:

  • You have been enrolled and completed at least one full academic year at FIU.
  • You are maintaining your legal F-1 non-immigrant status.
  • You are in good academic standing. Your cumulative G.P.A. must be at least a 2.00 if you are an undergraduate student or a 3.00 if you are a graduate (Master’s, EdD, or PhD) student. No eligibility if you are on academic warning, probation, or dismissal.
  • The factors which caused your severe economic hardship developed AFTER you acquired F-1 status under FIU I-20. You MUST be able to document and/or prove existence of these factors.
  • Your severe economic hardship was caused by factors which were unforeseen at the time you acquired F-1 Status and beyond your control. NOTE: Increase of tuition fees is NOT an unforeseen circumstance.
  • The proposed employment will NOT interfere with your studies and will NOT cause you to reduce your course load below the full-time requirement.
  • You were unable to secure any on-campus employment.

Although the BCIS regulations establish eligibility for off-campus employment based on your initial acquisition of F-1 status, FIU ISSS advisors generally evaluate your situation based on the date of initial entry into FIU. Since you were required to document finances before you received your FIU I-20, ISSS advisors assume that any severe economic hardship or extreme emergency must have occurred AFTER you submitted the financial documents to the FIU Office of Admissions. ISSS advisors will NOT recommend to BCIS that you be authorized to continue off-campus employment which was authorized at your previous school.

If you believe you may qualify for off-campus employment due to severe economic necessity, you must schedule an appointment with an ISSS advisor to further determine eligibility and clarify related issues.