Academic Training explained
Academic Training (AT) is employment authorization granted to eligible J-1 Students. It is designed to complement their programs of study in the United States.
- AT is authorized by the program sponsor
- Students may engage in AT during their academic program and/or after the completion of their program
- AT can be paid or unpaid, but 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 AT cannot exceed the total length of the academic program
- AT authorization is location and date specific. The employer’s name and address and the employment dates must be authorized in advance by the Office of Global Services (OGS).
Pre-Completion vs. Post-Completion Academic Training
Pre-completion AT takes place before the J-1 Student completes all of their degree requirements. Post-Completion AT takes place after the J-1 student has completed all degree requirements.
A J-1 Student is eligible for Academic Training if they meet the following requirements:
- Student has maintained valid J-1 status throughout their program
- Student is in good academic standing or has successfully completed program of study
- Student is proposing a training experience that is directly related to their field of study and has been approved by the academic advisor or Co-op coordinator
- Student is maintaining health insurance coverage for themselves and any J-2 dependents
Students in the J-1 Non-Degree Student category are not eligible for AT.
- J-1 Students (Undergraduate and Master’s) are eligible for up to 18 months of AT; this includes both pre- and post-completion AT
- The total AT period may not exceed the amount of time spent in a full course of study
- Example: A Master’s student who completed their program in 12 months is only eligible for 12 months of AT
- Post-AT time begins the day after the program end date on the DS-2019, whether you are working or not
- Example: If your program end date is 5/8/2019, you must start counting your post-AT time on 5/9/2019, even if you do not start working on that date
- It is your responsibility to track your AT usage
- Post-AT authorization must be processed before the program end date on your DS-2019
- Post-AT must begin within 30 days after the program end date
Please note: Both full and part-time AT deduct at a full-time rate. This means that, even if AT authorization is given for work done on a part-time basis, each day of part-time training deducts a full day from the total amount of time a student is eligible for AT.
To participate in an off-campus experiential learning opportunity in the U.S., J-1 Students must obtain AT authorization from OGS. All students must comply with their college's requirements and policies concerning the timing of eligibility for Co-op or other experiential learning opportunity. Please note that individual academic departments or colleges may have additional requirements and regulations for eligibility. OGS will not review any requests for AT that have not already been reviewed by the appropriate advisor.
1 Meet with your academic or Co-op advisor to discuss your experiential learning opportunity.
OGS will not review any requests that have not been approved by your academic or Co-op advisor.
2 Complete the Academic Training Authorization Request with your academic or Co-op 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.
- Valid passport
- I-94 showing J-1 class of admission and an admit until date of D/S
- Original offer letter that shows the following:
- company letterhead
- employment start and end dates
- hours worked per week
- For post-completion AT only: if the salary is less than $2,334 per month, the student must submit additional financial documentation to meet the minimum funding requirements
4 Pick up the documents from the Office of Global Services.
OGS will review the student’s request to determine whether or not the student is eligible to participate in AT. 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 and AT authorization letter for Social Security Number eligibility have been processed. If the documents need to be mailed, there are shipping services available.
Students must have AT authorization and must collect the above documents from OGS prior to starting their training. Please check OGS website for current office hours and closures.
Important post-completion Academic Training reminders
- Post-completion AT applications must be submitted at least 10 business days before the program end date on the DS-2019. After this date, the SEVIS record will become inactive and OGS will be unable to authorize AT.
- Post-completion AT employment must begin within 30 days of the program end date.
- Example: If a student’s DS-2019 end date is 5/8/2019, work on post-completion AT would need to start by 6/7/2019.
Reviewing your updated DS-2019
When picking up your DS-2019 from OGS, it is very important that 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 pay specific attention to the following areas:
- Box 3 Form Covers Period – here you can see your new end date (if on post-completion AT)
- 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 notify OGS.
Maintaining status while on Academic Training
While on AT, it is important you update OGS of any changes to your training. AT Authorization is employer, location, and date specific. Depending on the change, OGS may request additional documentation. It is important you do not engage in any changes until you have received your updated DS-2019 from OGS.
NOTE: OGS will not update your AT unless you have approval from the original advisor who signed off on your Academic Training Authorization Request.
IMPORTANT REMINDER REGARDING AT EXTENSIONS: If you are seeking an extension of your AT authorization, you may not request an extension via the update e-form. If you are extending your AT, you must submit the Academic Training Authorization Request.
For all other changes to AT, please submit the AT Updates Request.