The Department of State allows for J-1 Employment Based on Economic Necessity for use only when “serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances…have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status.”
In order to be considered for Employment Based on Economic Necessity, a student must first meet the general J-1 employment conditions:
Currently in good academic standing;
Continues to engage in a full course of study, except for official school breaks and annual vacations;
Employment totals no more than 20 hours per week, except during official school breaks and the student's annual vacation, when it may be full time.
Worked performed via Employment Based on Economic Necessity is not required to relate to the field of study listed on the DS-2019 Form.
To apply for this type of employment authorization, a J-1 student must provide evidence of the “serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances” that necessitate the employment. This information must be submitted to the student’s International Student Advisor for review. If a student’s request is approved, the Advisor provides a letter that serves as proof of employment authorization. Please note: this authorization is very rarely granted.