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Severe Economic Hardship Authorization Tutorial

Required Documentation


This section of the tutorial lists the items you will need to assemble for your application.  An I-20 reflecting a recommendation for Severe Economic Hardship is mandatory when applying, meaning you must meet with an International Student Advisor first (call 316-978-3232 to schedule a meeting):

1. Completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization: This form MUST be typed and should be printed on 7 sheets of paper. DO NOT print double-sided. Download, save, and complete Form I-765 following the guide provided below or using our printer-friendly version.

Please complete all fields as instructed below:

Part 1. Reason for Applying

Select box 1.a, Initial permission to accept employment.

Part 2. Information About You

Your Full Legal Name

  • 1.a. Type your family name(s). (Note: the EAD card will allow a maximum of 30 characters in this field.)
  • 1.b. Type your given name(s). (Note: the EAD card will allow a maximum of 18 characters in this field.)
  • 1.c. Use this field if you truly have a middle name or if all of your given names will not fit in the given name field. (Note: names in this field will most likely be abbreviated on the EAD card.)

Failure to follow these instructions may result in errors on your EAD (OPT Card).

Other Names Used

  • Only complete fields 2.a - 4.c if you have used names other than the ones listed in 1.a - 1.c.

Your U.S. Mailing Address (This will be address to which USCIS mails your EAD, if granted. You can choose to have the EAD mailed to ISS or to your mailing address.)

  • 5.a. Wichita State University
  • 5.b. 1845 Fairmount
  • 5.c. Select “Ste.” and type: “122”
  • 5.d. Wichita
  • 5.e. KS
  • 5.f. 67260-0122 (some browsers may not allow the last 4 digits, which is OK)
  • 6. Select “No”

U.S. Physical Address

  • Complete fields 7.a - 7.e with your U.S. physical address (where you live).

Other Information

  • 8. Leave blank unless you have previously been issued an EAD from USCIS. If you have previously received an EAD, the A# may be listed on your card as the USCIS #.
  • 9. Leave blank unless you already have a USCIS online account. Most students will not have a USCIS online account.
  • 10 - 11. Complete fields with your information
  • 12. Indicate if you have previously filed a Form I-765 with USCIS

Items 13.a - 17.b refer to your Social Security Number (SSN) and the way you answer depends on whether you already have an SSN.

If you've already been issued an SSN
  • 13.a. Select “Yes”
  • 13.b. Provide your SSN   *To protect your identity, complete this question after you send your documents to iss@wichita.edu
  • 14. Select “No”
  • 15 - 17.b. Leave blank
If you have NOT already been issued an SSN

You have two choices:

1. Allow the Social Security Administration to issue you one upon approval of your OPT (instead of applying in person at a Social Security Administration office). If this is your preference, answer as follows:

  • 13.a. Select “No”
  • 13.b. Leave blank
  • 14. Select “Yes”
  • 15. Select “Yes”
  • 16.a.-17.b. Provide the BIRTH names of your Father and Mother. NOT their names as listed on their passport.

2. Apply in-person at a Social Security Administration office upon approval of your OPT (instead of having the SSA issue you one automatically). If this is your preference, answer as follows:

  • 13.a. Select “No”
  • 13.b. Leave blank
  • 14. Select “No”
  • 15 - 17.b. Leave blank

Your Country or Countries of Citizenship or Nationality

  • 18.a. Indicate your country of citizenship
  • 18.b. If you are a citizen or national of another country, indicate this information here. Otherwise, leave blank.

Place of Birth

  • Complete fields 19.a - 20 with your personal information. Please note that if the name of the place you were born has changed, you should use the name as it was at the time of your birth.

Information About Your Last Arrival in the United States

  • 21.a. Enter the 11-digit admission number from your most recent I-94 arrival record.
  • 21.b. Enter your most recent passport number
  • 21.c. Leave blank
  • 21.d - 26 - Complete fields with your personal information

Information About Your Eligibility Category

  • 27. Enter exactly as shown: (c) (3) (iii)
  • Items 28 - 31.b should be left blank.
Part 3. Applicant's Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature

Applicant’s Statement

  • Select 1.a, “I can read and understand English….”

Applicant’s Contact Information

  • 3 - 5. Complete with your information
  • 6. Leave blank

Applicant Signature

  • 7.a. - 7.b. Sign and Date. Per the I-765 instructions, “a stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable.”
Parts 4 and 5

Leave blank.

Part 6. Additional Information

Complete this section only if you have additional information to provide.  Typical examples of this include:

  1. You have submitted a Form I-765 to USCIS (for OPT, Severe Economic Hardship, etc)  in the past (even if the application was later withdrawn or denied)
  2. You have used a different SEVIS ID in F-1 status in the US (for example, if you attended school for a while, left the US to take a break from school, and returned with a new I-20, you would have a SEVIS ID from your first period of attendance that is different than your current SEVIS ID). 

If you need to complete Part 6, please see the instructions below:

  • 1.a - 1.c. Complete these fields exactly the same way you did on Page 1, Part 2. These fields may populate automatically.
  • 2. Complete this field the same way you did on Page 2, Item 8.  If you left it blank on Page 2, leave it blank here.
  • For each of the items for which you need to provide additional information (previous CPT, previous OPT, etc), complete one number (#3.a. - 3.d., #4.a. - 4.d. etc) in Part 6.

Please see below examples for various scenarios that may apply to you:

These instructions are meant to help you with best practices in completing the Form I-765 for an SEH application.  Please note, this is not legal advice.

2. Fee Payment: The I-765 application fee is $520 and should be made payable to “U.S. Dept of Homeland Security”.

See example. The following forms of payment are accepted by USCIS:

  • Money order (recommended)
  • Personal check
  • Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions

You may request the fee be waived by including a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver with your SEH application. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis, require additional documentation, and may prolong the adjudication process by several months.

3. Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (optional but recommended): Use this form to request a text message and/or email when USCIS receives your application.

4. Two passport-style photos with a white background:  Adhere to passport guidelines. Photos should be identical and must have been taken within the last 30 days. The USCIS service center will reject photos more than 30 days old.

5. Immigration Documents: You are required to provide a clear copy of the following items. Each document should be copied separately on standard-size paper (8 ½ x 11). Do not cut copies down to a smaller size. Center item to be copied on the paper – avoid the margins and corners. Be sure to close the copier cover so the empty space around the item is white, not black.

  • Passport – Copy must include picture, name, and expiration date. Passport must be valid.

  • Visa – It is OK if your visa has expired.
  • I-94 Admission/Departure record for your most recent entry into the U.S. – The I-94 can be retrieved and printed from the CBP website.   Individuals whose most recent entry is prior to April 2013 should have the old-style paper I-94 in their passport.  If you have a paper I-94 card, you need to copy both the front and the back of the card on the same side of the paper.
  • Passport renewal stamp - only if your passport has been renewed.
  • Previously issued Employment Authorization Documents – only if you have ever received work authorization such as OPT from USCIS before. Copy each EAD (front and back on same side of paper).

6. Transcript (recommended but not required)

7. Letter from you explaining financial situation

8. Letter from financial sponsor (if you are not self-funded) explaining financial situation

9. Financial records/bank statements from month/year you became an F-1 student, as well as current financial records/bank statements as evidence of loss of funding. Include conversion if in currency other than U.S. dollars.

10. Additional documentation: Your chances of being approved for SEH authorization are increased by the documentation you provide to support your case. The type of documentation depends on individual circumstances, but here are some suggestions:

  • Evidence of loss of financial aid or on-campus employment
  • Evidence of unexpected loss of sponsor’s employment

  • Evidence of rate of exchange or substantial currency devaluation

  • Bank statements from month/year you became a student and now to demonstrate loss of funding
  • Medical bills (for you or your sponsors)

  • Newspaper or magazine publications

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