Severe economic hardship employment

Employment based on severe economic hardship is difficult to have approved by USCIS. You are eligible to apply for this off-campus work authorization if you are able to demonstrate severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen factors, which may include:

  • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment that is beyond your control.
  • Substantial fluctuations in the value of exchange rates or national currency.
  • Inordinate increase in tuition or living expenses.
  • Unexpected and substantial change in the financial conditions of your source of support, medical bills or other expenses.

You will need to make an appointment with an international student adviser to discuss your situation before applying for this work authorization.

While you are employed, you will be subject to state and federal income taxes. More information about nonresident alien taxation is available on the Human Resource Services website.

F-1 students

To qualify

  • You must have been an F-1 student for at least nine months.
  • You must have been in good academic standing at MU.
  • You can prove that on-campus employment is either unavailable or insufficient.
  • You can demonstrate that off-campus employment will not interfere with your studies.

If you receive authorization, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document, which will allow you to work for one year. You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week on and off campus while classes are in session, and 40 hours per week during the summer and official school breaks. You are able to renew your employment authorization; however, your EAD will be automatically terminated if you do not remain in good academic standing at MU.

J-1 students

To qualify

  • MU must be the program sponsor listed on your DS-2019.
  • You must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduate students or 3.0 for graduate students.
  • You must make an appointment with an international student adviser.

To apply

  • Write a letter requesting off-campus employment authorization and explaining the unforeseen circumstances that have arisen since you acquired J-1 status.
  • Identify an employment opportunity and have the prospective employer provide an offer letter.
  • Bring these letters and any other supporting documents of your hardship (medical bills, loss of scholarship, etc.) to the meeting with your international student adviser.

An international student adviser must approve your off-campus employment and will issue an authorization letter, which will serve as your official work authorization document. You should keep the original in a secure location with your other immigration documents, and may be asked to provide a copy to your employer. The authorization letter will be valid until your DS-2019 expires or for one year, whichever comes first. The exact date will be indicated on your letter.

You may work up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, and up to 40 hours per week during the summer and official school breaks.