Incidental Employment

As a J-1 Scholar (professor, researcher, or short-term scholar) your employment in the United States is limited to the position described on your DS-2019 form. The occasional lecture or short-term consultation is permitted, but only with prior written approval from your J-1 Responsible Officer, the Office of International Services, who issues your DS-2019 forms. 

Procedures

A request for permission to accept incidental employment will be considered if the activity is directly related to the objectives of your Exchange Visitor program; if it is incidental to your primary program activities; and if it will not delay the completion of your Exchange Visitor program.

To obtain authorization for incidental employment, you must present the following to your J-1 Responsible Officer:

  • A letter of offer from the prospective employer describing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity for which you are being hired.
  • A letter from your department head or supervisor that recommends the activity and explains how it is directly related to your principal activity and how it would enhance your Exchange Visitor program.

Authorization to Work

Your authorization to engage in the incidental employment activity will be in the form of letter to you from your J-1 Responsible Officer. You should give a copy of this letter to your employer and keep the original for your permanent records.

As a J-1 scholar your options for incidental employment are limited. Please remember that employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Before you begin any kind of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Responsible Officer, whose written approval is necessary in advance of your engaging in the incidental employment activity.