Off-campus Employment for J-1 students
Academic Training (AT) for J-1 Students Overview
Academic Training (AT) 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.
Eligibility Criteria for AT
- 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.
- The employment start date must begin no later than 30 days after your program end date or you will lose your AT eligibility
- 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
Academic Training Application
To apply for Academic Training, submit items 1 and 2 below to the Davis IC. Students applying for post completion AT must apply for Academic Training before the ending date on your DS-2019.
1. Obtain a job offer letter from your prospective employer that includes :
- Your job title
- A brief description of the goals and objectives of your training program (which is the same as your employment),
- The dates and location of the employment, the number of hours per week and the salary,
- The name and address of your employment training supervisor
Make sure that your employer's letter includes all of these details. (For convenience, refer your employer to this sample letter.)
2. Academic advisor's recommendation form. 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
Submit items 1 and 2 above to the Davis IC. Allow five days for processing of the Academic Training Approval letter (see item 3).
3. Obtain the letter of Academic Training Approval from your J-1Advisor who must evaluate the Academic Training program and decide whether it is warranted and appropriate. If so, he/she will write you this letter of approval. If needed, your J-1 Advisor may also issue you a new Form DS-2019, for no more than 18 months at a time.
A Note of Caution about off-campus employment:
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.