Severe Economic Hardship Employment helps F-1 students who face economic hardship due to changes in their circumstances that could not be controlled or predicted. This may include "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, medical bills or other substantial and unexpected expenses." During fall and spring semesters, you are limited to part-time employment (a maximum of 20 hours per week) and you must maintain a full course of study. You can work full-time during the summer or officially recognized school breaks.
A student must have been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year before they are eligible to apply for Severe Economic Hardship Employment.
How to apply for Severe Economic Hardship:
In general, it takes approximately three months to receive your work authorization card. The card is valid for up to one year. You may apply for one additional year if the economic hardship continues beyond the initial year.