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University of Houston-Victoria

Off-Campus Employment for F1 Students

F1 students may be authorized for off-campus employment under the following circumstances:

  • Severe, unforeseen economic necessity

  • Internship with an International Organization

  • Employment based on the Special Student Relief program

This off-campus employment must be recommended in SEVIS by the DSO, and be adjudicated and approved by USCIS, which issues an EAD card (Employment Authorization Document) as evidence authorized.  A student cannot begin the off-campus employment until he or she receives the EAD card from USCIS.

The authorization above is limited to the start and end dates on the EAD, and m the student transfers to another school or fails to maintain F1 status.

Employment Based on Severe Economic Hardship

  • The student must have been in F1 visa status for at least one full academic year.  they must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F1 status.

  • The employment may be off-campus or on-campus when approved.

  • Approval is granted in increments of one year at a time, or until the program end-date, whichever is shorter;  Authorization ends if a student transfers to another school

  • Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and may be full-time during official school breaks.

  • Employment may be in any job and does not have to be related to student's course of study.

  • Employment may not interfere with making normal progress toward completing the full course of study.

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 UHV, and after all other potential employment opportunities on-campus have proven to be insufficient. 

Examples of unforeseen economic hardship 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. Documentation of the unforeseen circumstances must be included in the application for employment.  The DSO will assist students with the Application for Employment to USCIS.

Employment with an International Organization

This F1 employment benefit allows F1 students to work for recognized international organizations within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act. 

  • The student is eligible as soon as F1 status is granted.  No waiting period is needed.  Employment is available only while student is in F1 status before completion of the educational objective.

  • A list of qualified international organizations is available from the DSO

  • Employment is granted in increments of one year or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter.

  • Employment may be full-time or part-time.  However, the student must be enrolled in a full course load and maintain F1 status while working.

  • Does not have to study, but international organizations usually hire students for positions in their field of study.

  • Student must have a written offer of employment from a qualifying international organization, and in a position which would not qualify the student for G visa status.

  • Student must apply for EAD from USCIS and receive EAD before employment begins.

The DSO may assist students with application to work in this category.

Special Student Relief for F1 Students

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security may suspend or alter rules regarding duration of status, full course of study, and employment eligibility, for specific groups of students from parts of the world that are experiencing emergent circumstances. This collection of benefits is known as "Special Student Relief". Emergent circumstances are determined by federal officials.  DSOs are notified of relief packages through the SEVIS web connection, and will notify enrolled F1 students about the benefits available.  The student relief is very specific with directions on what is needed to be granted benefits.

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