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Economic Need

In order to qualify for Economic Need work permission employment, you must meet the following criteria

  • Have been a full-time student at NYU for at least one academic year.
  • Have an I-20 issued by NYU.
  • Be able to document that the circumstances which led to your economic situation were unexpected and beyond your control. Examples include evidence of unexpected currency fluctuations, or the unexpected loss of employment or unexpected medical expenses incurred by you or your financial sponsor.
  • Be capable of continuing full-time studies and maintaining F-1 status while engaged in Economic Need work permission.
  • You do NOT need a job offer to apply for Economic Need work permission.

Procedure to Apply

Applying for Economic Need work permission is a two-step process: (1) you must first obtain the OGS recommendation for Economic Need work permission; and (2) upon receiving the OGS recommendation, apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

(1) In order to obtain OGS recommendation, you must come to the OGS with the following documents:

  • Your I-20, I-94 record, and passport
  • a completed F-1 / J-1 Student Budget Sheet
  • A letter of explanation detailing your present economic need and the unforeseen and unexpected circumstances which led to your present economic situation
  • Supporting evidence that documents the above

An OGS advisor will review your application materials. Please allow for up to 10 days processing time. This is not a routine application and is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. At times, an OGS advisor may recommend that you obtain further supporting evidence to document your claims. Note that the USCIS scrutinizes Economic Need applications carefully; as a result, the more evidence you can provide to establish the unforeseen and unexpected nature of your economic situation, the better.


If the OGS recommends Economic Need work permission, F-1 students receive a I-20.


(2) Apply to the USCIS. Once you have received an OGS recommendation, F-1 students can then apply for Economic Need work permission. Do not prepare these materials until you have received an OGS recommendation for Economic Need work permission. Your complete application packet will include:


  • I-20, with a recommendation for Economic Need work permission
  • photocopies of all I-20s previously issued (even from other schools)
  • I-94 record
  • a check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $380.
  • a completed Form I-765 (PDF) Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form G-1145, in order to receive an e-notification of application receipt from USCIS
  • two passport photographs
  • a letter of explanation from you, addressed to the USCIS
  • your F-1 / J-1 Student Budget Sheet
  • supporting evidence documenting the unforeseen and unexpected nature of your economic situation
  • letters of support from your financial sponsor and academic advisor

Mailing Information

Once you have prepared all of the above materials, mail your application to USCIS. For those residing in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, the address for private courier service is:

Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy, 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

If you use an address in a different part of the U.S., please speak with an OGS advisor to find out the appropriate USCIS mailing address.

(3) Once you are authorized for Economic Need employment, if you don't already have a Social Security number, you must apply for one to get paid. Learn more about how to apply for a Social Security number.

Processing Times

USCIS routinely takes up to 90 days to process this type of application. Approval is NOT guaranteed, and you may not begin employment unless you have received written approval from the USCIS. Written approval will come in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).


If approved, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS granting you permission to work off-campus. Typically, permission is granted for up to one year. Note also the following:

  • You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year, full-time (over 20 hours per week) during vacation periods.
  • Economic Need work permission is not limited to employment in your field of study - you may accept any type of lawful employment once you have received your EAD.
  • You may not start employment until you have received an EAD or before the start date indicated on the EAD. You must stop employment by the EAD expiration date or by the date you finish your studies, whichever is earlier. You may, however, apply for a renewal of Economic Need work permission if you are still a full-time student and if the conditions underlying the original application remain in place.
  • You must remain a full-time student and make full-time progress toward degree completion while on Economic Need work permission.
  • If you transfer to another institution, your EAD becomes invalid as of the date the transfer takes place.

Social Security Number

Need to apply for a Social Security Number?

Learn how to get one as an international student.
Read More

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