Off Campus Employment Based on Economic Hardship

Off-campus work permission is authorized by DHS and is based on a student's unforeseen change in financial circumstances, his/her ability to demonstrate economic hardship, and his/her ability to document that s/he was unable to obtain on-campus employment or that such employment is insufficient.

  • Authorization covers a period of one year or less, depending on the student's completion date of his/her program.
  • Authorization allows a student to work up to 20 hours per week on or off the campus and full-time during the semester breaks and the summer vacation period.
  • Employment under this type of authorization does not need to be related to a student's field of study.
  • An extension of off-campus work permission is possible if the student is still pursuing the same program of study at the same school and can document that the financial situation still exists.


  • Student must have been in legal F-1 status at Buffalo State College for at least 9 months.
  • Most recent I-20 prepared must have been processed at least nine months prior to application.
  • Student must be able to document the unforeseen change in financial circumstances.
  • Student must be able to document economic hardship.
  • Student must be able to document his/her inability to obtain on-campus employment and/or salary of on-campus employment is insufficient.
  • Student must have a valid passport.

Documents needed are as follows:

  • Form I-765
  • Photocopy of new SEVIS I-20 form with recommendation for permission to work because of SEVERE ECONOMIC HARDSHIP on page 3. Permission to work may only be given 1 year at a time.
  • $340.00 check made out to the Department of Homeland Security
  • I-94 copy
  • Copy of last E.A.D. (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of biographical page(s) of passport
  • 2 photos: format
    • white background
    • taken within 30 days before submission to DHS
    • un-mounted, printed on thin paper, glossy, un-retouched
    • the photo must show a ¾ front profile of the right side of face with right ear visible
    • Head should be uncovered except as required by religious order
    • Maximum photo size 1 ½ x 1 ½ inches, distance from top of head to just below chin 1 ¼ inches
    • Lightly print you’re your name and A# (if known) on back of photos with pencil
    • Letter from financial sponsor
    • Your letter, stating why you need permission to work
    • Other documents supporting your request for employment based on economic hardship

After meeting with the Office of International Student Affairs and submitting copies of all documents in your file at the Office of International Student Affairs, you must mail the documents listed above to:

USCIS Vermont Service Center
ATTN:  I-765
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT  05479

Upon receipt of your documents (if package is complete) DHS will mail you a form I-797 receipt notice. Once approved, your EAD will be mailed to you. If denied, you will receive a written notice and explanation.


  • If DHS approves the application, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be issued that reflects the dates of the employment authorization.
  • A student cannot begin employment until s/he is in possession of the EAD.
  • Off-campus work permission becomes void if a student completes all degree requirements, begins a new degree program, or transfers to another school.