Financial Hardship

One condition of approval for F-1 nonimmigrant status is that a student shows the ability to pay for his or her education and support while in the United States. The severe economic hardship employment authorization benefit is intended to address situations where a financial need beyond the student's control arises, which was unforeseen at the time the student applied to the school he or she is currently attending and after all other potential employment opportunities have proven to be insufficient.

Examples of such situations include loss of financial aid or employment through no fault on the part of the student, severe fluctuations in the value of currency from his/her home country, unexpected changes in financial condition of the student’s source of support, medical bills, or other considerable unexpected expenses.

Students may wish to discuss their situation with a Student Advisor prior to making the decision to apply for this type of employment authorization.


To be eligible for economic hardship employment authorization, you must:

  • Demonstrate that your current financial situation is severe, unforeseen, and beyond your control.
  • Have been a full-time student in F-1 status for at least one academic year.
  • Have a valid passport, I-94 card, and I-20.
  • Be currently enrolled in classes full-time unless it is a semester break.
  • Be in good academic standing with Indiana State University.
To Apply:
  • Students applying for economic hardship work authorization must write a letter to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services explaining their current situation and must provide proof that their current situation is severe, unforeseen, and beyond their control. Examples of such proof include news reports on economic strife in their home country, documentation of currency devaluation, statements from their sponsor, proof of tuition increases, and medical bills or doctor’s statements. Applicants may also want to include copies of current account statements demonstrating their need, if appropriate.
  • Make an appointment with a Student Advisor. Bring the following documents:
    • Passport, I-94 card, and I-20
    • Copy of any previous employment authorization card(s) (EADs)
    • Two photos taken within the past 30 days
    • Check or money order for $340.00 payable to "USCIS"
    • Your statement and proof of financial situation as described above.
  • Complete forms I-765, I-538, and signature card at the Office of International Programs & Services.

All Documents should be sent by the student with a check for the amount of $380.00 to the application-pdf.png Service Center with jurisdiction over your place of residence (address on item 3 of your I-765).

Click below to download the application.