J-1 Status Employment

Please review the employment options and requirements below. It is important that you're aware of the information below to maintain your immigration status.

Academic Training

Academic training is a work authorization allowing a J-1 exchange visitor to gain experience in his or her field of study, generally after completion of studies.  Academic Training can also be used during school breaks (up to 40 hours/week) and while school is in session (up to 20 hours/week).  Employment must be directly related to the area of study.

The maximum length of employment is 18 months.  However, if the exchange visitor has been in J-1 status for less than 18 months, then the exchange visitor is entitled to an employment period no longer than the time spent in J-1 status.  J-1 doctoral students are permitted up to 36 months for the purpose of fulfilling a postdoctoral appointment.

You should contact your program sponsor regarding eligibility and application requirements.

Students sponsored by the university must meet with an international student advisor. Students should complete the J-1 academic advisement recommendation form and have a job offer letter to apply for Academic Training when sponsored by the university.

Economic Hardship

Off-campus work authorization may be granted by your program sponsor due to serious, urgent and unforeseen changes in economic circumstances since entering the United States on J-1 status.

This off-campus authorization limits a J-1's total work hours to 20 hours per week.  Therefore, if an exchange visitor is already working 15 hours per week on campus, a maximum of 5 hours per week can be authorized for off-campus employment.

J-2 Dependent Employment

J-2 dependents - spouse or children (at least 16 years old) - can apply for work authorization from the USCIS.  The applicant must demonstrate that the work will be for recreational or educational purposes only and is not needed to financially support the J-1 in the program of study.

It is strongly recommended that the J-1 student and the J-2 dependent review the application with an international student advisor.

  • A letter from the J-2 dependent stating why the employment is desired, indicating the amount and source of support for the J-1, and specifically stating that the employment will not be used in support of the J-1's program of study.
  • Completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
  • Photocopies of J-1 and J-2 immigration documents and passports
  • 2 passport-style photos
  • Optional G1145
  • Check issued to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $400