Academic Training is a type of off-campus work authorization for J-1 students. It is available before completion of your program of study as well as afterward and may be for paid or unpaid employment. You may work part-time on Academic Training while classes are in session, and full time during summer vacation periods and official school breaks. J-1 students in degree-granting programs, as well as those in non-degree exchange programs, are eligible to apply for Academic Training.
- You must be in valid J-1 status, and maintain that status throughout your period of academic training.
- Your primary purpose in the United States must be to study, rather than Academic Training, and you must be in good academic standing.
- Your academic advisor must support your intention to accept the proposed employment,
- You must have a job offer, and the proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
- You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your 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 the academic dean or advisor and an immigration coordinator in the Office of International Affairs.
- Current regulations cap academic training for Bachelor’s and Master’s level students at 18 months, but in response to the Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education, the Office of Private Sector Exchange announced that for the academic years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, pre-doctoral degree-seeking students in STEM-related fields of study may request academic training for a period of up to 36 months. The complete list of STEM fields, as maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, can be found at this link.
- For non-degree exchange students, the total length of time on Academic Training may not exceed the length of your full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter.
- If you will be receiving a doctoral degree and have been offered a post-doctoral position, your "postdoctoral training" may last as long as 36 months.
- Additional academic training beyond the 18- or 36-month limit may be allowed only if it is required for degree completion.
- Part-time employment for academic training counts against the 18 or 36-month limit the same as full-time employment.
Before completion of study
You may be authorized for Academic Training prior to your graduation date, as long as you will continue to be enrolled in a full course of study during autumn and spring semesters, and will make normal progress towards your degree while you are employed.
You may be authorized to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) on academic training during autumn and spring semesters and may be authorized to work full-time (beyond 20 hours per week) during authorized summer vacation terms and official semester breaks.
If you are a graduate student who has completed all course requirements and require academic training to complete a thesis or dissertation, you may apply for full-time academic training during the autumn or spring semester; however, you must continue to enroll full-time even when you are approved to work full time.
After completion of study
- Academic Training approved after completion of your program of study must be reduced by any prior periods of academic training.
- Academic Training following completion of your program of study may be paid or unpaid employment. If unpaid, the student must be able to show adequate financial support and insurance coverage during the period of authorized employment.
- You must submit your completed application for academic training to an immigration coordinator no later than the end date of your academic program (your graduation date), or you will lose eligibility for academic training after completion of your studies.
- Your Academic Training must begin within 30 days of your program end date (commencement date).
- One of the requirements of maintaining your J-1 status is that you maintain health insurance for yourself and any dependents throughout your period of academic training. Your insurance must meet the standards specified by the U.S. Department of State:
- Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
- Obtain a letter of offer from your prospective employer that includes the following information (please note that the quotations come from immigration regulations):
- Your job title
- A brief description of the "goals and objectives" of your "training program" (your employment)
- The dates of your employment
- The street address of your place of employment
- Whether your work will be in person at the employer’s address, remote or hybrid
- The number of hours per week you will be working
- The name and address of your "training supervisor"
- Your salary rate (if your position will be unpaid, submit proof of finances — e.g., a bank statement — along with your letter)
- Give a copy of your employer's letter to your academic advisor for use in completing the academic training form.
- At least two weeks prior to your commencement date, bring the letter of offer and recommendation from the academic advisor or dean to the Office of International Affairs and have an immigration coordinator review the application.
- Upon approval, the immigration coordinator will issue you a new DS-2019 showing your academic training authorization.
- The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 students and their dependents who accompany them to the United States to have health insurance during their entire stay in the United States. All Ohio State students and accompanying dependents must purchase the Ohio State health insurance plan or obtain appropriate insurance through their employer. Academic Training will not be approved until proof of insurance has been provided.
- For Bachelor’s and Master’s level students applying for Academic Training for a period between 18-36 months, note that additional processing time will be needed, as approval must first be obtained from the Department of State for extensions beyond 18 months.
Documents needed for employment
When you begin work (as a paid employee), you and your employer must complete Form I-9, which requires you to document your identity and work authorization according to the directions on the back of the form. Of the various items acceptable as documentation, you may find that the most convenient combination is your passport, Form I-94 and Form DS-2019. Your employer, who keeps Form I-9, will make copies of the documents you submit, and return the originals to you. Form I-9 must be updated any time that you receive a renewal of your permission for academic training.
Social security and other taxes
For more information on taxes, please visit Taxes.
If you have further questions, please contact an Immigration Coordinator at 614-292-6101; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or schedule an appointment through our online system.