Academic Training for Students in J-1 Visa Classification
Academic Training is flexible in its format and offers a variety of employment opportunities to supplement your academic program in the United States. It is available before completion of your program of study as well as afterwards. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, it lets you work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods; and, under certain circumstances, you may interrupt study to work full-time, for example while you are writing a thesis. J-1 students in non-degree programs are eligible for Academic Training.
For advice and for further information, consult your J-1 Responsible Officer or the OISS staff.
Your J-1 Responsible Officer
To qualify for Academic Training, you must first obtain approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible Officer, who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Form DS-2019. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program of study and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. If your school is your sponsor, then your J-1 Responsible Officers are members of the OISS staff. If your J-1 sponsor is another agency, and if you are uncertain how to reach your J-1 Responsible Officer, the OISS can help you find out but has no authority to grant employment permission.
- Your primary purpose in the United States must be study rather than Academic Training.
- You must be in good academic standing at the school named on your Form DS-2019.
- The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
- Throughout your Academic Training you must maintain valid J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary.
- You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your Academic Training.
- Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that the amount of time is approved by the Academic Dean or Adviser and the Responsible Officer. It may not exceed the period of full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter. If you receive a Ph.D., however, your "post-doctoral training" may last as long as 36 months. Additional Academic Training, beyond the 18 or 36-month limit, is allowed only if it is required for the degree.
- Part-time employment for "Academic Training" counts against the 18 or 36-month limit the same as full-time employment.
- Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for Academic Training.
After completion of your program of study . . .
- Academic Training approved after completion of your program must be reduced by any prior periods of Academic Training.
- Academic Training following completion of your program of study must involve paid employment.
- You must obtain a written offer of appropriate employment and present the letter to your J-1 Responsible Officer prior to the completion of your program, or you will lose eligibility for post-completion Academic Training.
- If you plan to leave the United States after you complete your program of study and return for J-1 Academic Training, you must obtain employment authorization before you leave. Otherwise, you lose your eligibility for this benefit.
Obtain a letter (job offer) from your prospective employer that includes your job title, a brief description of the goals and objectives of your "Training program" (your employment), the dates and location of the employment, the number of hours per week, and the name and address of your training supervisor. Make sure that your employer's letter includes all of these details.
Complete a request for academic training and submit it to the OISS with your employment offer letter. Part I of the request form is for you to fill out, Part II must be completed by your academic advisor.
Your J-1 Responsible Officer will evaluate the Academic Training program and decide whether it is warranted and appropriate. If so, he or she will write you a letter of approval. To authorize "postdoctoral training" your J-1 Responsible Officer must also issue you a new Form DS-2019, for no more than 18 months at a time.
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