Economic Hardship for J-1 Students


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 and continue to engage in a full course of study while school in session.

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 or ISEP, 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.

Taxes

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.

Eligibility

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.

Application Instructions

  1. Make sure that you are eligible for off-campus employment according to the eligibility criteria above. Check with an ISS immigration 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 ISS immigration advisor during drop ins to determine your eligibility.
  5. If you are found eligible for economic hardship employment, start applying for jobs.
  6. Once you secure a job offer, 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 completes the Part 2 e-form, meet with an ISS immigration advisor during drop ins to review Part 2.
  8. If the work authorization can be approved, the ISS immigration advisor will issue you a J-1 Student Employment Authorization stating the dates and conditions of your employment. The J-1 Student Employment Authorization signed by the ISS immigration 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 for their records.  The employer may also require copies of your Forms I-94, DS-2019 and a government-issued photo ID such as your passport or a driver's license.
  9. You may begin employment only after the ISS immigration 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.