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F-1 students are non-immigrants. Therefore they are not eligible for Financial Aid. Sometimes students may experience severe financial hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, for example the financial sponsor may become seriously ill, retire from employment, a natural disaster may impact the student's home country, etc. Eligible F-1 students may request a recommendation for Off-Campus employment authorization from the International and Exchange Student Center (IESC).
Students are eligible for 20 hours of work during school sessions and 40 hours during break periods. The student is required to apply for employment authorization to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Approval is subject to review and adjudication by the California Service Center (CSC) of the USCIS.
USCIS will issue an employment Authorization Document (EAD). This is a card that is mailed directly to the student. Employment authorization will begin on the date requested or the date the employment authorization is adjudicated, whichever is later. The EAD will reflect the period of validity (start and end dates) of employment authorization. In the case of Economic Hardship, employment authorization is granted for one year at a time and must be renewed if the student needs to continue employment. The student will be required to resubmit all proof, documents, and fees when applying for a renewal of this category of employment.
Students are required to make an appointment to meet with a Foreign Student Advisor (FSA). Please bring the documents listed under Step 1 to your appointment. This will assist you with obtaining preliminary approval.
Step 1: The student will submit the following to a FSA at IESC:
IESC will take 3-5 business days to review and process the request. Please call 818-677-3053 to ask if the I-20 is ready for step 2.
Step 2: The student is required to return to IESC to pick up the documents and bring the following:
The Foreign Student Advisor will put together the packet and then the student is required to mail it to the appropriate USCIS lockbox.
When mailing documents by U.S. Post Office--Use Certified Mail Return Receipt and mail to:
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
When mailing documents by Express Mail or Courier Service, mail to:
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
If you are currently working and living outside of California, your OPT application should be mailed to a different address. Please refer to the I-765 instructions at www.uscis.gov.
Please contact IESC at (818) 677-3053 or email your Foreign Student Advisor for questions and/or clarifications.
Rev 03/23/2012 PM