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Economic Hardship Employment

Off-Campus Employment

F-1 students who have a severe, unforeseen change in their financial circumstances may be granted general off-campus work permission by Immigration. To qualify for this permission, all of the following requirements must be met:

  1. You must have been enrolled full time in F-1 (student) immigration status for a full academic year.

  2. You must be in good academic standing with Old Dominion University.

  3. Your sponsor, listed on your I-20, must be unable to support you due to circumstances which neither you nor your sponsor should have been able to predict and over which neither of you had any control. (Circumstances under which students can get approval from Immigration include such events as the death, severe illness, loss of a job, etc. of a sponsor; loss of an assistantship due to no fault of the student, and severe economic/inflation problems at home. Immigration does not grant off campus work approval due to a voluntary retirement from work, to allow a sponsor to support other students in school, a desire on your part not to use the sponsor's support, and other similar cases.)

  4. You must be unable to find sufficient employment through other legal employment options. You are expected to have sought on campus employment and we will ask about that before we send the information to Immigration.

If the circumstances seem sufficiently serious to provide for off-campus work permission, a new I-20, the appropriate documentation and a check for $340 will be sent to Immigration. If permission is granted by Immigratrion, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be sent to ISSS, and we will notify you via your ODU e-mail address. YOU MAY NOT BEGIN WORKING UNTIL THIS EAD IS RECEIVED. Applications can take anywhere from one to six months to be processed.

To further discuss this option, please make an appointment with your advisor in ISSS.

Be Aware of the Following

Work permission is granted for one year at a time. If you need to continue beyond that year, you must provide new proof of continuing financial need and apply for an extension.

Total hours worked in all authorized employment--on- and/or off-campus--may not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. (Full-time employment is allowed during vacation periods.)

Work authorization is automatically cancelled whenever:

  • you drop below full time student status;
  • you are no longer in good academic standing;
  • you complete the degree program you were in when you received the work authorization.