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If you are a full-time enrolled student seeking a degree on a J-1 visa, you are eligible for a type of work authorization known as Academic Training, which allows up to 18 or 36 months of off-campus employment related to your major field of study.

Bachelor’s and master’s degree students can work off-campus in a job related to your major for up to 18 months (or the total number of months you have been a J-1 student). PhD students are eligible for 36 months of off-campus employment related to your major (or the total number of months you have been a J-1 student).

You cannot begin participating in the employment opportunity until you receive approval from a J-1 student advisor in the ISSS office, who will issue you a new Form DS-2019. Students must also maintain health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents for the duration of their academic training.

Eligibility and Application Process

  • You must have completed at least one academic semester of study.
  • The employment opportunity should supplement the coursework or research of your major field of study.
  • Academic Training positions must not be clinical positions (or those with patient care or contact), tenure-track positions, clerical or unskilled positions.
  • You must provide ISSS with a written job offer and complete a training plan form with your academic advisor or principal investigator (PI). The job offer letter and training plan must include the following:
    • A description of the training program, listing goals and objectives
    • A description of how the training relates to your field of study, and how it is integral to your academic program
    • The name and address of the academic training location
    • The name, phone number, and email address of your supervisor

You can begin Academic Training employment either before or after graduating. Post-graduation employment must begin within 30 days after the program end date on your DS-2019. Any extension request, change in site of activity, or change of employer request must be first approved by ISSS and noted on the Form DS-2019.

If you wish to pursue Academic Training while enrolled full-time during the fall or spring semester, you are limited to no more than 20 work hours per week. Full-time Academic Training (20 hours or more per week) is permissible only during official “vacation” semesters and post-graduation.

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