Application Process:

  1. Read and print the Application Instructions
  2. Use the instructions to complete and mail the application to USCIS

Conditions & Restrictions of Employment  


If USCIS authorizes your hardship employment application, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS granting you permission to work off-campus. Typically, permission is granted for one year or for the remainder of your academic program, whichever period is less. Please also note the following:

  • You may work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full time during vacation periods.
  • You may work in any job, related or not related to your studies.
  • You may not start employment until you have received an EAD or before the start date indicated on the EAD.
  • Hardship employment does not count towards your ability to work on-campus or affect your eligibility for practical training.
  • If you transfer to another institution, your EAD becomes invalid.

Important Reminders  

  • You must be physically present in the U.S. until after USCIS receives your application for processing. Keep delivery confirmation whenever possible. We strongly recommend you to discuss your travel plans in advance of the filing with USCIS to avoid any rejection or denial.
  • If you later decide not to mail your Economic Hardship application (I-765 plus supporting documentation) to USCIS for any reason, you must notify P/DSO immediately so that we may timely cancel your recommendation in SEVIS. Failure to inform a P/DSO that you are not applying for Economic Hardship can cause problems in the future.
  • Please notify ISO if you have not received an I-797 Receipt Notice with a case number from USCIS within 2-6 weeks from the date that your application was received at USCIS. Please attach a copy of delivery confirmation.
  • Please submit a copy of your employment authorization card to ISO immediately upon receipt.
    • When the application is pending, we strongly advise against changing the address listed on the 1-765
    • USCIS has not been able to process change of address notifications properly.
    • Changing your address while still pending may result in your being required to file a new Economic Hardship application with a new fee if your documents are lost.
    • We suggest you use the address of someone who can receive mail on your behalf. Remember, put “c/o”, followed by the person’s name and address, on Line 3 of the I-765. The US Postal Service will not forward USCIS mail.
  • Your Economic Hardship will be automatically terminated when you begin study at another educational level or transfer to another school.
  • If you find any errors by USCIS on your EAD card, please inform ISO immediately.
  • Immediately inform ISO of any immigration status change.


If you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE), please submit it to ISO immediately.

How to submit your RFE document:

  • Please submit a New Support Ticket and attach a copy of all pages of the RFE.
  • A DSO will review the RFE and respond to you as soon as possible