Economic Hardship

Off-campus employment may be possible because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances arising since acquiring exchange visitor status. Student must be in good academic standing, continue to engage in a full course of study while school in session, and sponsored by KU.

Program Sponsor

The instructions below are for students who have a DS-2019 issued by KU.  If you have a DS-2019 issued by another program sponsor such as IIE, ACTR or Department of State, you should contact your sponsor for possibilities and instructions on their processes.

Hours Allowed

Your work will be limited to 20 hours per week when class is in session.  You may work more than 20 hours per week during official school breaks and vacation periods.

Length of Authorization

The dates will extend through the validity of your DS-2019 or up to 12 months, whichever period is less.


While employed you will be subject to state and federal income taxes (unless you are exempted by a tax treaty).  You will probably not be subject to social security tax if you have been in the U.S. less than five years.

Who is Eligible?

The student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Sponsored by The University of Kansas (KU is listed as sponsor in #2 of DS-2019).
  • In good academic standing at KU (minimum 2.0 G.P.A.).
  • Continue to engage in a full course of study while school is in session.
  • Have serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances which have arisen since acquiring J-1 status.

How to Apply?

  1. Make sure that you are eligible for off-campus employment according to the eligibility criteria above. Check with an international student advisor if you have any questions.
  2. Write a letter requesting off-campus work authorization due to economic necessity. Explain the serious, urgent and unforeseen circumstances which have arisen since acquiring J-1 status. Gather documents that support your claims (medical bills, loss of scholarship, etc.).
  3. Upload your letter and supporting documents in iHawk (J-1 Student Services > Off-Campus Work - Economic Hardship > Part 1).
  4. Meet with an international student advisor during walk-in hours to determine your eligibility.
  5. Find a job if you are eligible for economic hardship employment.
  6. Fill out Part 2 of the request in iHawk (J-1 Student Services > Off-Campus Work - Economic Hardship > Part 2). Your employer will have to verify the job offer.
  7. After your employer verifies the job offer, meet with an international student advisor during walk in hours to get the off-campus work permit.
  8. When the international student advisor approves the off-campus work authorization, he or she will issue you a J-1 Student Employment Authorization Form stating the dates and conditions of your employment. The J-1 Student Employment Authorization Form signed by the international student advisor is your official work authorization document for you to keep.  Your employer may require a copy of the original J-1 Student Employment Authorization Form for their records.  The employer may also require copies of your Forms I-94, DS-2019, passport ID page(s) and visa.
  9. You may begin employment only after the international student advisor has approved the specific employment in writing.  The approval may be valid up to twelve months, but it is automatically withdrawn if the student’s program is terminated.

Immigration Advising Hours

ISS is open 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday - Friday. 

Walk-in hours:
1:30pm-4:00pm Monday-Friday

Appointment hours:
9:00am-11:30am Tuesday-Friday
Walk-in vs. Appointment
Appointments are for matters ≥ 15 minutes.
Walk-in advising is for matters ≤ 15 minutes.
Walk-ins are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Walk-ins: Withdrawal from KU, concurrent enrollment, curricular practical training*, dependents, duplicate I-20 or DS-2019, extension for I-20*, financial update, J-1 on-campus work permit, reduced course load, social security number, transferring out, and any general questions.
Appointments: J-1 academic training, change of status, economic hardship, curricular practical training*, optional practical training, OPT STEM extension, reinstatement, and extension for I-20* or DS-2019.
*can be conducted during walk-in or by appointment.

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