J-1 Academic Training
Academic Training is a type of work authorization available to international students in J-1 status who wish to work off campus. It is defined as training related to the student’s field of study listed on his/her DS-2019 document.
Students may be eligible to engage in Academic Training during or soon after completion (within 30 days) of their studies. J-1 students are potentially eligible for one month of Academic Training for each month in their academic program, with a cap of 18 months of Academic Training total. (An additional 18 months may be possible for post-doctoral positions.) Students may be eligible to engage in Academic Training while still enrolled in a program of study or may wish to wait until after their program completion to begin. Post-completion academic training must be full-time (at least 20 hours per week). The time spent on 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 eligibility period. The J-1 must maintain health insurance for his/herself and any J-2 dependents for the entire duration of Academic Training. See health insurance requirements here.
Students must maintain some kind of enrollment if engaging in Academic Training during a required term. If the internship takes place over a summer vacation term and is required for the degree, the student must also have enrollment during the summer to meet the degree requirement.
- The student is primarily in the U.S. to study rather than engage in Academic Training (so time spent on Academic Training cannot be longer than the time spent in the U.S. in the degree program)
- The student’s training opportunity is directly related to his or her major field of study as listed on the DS-2019
- The student must maintain health insurance for the principal and dependents for the entire duration of the DS-2019 (regardless of whether they are outside the U.S. or not at NC State)
- The student is in good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA for graduate students and 2.0 GPA for undergraduate students)
- The student is enrolled unless it is a summer vacation term and the internship is not a requirement of the degree program
- The student receives written approval in advance from OIS for the duration of the Academic Training
- If the position is paid, it may be necessary to obtain a Social Security number and file a tax return the following spring
- 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 non-immigrant visa status, complete their program and/or return to their home country
- 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
- 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
- Post-completion academic training must be at least 20 hours/week
- Academic Training positions must not be clinical positions (or those with patient care or contact), tenure-track positions, clerical or unskilled positions, etc.
- 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
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 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 2: Complete Recommendation Form together with 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 3: Submit your request to OIS
J-1 students interested in applying for Academic Training should submit the requested paperwork (Advisor Recommendation Form for Academic Training, offer letter from the employer, proof of health insurance) to OIS (in person or e-mail) before graduation and before the expiration of the DS-2019. Please note all requests require proof of health insurance for the principal (J-1) and any J-2 dependents 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.