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Work Permission:
Academic Training
(J-1 Only)
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Work Permission: Academic Training (J-1 Only)

Academic training is a direct application of your course-work or research to a professional position in the your field of study. You may work on- or off-campus through academic training if you are a J-1 student and your job is integral or critical to your academic program. Once you have a job offer, you can submit an academic training request, which will be evaluated by your academic advisor. You should be approved if the job is significantly connected to your major field of study. Please note that you might not be approved if the employment is only in a related field.

Most J-1 students may work up to 18 months under academic training. However, exceptions include:

  • Graduates holding a Ph.D. may be able to receive up to 36 months of academic training for post-doctoral research at an academic institution.
  • Students in full-time exchange programs that allow academic training opportunities are eligible for one month of training for each month they are in the classroom. They must have the approval of their program coordinator as well as the international student advisor.

There are two types of academic training:

  1. Pre-completion academic training allows a currently enrolled student to work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and full time during vacations. To be eligible to apply, your university may require you to be a J-1 student for at least nine months.
  2. Post-completion academic training allows international students to work in their related field of study immediately following the completion of their degree. In most cases, it must be paid employment.


If you have finished your studies and cannot find a job, you will not be eligible for academic training. You must apply for post-completion academic training within 30 days of completing your studies, or before your current IAP-66 expires - whichever comes first. Otherwise, you have until the end of a 30-day grace period to leave the United States.

Can I change jobs during academic training?

Yes, as long as the new position also meets the definition of academic training. You must submit a new application to your international student advisor before accepting a new position. You cannot begin any employment without written authorization from your international student advisor, nor do the regulations allow for gaps in employment. Therefore, you must notify your international student advisor immediately if you are considering changing jobs.

Can I obtain academic training, even if I am subject to the two-year home residency requirement?

Yes, you can, provided that you are a J-1 student sponsored by your school and you meet all the other criteria for academic training. However, your responsibility for complying with the two-year home return at the end of your academic training is not waived.

Can I travel during post-completion academic training?

Travel during this time can be complicated, especially if your J-1 visa has expired. Students must meet with their international student advisor to discuss the details of any travel plans.

What if my academic training ends early?

You must notify your international student advisor immediately if your position ends before the period of authorization you have been given is over.

What if I want to extend my academic training?

You must discuss this with your international student advisor before you tell your employer that this is possible.


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