Off-Campus Employment Based on Economic Hardship

A J-1 student may be authorized to work off-campus if “serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances” have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status. Source: 22 C.F.R. § 62.23 (g) (1) (iii). This type of authorization must be granted in writing by the U-M International Center before employment begins.

As a J-1 student, you may not be employed for more than a total of 20 hours per week for both on-campus and off-campus locations during the academic year and full-time during summer and official University holiday breaks. Source: 22 C.F.R. § 62.23 (g) (1) (i) - (ii)

Eligibility Criteria

You are eligible to apply for employment based on severe economic hardship if you are in valid J1 status and off-campus employment is necessary due to a circumstance in which your economic need is serious, urgent, and unforeseen.

Documentation Needed to Apply

To apply for employment based on severe economic hardship, you must schedule an appointment with a U-M International Center advisor and bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • A legible copy of your latest Form DS-2019. Item #2 of your DS-2019 must list the program sponsor as University of Michigan, and item #4 must list the exchange visitor category as student.
  • A letter explaining the nature of your economic situation and how it is serious, urgent, and unforeseen.
  • Photocopy of paper or print-out of electronic Form I-94.
  • Copy of your unofficial transcript available from Wolverine Access

How to Apply for Severe Economic Hardship Employment

  1. Schedule an appointment with a U-M International Center advisor and bring the documents listed above to your appointment.
  2. The U-M International Center advisor will review your documents and issue a letter authorizing the employment for a period of one academic term at a time.
  3. This letter will serve as your proof of employment authorization. You will present it to your employer along with your paper or print-out of electronic Form I-94, passport, and DS-2019 to prove that you have received authorization to work off campus with that employer.

NOTE: You are responsible for complying with the terms of the regulations specified in the authorization letter. If you are employed without U-M International Center authorization, you will have violated your J-1 status, which may result in losing benefits of the J-1 program and jeopardize your permission to stay in or reenter the U.S.