J-1 Academic Training
Academic Training (AT) 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 their DS-2019 document.
J-1 students are eligible to apply for one month of AT for each month in their academic program, with a cap of 18 months of AT total (post-doctoral positions may be eligible for an additional 18 months). Students may be eligible to engage in AT while enrolled in a program of study (pre-completion AT) or wait until after their program completion to begin (post-completion AT). Students may be eligible to engage in AT during or soon after (within 30 days) the completion of their studies. Contact OIS with any questions regarding the start date of post-completion AT. Pre-completion AT can be part or full time, but keep in mind that one month of part time employment counts the same as one month of full time employment. Students must maintain health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents for the entire duration of AT.
Students must maintain some kind of enrollment if engaging in AT 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 AT (so time spent on AT cannot be longer than the time spent in the U.S. in the degree program)
- The student’s training opportunity is directly related to their major field of study as listed on the DS-2019
- The student must maintain health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents for the entire duration of the DS-2019 (regardless of whether they are off campus, out of state or outside of the U.S.)
- The student must be 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 AT
- 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 AT are required to inform OIS immediately if there is a change to: their address, their name, their employment status (lose their job), their non-immigrant visa status, or if they complete their program
- Positions must be properly suited to the degree and level of education and related to the field of study
- Training periods may not exceed the allowable limit (18-36 months depending on degree) or the length of time the student was engaged in full-time coursework
- Post-completion AT must be approved in SEVIS within 30 days of the student’s final semester of enrollment at NC State
- Post-completion AT must be at least 20 hours/week
- AT positions must not be clinical positions (or those with patient care or contact), tenure-track positions, clerical or unskilled positions.
- 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 AT must obtain authorization from OIS prior to engaging in the training. J-1 students must not begin any on/off-campus AT 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 AT 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 AT
- The job title
- The start and end date
- The work location (must be the physical address)
- The number of hours worked per week
- The amount of pay (if it is a paid position)
- 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 (undergraduate students) or your Director of Graduate Program and Committee Chair (graduate students) to fill out the J-1 Academic Training Recommendation Form.
STEP 3: Submit your request to OIS
Upload the completed J-1 Academic Training Recommendation Form and signed Job Offer letter to the Academic Training Request form in GlobalHome. 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 AT. If you are participating in AT post-completion that is unpaid or does not meet the funding minimum requirements, you will also need to submit documentation of sufficient funding to cover your period of AT.
An OIS advisor will review your submission and, if applicable, update your SEVIS record, issue a new Form DS-2019 and an AT Authorization Letter authorizing your AT.