Economic Hardship Employment

Application Package APPLY

This F-1 employment benefit is intended to address situations where a financial need beyond the student’s control arises, which is unforeseen at the time the student applied to the school he/she is currently attending and after all other potential employment opportunities have proven to be insufficient.

Examples of unforeseen economic hardship 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

Students wishing to apply for employment based on economic hardship must complete the Economic Hardship application and submit to the OISPS with supporting documents.

F-1 address Notification Form

Student Letter For Petition

Eligibility & Characteristic Requirements:

  • Must have been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year at Lamar University
  • Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his/her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status
  • Granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time; authorization ends if a student transfers schools
  • Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session; can be full-time during official school breaks
  • Can be any job.  Does not have to be related to course of study
  • Job offer of employment is not required prior to applying
  • Use of this employment category does not count towards the 20-hour on-campus maximum, nor does it affect eligibility for practical training.
  • Must apply for EAD card from USCIS after DSO updates SEVIS with the economic hardship recommendation.

Social Security Number

Social Security numbers are generally assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.  Social Security Administration will not assign you a number just to enroll in a college of university.

All individuals must have a social security card and number before employment. F-1 Students and J1 /J2 Exchange Visitors currently maintaining their status may apply for a social security card by submitting the Social Security Request form to the Office of International Student Programs and Services (OISPS).

Social Security for On-Campus Employment

The Social Security Administration requires all F-1 students requesting an SSN for general on-campus employment provide an official letter on school letterhead from the DSO confirming the student have been hired for on-campus employment. This letter must also include the student’s detail information and eligibility requirements.

To request the official letter from the OISPS, students are required to submit the following:

  • Social Security Request form (Form required)
  • Official letter from the employer indicating the student has been hired for on-campus employment. The letter must include the following information:
  • Student’s full name as printed on the SEVIS form I-20
  • Employment position
  • Estimated start date
  • Number of hours/week
  • Employer contact information –
    • Department name
    • Building, room number, etc., student’s employment location
    • Department address
    • Employer identification number (EIN)
    • Employer Telephone
    • Student’s Immediate Supervisor
    • Employer’s signature, title, and date

Note:  Students are required to wait until they have been in the United States for at least 10 calendar days and have reported into school before applying for a Social Security number. This will help ensure SSA can verify your immigration status with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

For additional information, refer to Social Security Administration web site at: