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 aU-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 (please click on the link for instructions).
  • 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 (please click on the link for instructions), 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.