What is Severe Economic Hardship?
Severe Economic Hardship (SEH) is employment authorization granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to an F-1 visa holder who has suffered severe economic hardship due to unexpected economic problems.
Some facts about Severe Economic Hardship:
How do I choose the dates of employment?
Keep in mind that Immigration may take up to 3 months to issue a card. You should apply for SEH about 3 months before your desired start date. If granted, the employment period will last one year.
What do I need to do to apply for Severe Economic Hardship?
Fill out the application and gather all the necessary documents as stated in the Severe Economic Hardship packet. Then submit the completed packet to the Office of International Student Services (ISS). We will process the paperwork, create a new I-20 for you, and ask you to sign it. Once your paperwork is completed we will create a packet for you to mail to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) via certified return receipt mail. Address and other mailing information will be provided. You can either pick up a Severe Economic Harship packet in ISS or download it by clicking below:
When will I get an answer from USCIS?
USCIS may take 3 months or more to make a final decision regarding your employment authorization. You may not work until you receive your card! When you receive your card, we ask that you provide OISS with a copy of it.
What if I get a “blue letter” from the USCIS?
A blue letter from USCIS is notification that something is missing or incorrect on your application, or that the Immigration Officer handling your case would like more information regarding your case.
As soon as you receive this letter, it is critical that you notify the Office of International Student Services so we can help you to remedy the problem. Do not delay!
As always, please call the Office of International Student Services if you have any questions.