Academic Training

Academic Training is employment (paid or unpaid) directly related to a student's field of study and is permitted while the student is enrolled in school or after completion of the J-1 Exchange Visitor program. Exchange students may participate in Academic Training part-time (less than 20 hours per week) while classes are in session and full-time (up to 40 hours per week) after the completion of the exchange program. Students wishing to participate in Academic Training upon completion of a program must apply for it through the OIS before their DS-2019 expires and begin employment within thirty (30) days of completion of studies.

Eligibility for Academic Training

  • You are primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training;
  • You are participating in academic training that is directly related to your major field of study at the post-secondary accredited academic institution listed on your Form DS-2019;
  • You are in good academic standing; and
  • You receive written approval in advance from the OIS;
  • You must have an offer of employment;
  • The work activity can take place during or after your program of study. 
    • If after, the work must begin no later than 30 days after you complete your program of study.
  • You must have permission to stay in J-1 student status and apply for extensions as necessary.

Length of Academic Training

  • All students who complete a degree program are permitted an overall academic training period of 18 months. This includes all academic training, whether utilized before or after completion of studies.
  • Students who complete a PhD program are eligible for an additional 18 months of post-doctoral training, for a total of 36 months of academic training. 
  • The total employment/training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in full course of study. For example, if you are a master's student who completed a program in 12 months, you are only eligible for 12 months of academic training.

Approval for Academic Training

To obtain Academic Training authorization approval from OIS, please complete Academic Training Working Authroization Reuqest e-form submitting together with two letters below under J-1 Student in Sunapsis

  • A signed support letter from your Academic. Download this template letter and ask your academic advisor to provide you their support using this template. They must place it on their department’s letterhead.
  • A Job Offer Letter must be on company letterhead. It must include a job title, a brief description of the goals, and objectives of your training or employment, dates and location of training or employment, number of hours per week, salary and benefits, and name and title of your training supervisor.