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). Post completion AT must be approved no later than the program end date listed on your DS-2019. 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
- For post completion AT, you are required to show funding for each month that your program is extended. Funding ($2000 per month and an additional $900 per month for any dependents) can come from the job itself, as long as the pay is clearly listed on the offer letter. If the position is not paid or the pay does not meet the required amount, please prepare additional documentation of funds for the duration of the extension.
- 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.
- For students on pre completion Academic Training, please continue to update your SEVIS Local address in MyPack with your current address. For students on post completion Academic Training, please use this form to update your address.
Position Restrictions and Requirements
- 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 no later than the program end date listed on your DS-2019, or you will lose eligibility for AT. If this will not be possible, please contact your OIS adviser as soon as possible for additional guidance.
- Post-completion AT jobs should start no later than 30 days after the program end date. If this will not be possible, please contact your OIS adviser as soon as possible for additional guidance.
- Post-completion AT must be at least 20 hours/week
- AT positions cannot be clinical positions (involve 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.
- AT does not have “unemployment days”: Do not resign from a job or accept a new job offer without OIS’ review and approval.
- A Social Security Number (SSN) is required if the position is paid. You will need to apply for a SSN if you do not have one already and are accepting a paid position.
Application Process & Offer Letter Requirements
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: Submit the Academic Training Request form in Globalhome
Fill out the Academic Training Request form in GlobalHome (select J-1 Student Services on the left side, and you will see the Academic Training request as one of the chocies). Upload any required documents (insurance, funding if needed, and job offer letter). At this stage you will enter the contact information for your Advisor (undergraduate) or DGP (graduate). 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.
STEP 3: Advisor/DGP approval, OIS approval
Your advisor/DGP will review your request and then forward it to OIS. OIS will then review and approve the request or reach out to you for further information. You may not start working until you have received full approval from OIS along with a new DS-2019 and an AT Authorization Letter authorizing your AT. Please allow 10 business days after your advisor/GGP approval for OIS to process your request.
Extending your Academic Training
J-1 students who wish to extend a current session of Academic Training should use the same process as above. OIS is currently working on an dedicated extension process and will update this site when it is ready. Please note, if your AT extension requires extended your DS-2019, be prepared to show health insurance and funding for the extended period.