Special Employment Authorizations

Economic hardship for F Students

F-1 regulations apply an F-1 student to apply to USCIS for an Economic Hardship Employment Authorization document in cases of "severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may 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."

Processing of this authorization requires an I-20 recommendation of a BIO advisor, and an application to USCIS which can take 90 days or more. Students must have been in F-1 status for at least 1 academic year, and employment is limited to a total of 20 hrs of work per week while school is in session, including any on-campus employment.  Employment can be full-time during official school breaks. 

To request Economic Hardship work authorization, please see an Advisor in Berkeley International Office to discuss your situation.

Economic hardship for J students

J-1 students who have received their DS-2019 document from UC Berkeley are eligible to request off-campus work authorization due to unforeseen financial need. This type of work authorization is called Economic Hardship.

This type of work authorization allows J-1 students to work off-campus in a part-time job during the academic year, or in a full-time job during semester breaks such as summer and winter break. The job does not need to be related to the student's field of study.

There is no time limit associated with the Economic Hardship work authorization. If a student can demonstrate financial need, s/he is eligible to apply as long as the need exists. Economic Hardship work authorization does not affect a student's J-1 Academic Training eligibility.

To request Economic Hardship work authorization, please see an Advisor in Berkeley International Office to discuss your situation.

F-1 Internships with an International Organization

F-1 regulations allow  F-1 students to apply for an EAD in order to work in an internship with a recognized international organization within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act. See the full list of designated International Organizations here.  In most cases, CPT is a more appropriate choice for students with internships.

Processing of this authorization requires an I-20 recommendation of a BIO advisor, and an application to USCIS which can take 90 days or more.There is no academic-year waiting period, and eligibility is immediate if a student has an offer by a recognized international organization. This type of employment is only available during the degree program, not post-completion. This type of employment can be full-time or part-time. However, the student must be remain a full-time student, enrolled in full-time units and maintain proper F-1 status.

To request an Internship with an International Organization work authorization, please see an Advisor in Berkeley International Office to discuss your situation.