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Severe Economic Hardship Authorization Tutorial

CAUTION: Consider Before Applying


  • Not everyone who applies is approved for SEH authorization.  In fact, denials aren't uncommon.
  • If the documentation submitted with the application is considered insufficient to USCIS, they will likely issue a Request for Evidence (RFE).  Not only does the issuance of an RFE cause a delay in processing, but if a student is unable to satisfy the request, they risk having their application denied.  The filing fee is nonrefundable. Examples of actual RFE’s received by WSU students for applications submitted:
    • Submit a list of all expenditures that must be paid should you receive employment authorization.
    • Submit the financial records and bank statements showing a decrease in funds from the time your sponsor agreed to support you to the present.  Financial records and bank statements must show all transactions including credits, debits, transfers, and balances from the time sponsorship was agreed upon to the present.  All transactions and balances must show the equivalency to U.S. Dollars by each amount.
    • Your sponsor must submit evidence of any and all other financial assets.  This may include stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, mutual funds, etc.
    • If you recently entered the United States, provide an explanation as to how you were able to travel if you are experiencing financial hardship.
    • You must show that you are taking additional steps to secure your financial obligations for school in other ways than to work your way through school as the purpose of issuing employment authorization is not to enable a student to work his or her way through school.
    • You have indicated health and medical problems for yourself and your sponsor.  Please submit all of the medical bills and expenses associated for both you and your sponsor.  Please include all doctor, hospital, treatment, and prescription bills.
    • Submit the complete financial records and bank statements from the month and year that you became a student, and the current records and bank statements as evidence of the changes in circumstances for the sponsor and yourself as evidence of loss of income.

  • Working off-campus 20 hours per week is unlikely to provide enough funds to cover both your education and living expenses. USCIS will likely want to know how you will cover your remaining expenses; if you have no other source of funding, your application could be denied on the basis that you may be unable to continue to enroll full-time and thus maintain your F-1 status.

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