Off-campus Employment for J-1 students
Academic Training for J-1 Students
Academic Training is a type of employment directly related to your major area of study that is authorized by your J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternative Responsible Officer (ARO) who issued your DS-2019 Form.
All J-1 students in degree programs may apply for Academic Training either during the course of study or after completion of studies. Students may work part-time while school is in session and full-time during the summer and winter breaks.
To qualify for Academic Training, you must first obtain approval in writing from RO/ARO who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Forms DS-2019. RO/ARO must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program of study and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. If Princeton University is your sponsor, then your RO/ARO is at the Davis IC.If your J-1 sponsor is an agency (for example, Institute for International Education), Davis IC has not authority to grant employment permission for you and you will need to contact IIE.
- You must be in good academic standing at the school named on your Form DS-2019.
- The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
- Throughout your Academic Training you must maintain permission to stay in the United States, in J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary.
- You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your Academic Training.
Duration of Academic Training
- Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that the amount of time is approved by both your academic advisor and your Responsible Officer. It may not exceed the amount of time it took for you to complete your full course of study, or 18 months, whichever is shorter. If you receive a Ph.D., however, your post-doctoral training may last as long as 36 months, provided you have a position commensurate with your level of education.
- Part-time employment for Academic Training counts against the 18 or 36 month-limit the same as full-time employment.
- You may have only one opportunity for Academic Training regardless how many degrees you receive.
- Academic Training before completion of studies will be deducted from the total 18 or 36 months
How to Apply
You must apply for Academic Training before the ending date on your DS-2019 (you must obtain a written offer of appropriate employment no later than 30 days after your program or you will lose eligibility).
A job offer letter from your prospective employer that includes :
- A job title,
- A brief description of the "goals and objectives" of your "training program" (your employment),
- The dates and location of the employment, the number of hours per week, salary,
- The name and address of your "training supervisor" (the quotations come from the regulations).
Make sure that your employer's letter includes all of these details. (See the sample letter.)
Academic advisor's recommendation. Give a copy of your employer's letter to your academic advisor for use in writing to your J-1 Responsible Officer recommending the Academic Training. According to the J-1 regulations, your advisor's recommendation must include the following:
- The goals and objectives of the specific training program;
- A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training;
- How the training relates to the student's major field of study; and
- Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the exchange visitor student
When your academic advisor's recommendation is ready, bring it to the Davis IC, with a copy of the employer's letter attached.
RO/ARO must evaluate the Academic Training program and decide whether it is warranted and appropriate. If so, she will write you a letter of approval. To authorize post-doctoral training your J-1 Responsible Officer may also issue you a new Form DS-2019, for no more than 18 months at a time.
A Note of Caution
As a J-1 student, you may be eligible for employment opportunities in the United States, but employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Remember that before you start any kind of employment, you must first consult with Davis IC, whose written approval is necessary in advance.