J-1 Academic Training Work Authorization

Academic Training (AT) is work authorization afforded to J-1 students allowing them to gain off-campus training in their field of study. This training can either be authorized during a program of study, after completing a program of study, or a combination of the two.

J-1 students interested in participating in J-1 Academic Training must complete the ISSO J-1 Academic Training E-Form, requesting a new DS-2019 with authorization before engaging in AT.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must hold J-1 student status
  • Employment must be in student's field of study
  • Applicants must have completed at least one full academic year (two consecutive full-time semesters) in their current degree level
  • J-1 students MUST obtain a new Form DS-2019 from the ISSO prior to participating in ANY off-campus work, including AT
  • J-1 short-term exchange students are not permitted to participate in AT

Maximum Academic Training Time Limitations

  • Bachelor's and master's students cannot exceed 18 months of AT.
  • Doctoral students can participate in up to 36 months of AT.
  • A J-1 doctoral student can apply for an initial 18-month period of post-completion academic training, and can then apply for an additional period of 18 months.
  • Total AT time cannot exceed the length of a student's course of study at all degree levels.

Please Note: Part-time and full-time AT authorizations are deducted from the student's total available AT time at a full-time rate.

Pre-Completion Academic Training

  • The J-1 Student can apply for pre-completion AT after having been in full-time status for one academic year (two consecutive semesters of full-time registration).
  • Pre-Completion AT cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic semesters, but can be full-time during summer or winter break.

Post-Completion Academic Training

  • Post-Completion AT application must be processed by the ISSO no later than 30 days after the student’s completion date; failure to apply for this benefit within this time frame forfeits a student's AT eligibility.
  • The completion date is determined as the date that all degree requirements are met by the student. Please note that this date is not necessarily the same as the commencement date, degree conferral date, or the date that the Declaration of Intent to Graduate (DIG) form is submitted.

Please contact the ISSO within three months of completing your program to be sure you understand the process and to ensure you do not jeopardize your ability to apply for this benefit.

Upon Approval of Academic Training

  • ISSO will issue a new DS-2019 extending the stay of the student to reflect the estimated, agreed-upon or legally permitted end date of the AT.
  • The new DS-2019 will reflect the AT authorization, employer name and validity dates of the AT.
  • ISSO will issue a support letter approving and authorizing the AT.

Academic Training Compliance

  • All academic training is counted as full time, even if employment is on a part-time basis.
  • Unemployment is not allowed on AT, and students on AT cannot have gaps in employment.
  • The AT employer must submit a written evaluation to the ISSO upon completion of the AT. This evaluation must attest to the effectiveness of the academic training in achieving the stated goals and objectives.
  • J-1 students must continue to comply with the J-1 health insurance requirements throughout their AT period. J-1 visa holders are required to carry health insurance for themselves and accompanying family members (J-2 visa holders). By government regulation the J-1 & J-2 visa holders must carry minimum coverage in the amount of:
    1. $100,000 per accident or illness;
    2. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
    3. At least $50,000 for Medical Evacuation to the home country
    4. At least $25,000 for repatriation of remains
  • If the J-1 Student is subject to the two-year home-country residency requirement, the student is expected to return home at the completion of their academic program or at the end of their post-completion academic training period.

For more information on the two-year home-country residency requirement please review this U.S. Department of State webpage.