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J-1 Academic Training

J-1 ACADEMIC TRAINING

As a J-1 student, you may be able to receive authorization for employment in your field of study, such as internships, practicums, or fieldwork.

Academic Training must be an integral part of your overall academic goals. This work may be done full time or part time before or immediately after you complete your program.

ELIGIBILITY

To work with Academic Training authorization, the employment must be in your field of study, must be recommended by your academic advisor, and must be authorized in writing by the International Student Office before you begin the employment.

To be eligible for authorization, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your DS-2019 must be valid.
  • You must be in good academic standing.
  • You must participate in Academic Training that is directly related to your field of studies and is an integral/critical part of your academic program.
  • You must have an offer of employment and submit a request for Academic Training authorization at least two weeks before you need to begin your employment.  In the case of Academic Training taken at the end of your program of study, you must apply within two weeks of the completion of your program of study.
  • You must receive authorization for Academic Training before you start your employment.
  • You must have and maintain health insurance for yourself and all J-2 dependents consistent with the federal guidelines for J-1 students.

OBTAINING AUTHORIZATION

You may apply for Academic Training authorization from ISO by emailing iso@wku.edu.

 You will need to attach a copy of a letter from the prospective employer, on company/institution letterhead, stating:

  • The duties of the job
  • The name of the supervisor
  • The location (street address, city, state, and zip code) where the employment will occur
  • Specific start and end dates
  • The number of hours of work per week
  • The salary amount of the proposed employment
  • Confirm information about your health insurance
  • Provide your academic advisor with a copy of your job offer letter

Your authorization will take the form of a letter authorizing your employment under Academic Training. In cases where you will be working after graduation, you will also receive a new DS-2019 which will list the period of authorization you've been granted.

Note: The letter authorizing you for Academic Training states the specific employer, dates, and location of employment. If there are any changes to the employment or you wish to work for a new employer, you must complete the entire application process again, and you must have the new authorization before beginning the new job.

ACADEMIC TRAINING RULES AND REGULATIONS

To stay legally employed while on Academic Training, report any of the following to ISO within 10 days of the occurrence:

  • Change of address (Update the LOCAL address field in TopNet)
  • Changes in employment, including discontinuation (email iso@wku.edu)

Most J-1 students are eligible for up to 18 months of Academic Training. However, the total Academic Training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in the full course of study. An additional 18 months may be possible for those who pursue and complete a Ph.D. program.

Non-degree students will be eligible for less than 18 months of Academic Training. As a non-degree student, you are only eligible to be in J-1 status for a total of 24 months—this includes your period of study and any Academic Training. If you are a non-degree student who has studied for one semester at WKU, you will be eligible for the equivalent of one semesters' worth of Academic Training authorization.

Academic Training may be taken in one period after completion of your program, or you may divide it by doing some in the summers, some part time while you are still taking classes and the remainder after graduation. If you obtain permission for six months of Academic Training during or after a bachelor's degree and continue to study in a master's program that is 18 months or longer, you will be eligible only for another 12 months of Academic Training in connection with your master's degree.

TRAVEL WHILE ON ACADEMIC TRAINING

While traveling outside the U.S. on Academic Training, you are advised to carry the following:

  • Your DS-2019, signed for travel (remember that each travel signature is valid for 12 months from the date that it was signed, unless the period of Academic Training expires first)
  • Your valid J-1 visa stamp
  • Your passport, valid for at least six months into the future from the date of re-entry into the United States
  • Your job offer/confirmation letter

Traveling while on Academic Training after completion of your program of study can present challenges. If your J-1 visa stamp is expired, we recommend that you not travel outside of the United States while you are on Academic Training authorization.

 

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 Last Modified 1/24/17