Off-Campus Employment for F-1 International Students | Webster University

Off-Campus Employment for F-1 International Students

Students in F-1 status must request work authorization from International Services and from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before engaging in any off-campus employment.

F-1 students are eligible to work off-campus in certain situations on a part-time basis after having been in valid F-1 status for one full academic year.

The type of employment authorization a student may receive will depend on the nature of the employment, the student's immigration status, and the relationship of the employment to the student's academic program.

Please find detailed information about each off-campus employment opportunity by clicking the links below:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

24-Month STEM OPT Extension

Cap-Gap Extension

Internship with an International Organization

Severe Economic Hardship Provision



Internship with an International Organization

F-1 students are eligible to do an internship with international organization (8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C). Examples of recognized international organizations include the United Nations, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization etc. Student must consult International Recruitment and International Services to determine if the organization they intent to work at meets U.S. definition of International Organization. A student is eligible as soon as he or she is in F-1 status; there is no waiting period. Employment does not have to be related to the student's field of study, but most international organizations usually hire students for positions in their field of study anyway.

An F-1 student who has been offered employment by a recognized international organization must apply for employment authorization to United Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS. Employment can be full-time or part-time. However, the student must still be a full-time student and maintain F-1 student status. If approved, USCIS will send Employment
Off-Campus page of Employment section.

Authorization Document (EAD) before a student begins employment. Please download the Internship with an International Organization Form from the forms section of this website to find more about the application procedure. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for employment authorization with an international organization, you must:

  • Be currently maintaining valid F-1 status;
  • Have a written offer of employment from a qualifying international organization

Application Process and Requirements

Submit the documents specified in the checklist below to International Recruitment and International Services for review and to request an I-20 recommending employment with an international organization.

  • Completed Internship with an International Organization Form
  • Completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization in blue pen (Enter the code (c)(3)(ii) in item #16). Download Form I-765 from the USCIS website.
  • Completed Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance. Download Form G-1145 from the USCIS website
  • Photocopies all previously issued Form I-20s, including I-20s from other schools
  • Photocopies of any previous Employment Authorization Documents (front and back)
  • A print out of the electronic I-94 (retrieve here).
  • Photocopy of a new I-20 to be issued by the International Services Office
  • Photocopies of the following Passport pages: (1) Name, picture and validity/expiration pages (2) Most recent visa page
  • A $410 check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security")
  • Two identical passport-style photos taken within 30 days (Using a pencil or a pen lightly print your name and I-94 number on the back of each photo).
  • A written offer of employment from the qualifying international organization on the organization's letterhead.


Severe Economic Hardship Employment

Economic hardship employment is off-campus employment authorization that is for economic need, and is not required to be related to the student's academic program of study. While F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to enter the United States for the purpose of studies, off-campus employment may be authorized only in cases of severe economic hardship occurring after a student's enrollment in an academic program. Off-campus employment due to economic hardship is a case-by-case exception made for students who can show that new, unexpected circumstances beyond their control have created severe economic hardship.

Eligibility for F-1 and J-1 Students

The student must meet these eligibility criteria:

  1. The student has been in F-1 status for at least one academic year (or 9 months).
  2. The student is in good academic standing, enrolled full-time and maintaining status.
  3. Can demonstrate that no on-campus employment is available or otherwise it is insufficient to meet his/her need.
  4. Can demonstrate that acceptance of employment will not interfere with his or her being full-time student.
  5. Provide evidence of economic hardship caused by unexpected circumstances to justify that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship. These hardships may include:
    • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment - not due to student's fault
    • Large increases in tuition or living costs
    • Substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate
    • Excessive increases in tuition and/or living costs
    • Unexpected changes in the financial conditions of the student's financial sponsor(s)
    • Unexpectedly large medical bills not covered by insurance
    • Other substantial, unexpected expenses.

How to Apply for Severe Economic Hardship?

You must file a Form I-765 - Application for Employment Authorization - with a new I-20 and pay an application fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You must also submit documents that show you are experiencing economic hardship.

Before you can submit your application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please complete the Severe Economic Hardship Application Form and submit relevant documents to International Services for review.

If the application is approved by USCIS, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (also known as Form I-766); and can then begin working off-campus. Employment authorization is granted in increment of one year at a time.