J-1 Academic Training

International students in J-1 status may wish to engage in Academic Training during or soon after completion of their studies. Academic Training is training related to the student’s degree program. J-1 students are potentially eligible for one month of Academic Training for each month that they are in their academic program, with a cap for Academic Training being set at 18 months; an additional 18 months is possible for post doctoral (postdoc) positions. Students may be eligible to engage in Academic Training while still enrolled (part-time during classes or full-time during the vacation periods) or may wish to wait until after they graduate or submit their thesis to begin. Full-time Academic Training is employment of more than 20 hours per week. Part-time Academic Training is employment less than 20 hours per week. The time spent using Academic Training is not pro-rated for part-time employment. For example, a student who engages in four months of part-time Academic Training will have the full four months deducted from their Academic Training period. 

The J-1 must maintain health insurance for herself and dependents on a J-2 visa for the entire duration of Academic Training. See health insurance requirements here.

See eligibility requirements for students 

  • The student is primarily in the US to study rather than engage in Academic Training
  • The student is participating in Academic Training that is directly related to his or her major field of study during their stay in the U.S.
  • Must maintain health insurance for the principal and dependents for the enrire duration of the DS-2019.
  • The student is in good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA for graduate students and 2.0 GPA for undergraduate students at NC State University)
  • The student receives written approval in advance from OIS for the duration of the Academic Training.
  • In order to accept salary or wage payment from U.S.-based source, it is necessary to obtain a Social Security Number.

See Academic Training position restrictions and requirements

  • Positions must be commensurate with the level of education and related to the field of study
  • Training periods may not exceed the statutory limit (18 months) or the length of time the student was engaged in full-time coursework (if shorter)
  • Academic Training must be approved in SEVIS and post-completion Academic Training must begin within 30 days of the student’s final semester of enrollment at NC State
  • Academic Training positions must not be permanent positions, clinical positions (or those with patient care or contact), tenure-track positions, clerical or unskilled positions, etc.,
  • Students on Academic Training are still required to maintain adequate health insurance for themselves and all dependent family members
  • Students on Academic Training are required to inform OIS immediately if they change their address, change their name, change their employment status (lose their job), change their nonimmigrant visa status, complete their program and/or return to their home country,
  • Any extension request, change in site of activity, or change of employer/position/salary request must be directed to OIS and approved in SEVIS before a change is made.
  • Students on J-1 Academic Training must complete an evaluation of their training experience and submit that to OIS prior to their Academic Training end date.

 Learn about the Academic Training Application Process

J-1 students who wish to engage in Academic Training must obtain authorization from OIS prior to engaging in the training. J-1 students must not begin any on/off-campus Academic Training until it has been authorized in the SEVIS system by an OIS advisor and written authorization issued to the student. Authorization is restricted to a particular position, company, location, and time. In order for OIS to authorize Academic Training the student must follow these steps:

STEP 1: Obtain a recommendation from the Academic Advisor or Director of Graduate Program

Ask your Academic Advisor (if you are an undergraduate) or your Director of Graduate Program and Committee Chair (If you are a graduate student) to fill out the J-1 Academic Training Recommendation Form.

STEP 2: Obtain a job offer letter

The employer’s offer letter must include:

  • A brief description of the goals and objectives of the academic training,
  • The job title,
  • The start and end date,
  • The work location (must be the physical address),
  • The number of hours worked per week,
  • Name, address, e-mail and phone number of the training supervisor.

STEP 3: Submit your request to OIS

You can email the signed form and job offer letter to ois@ncsu.edu or deliver it in person at the OIS office. 

J-1 students interested in applying for Academic Training should submit the Advisor Recommendation Form for Academic Training and the offer letter from the employer to OIS (in person, via mail or e-mail) before graduation and before the expiration of the DS-2019. You must also attach proof of health insurance for the principal (J-1) and dependents on a J-2 visa that covers the entire duration of the Academic Training. The OIS advisor will update the student’s SEVIS record, issue a new Form DS-2019 and Academic Training Authorization Letter to the student.