J-1 Student Off-Campus Employment Based on Severe Economic Hardship

If you are a University of Chicago J-1 international student who has serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring J-1 student status, then you may be eligible to apply for off-campus work authorization based on your situation.

General guidelines

  • For this type of work permission, only your financial need is a factor in the application. The value to you of the work experience does not count, nor does the employer's need for someone with your abilities.
  • You may be employed up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and full-time during breaks and your annual vacation quarter.
  • You must be a full-time student in good academic standing.
  • Your employment may not interfere with you carrying a full course of study (except during breaks and your annual vacation quarter).
  • This type of employment can be authorized for up to one year at a time.
  • You may begin work only after you have received written approval from the Office of International Affairs (OIA).
  • Use of this type of work authorization does not affect your eligibility, later on, for J-1 Academic Training (AT).

If you feel that you meet the qualification for this type of employment and would like to apply, you should being the process by making an appointment with your adviser at OIA. At the appointment you should be prepared to explain your situation and the necessity for this employment.  Your adviser will determine whether your situation renders you eligible for this kind of employment authorization and advise you as to the additional steps required to formally make the employment authorization request.