Academic Training explained

Academic training is an employment authorization granted to eligible J-1 students. It is designed to complement their programs of study in the USA.

  • Academic Training can only be authorized by the program sponsor
  • Students may engage in Academic Training during their academic program and/or after the completion of their program
  • Academic Training can be paid or unpaid and must be authorized regardless of compensation
  • The work must be directly related to the student’s field of study
  • The work must be commensurate with their level of education
  • The total amount of training cannot exceed the total length of the academic program
  • Academic Training authorization is location and date specific. (The employer’s name and address and the precise start and end dates must be authorized in advance by the Office of Global Services in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)

Pre-Completion vs. Post-Completion

Pre-Completion Academic Training is training that takes place before the J-1 student completes all of their degree requirements. Post-Completion Academic Training is training that takes place after the J-1 student has completed all J-1 requirements.

Eligibility requirements

A J-1 Student is eligible for Academic Training if they meet the following requirements:

  • Is in valid J-1 status
  • Is in good academic standing or has successfully completed a program of study
  • Is proposing a training experience that is directly related to the student’s major field of study and has been approved by the academic advisor or co-op coordinator
  • Is maintaining health insurance coverage for themselves and any J-2 dependents

J-1 students in non-degree or short-term exchange programs studying at Northeastern are not eligible for Academic Training.

Time limitations

  • J-1 students (Undergraduate and Master students) are given a total of 18 months of Academic Training; this includes Academic Training used during and immediately after a degree program
  • The total Academic Training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in a full course of study
    • Example: A Master’s student who completed their program 12 months is only eligible for 12 months of Academic Training
  • After your degree requirements have been met – your post-Academic Training time starts whether you are working or not
    • Example: If your program end date is 5/8/XXXX, you must start counting your post-Academic Training time on 5/9/XXXX even if you do not start working on that date
  • It is your responsibility to track your Academic training usage
  • Authorization for Post-Academic Training must be processed before you complete your program. (Post-Academic Training must begin within 30 days after program completion date)

NOTE: Both full-time and part-time Academic Training deduct at a full-time rate. This means even if Academic Training authorization is provided on a part-time basis, each day of part-time authorization deducts a full day of authorization from the total amount of time a student is eligible for at Northeastern.

Request authorization

To participate in an off-campus opportunity in the USA, J-1 students must obtain Academic Training authorization from the Office of Global Services. All students must comply with their college requirements and policies concerning the timing of eligibility for any co-op or other experiential training. Please note, academic departments or colleges may have additional requirements and regulations surrounding eligibility. The Office of Global Services will not review any requests for Academic Training that have not already been reviewed by the appropriate advisor.

1 Meet with your co-op or academic advisor and discuss your employment opportunity.

The Office of Global Services will not review any requests that have not been approved by your co-op or academic advisor.

2 Complete the appropriate authorization form with your co-op coordinator or academic advisor.

The Academic Training Authorization Request Form can be found on the Office of Global Services website.

3 Upload the appropriate completed e-form with your advisor signature at the link provided on the first page of instructions.

 Students will also need to upload the following:
  • Original offer letter that is on the company letter head and includes the following: employment start and end date, hours worked per week and compensation details
  • Copy of valid passport
  • Copy of I-94 (that indicates “J-1” as “Class of Admission” and “Duration of Status” as “Admit Until Date”)
  • Completed Health Insurance Compliance Form
  • POST-COMPLETION ONLY REQUIREMENT: If the Academic Training salary is less than $2,334 per month, then the student must submit financial documentation to supplement the offer letter

The Office of Global Services will examine the student’s documents to determine whether or not the student is eligible to participate in Academic Training. The e-form will be either approved or denied. If denied, the student will need to resubmit the e-form after making appropriate adjustments to their application. Authorized students will receive an email when their DS-2019 with Academic Training authorization and the letter for Social Security Number eligibility has been processed.

4 Pick up the documents from the Office of Global Services.

There are also shipping services available if the documents need to be mailed. Students must have Academic Training authorization prior to work experience and must collect the above documents from the Office of Global Services prior to the Academic Training start date. Please check the Office of Global Services website for current office hours and closures.

Important Post-Completion Academic Training reminders

  • Post-Completion Academic Training applications must be submitted at least 10 business days before the end date on the DS-2019. (After this date, the record will go inactive and the Office of Global Services will be unable to authorize any Academic Training)
  • Post-Completion Academic Training employment must begin within 30 days of the program end date. (For example, if a student’s DS-2019 end date is 5/1/20XX then the Post-Completion Academic Training would need to start by 6/1/20XX)

Reviewing your updated DS-2019

When picking up your DS-2019 from the Office of Global Services, it is very important you read your DS-2019 carefully to make sure you understand the limitations of your authorization. This will help prevent you from violating your visa status!

Please draw your attention specifically to the following areas:

  • Box 3 “Form Covers Period” – here we can see your new end date (if on post-completion Academic Training)
  • Box 5 “Academic Training” – here you can see your employer information as well as the dates you are authorized to work

If there are any issues or concerns please let the Office of Global Services know immediately!

Staying in status while on Academic Training

While on Academic Training, it is important you update the Office of Global Services when there are changes in your authorization. Academic Training Authorization is employer, location, date and number of full-time/part-time specific. Depending on your update request, the Office of Global Services will ask for certain documentation. It is important you do not engage in these changes until you have received your updated DS-2019 from the Office of Global Services. NOTE: The Office of Global Services will not update the Academic Training unless you have approval from the original advisor who signed off on your Academic Training Authorization Request form.

IMPORTANT REMINDER REGARDING ACADEMIC TRAINING EXTENSIONS: If you are seeking an extension of your Academic Training authorization, you may not request an extension via our update e-form. If you need an extension of your Academic Training, you should apply via the Academic Training Authorization Request form.

Go here to apply for Academic Training updates. 

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