Academic Training for J-1 Students
Academic Training (AT) is optional, additional training experience for J-1 students. AT must be directly related to the student's field of study and authorized by the program sponsor on your DS-2019 and in writing BEFORE a student begins employment. The academic training program needs to be evaluated for effectiveness in achieving its goals and objectives. AT is authorized for a specific job; it is not a blanket work permission in one's field of study. AT can be authorized as pre-completion or post-completion, or a combination of the two.
- Pre-completion Academic Training: training that begins and ends during your enrolled coursework/studies.
- Post-completion Academic Training: training that continues on or begins after your completion of coursework/studies and requires an extension of the DS-2019. As a result, financial support and health insurance must be verified before extended. Post-completion Academic Training applications are due before completion of coursework/studies and before your current DS-2019 expires. Work must be primarily in-person. J-1s on Academic Training may work remotely no more than 40% of the time (e.g., two days out of five).
The criteria and procedure outlined here are specific to J-1 students sponsored by Rutgers. Students sponsored by another J-1 exchange visitor program (i.e. IIE/Fulbright, VEF, etc.) should contact their sponsoring agency for additional information.
J-1 students interested in acquiring AT authorization should review the information below and then contact Carissa McCarthy for an appointment to discuss the application.
For job search tips and resources, please visit University Career Services International Student Resources.
Students that do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) will need to apply AFTER they receive the AT authorization and new DS-2019 from Rutgers Global-ISSS. Please see here for more information about how to apply for the SSN.
All J-1 students, even while on Academic Training, are required to report any serious incidents or problems encountered during their time in the United States to Rutgers Global –ISSS, in accordance with the Department of State’s guidelines. The examples provided in these guidelines are not meant to be exhaustive (i.e., there may be other serious situations, not listed, that have or could endanger the health, safety, or welfare of an exchange visitor or otherwise could be expected to bring the Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program, or the sponsor's exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute).
J-1 students eligible for AT are:
- Primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training
- In good academic standing and inside the U.S. upon arrival
- Maintaining legal status
- Offered a paid or unpaid position related to their field of study before the expiration of the student’s DS-2019
- Able to show proof of insurance and sufficient funding for the duration of the AT period requested
NOTE: J-1 students who are considering to apply (or have applied) for the waiver of INA 212(e), please be aware that once the Waiver Review Division has approved your waiver request, the ISSS office is unable to extend your program beyond the current end date on your DS-2019.
Amount of Time Allowed +
J-1 degree-seeking students may be authorized for AT for up to 18 months, or an amount of time equal to length of the program, whichever is less. Students pursuing post-doctoral research, may be authorized for an additional 18 months (total 36 months) of AT.
The maximum length of time a J-1 non-degree student can be approved for AT is equal to the time already spent in their J-1 program. J-1 non-degree students are limited to a total stay of 24 months (inclusive of all study and AT time).
Part-time or full-time academic training is permitted during or following the completion of the J-1 student’s program. All academic training is counted as full time, even if employment is on a part-time basis.
On January 21, 2022, DOS-ECA announced a temporary program (limited to the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years) in which undergraduate and master level students in STEM fields can be eligible for up 36 months of academic training.
- This would give "undergraduate and pre-doctoral degree-seeking students" in STEM fields eligibility for up to 36 months of academic training, which is the same amount that J-1 PhD students currently have in any field.
- Students eligible for this special STEM academic training extension are eligible only for "up to" 36 months of authorization or the period of the full course of study in the United States, whichever is less.
- Non-degree seeking students are not eligible to apply for this special STEM academic training extension
How to Apply +
- Review this website, confirm you understand the Eligibility Requirements, and contact Carissa McCarthy at email@example.com for an appointment.
- Obtain an official job offer letter from your prospective employer including:
- Name and address of employer on letterhead
- Start and end dates of the training employment
- Salary amount, or if the position is unpaid
- Job title
- A list or explanation of major job responsibilities
- Signature (ink or electronic) from employer
- Request a complete description of your health insurance benefits and a letter from your employer indicating the date your benefits will begin. This information may be included in the letter described above. If no health benefits are provided by your employer, you are required to show proof of alternate health insurance coverage for the full period you are authorized for AT.
- Discuss your plans with your Academic Official or Graduate Program Director for evaluation and approval, as they will need to submit electronic approval later.
- Submit your completed application online through the RGlobal portal. A completed AT application includes:
- Official job offer letter
- Proof of health insurance coverage
- Proof of funding to cover living expenses, if employment is unpaid or salary insufficient to cover total expenses. If your AT salary covers your your living expenses and/or tuition, you do not need to show additional funding (unless needed for dependents. etc). To verify the amount of required living expenses, please review the Certification of Funds form.
- Name and email address of your academic official, who will respond to the request to confirm your academic program.
- Pick up new DS-2019 that includes the AT authorization information and your AT letter, after receiving an email from an international student adviser saying it’s ready.
When to Apply +
You must apply for AT BEFORE the expiration of your DS-2019 and the completion of degree requirements. Applications should be submitted at least two weeks before your anticipated start date.
Proof of Employment Authorization +
AT must be granted by the program sponsor (Rutgers) in writing BEFORE the student is permitted to begin the training. AT is authorized for a specific job(s) within specific start and end dates, as indicated on an updated DS-2019. This updated DS-2019 with specifics of your AT is proof of employment authorization that you must present to your employer.
AT allows for more than one position at a time, as long as ALL positions are related to your degree and field of study. However, separate AT requests are needed for EACH and EVERY position.
Reporting Requirements +
While you are on AT, you are obliged by law to notify Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services of all changes in your U.S. address, telephone number, or email address within 10 days of the change taking effect.
J-1 students are required to report any serious incidents or problems encountered during their time in the United States to Rutgers Global – International Student and Scholar Services, in accordance with the Department of State’s guidelines. The examples provided in these guidelines are not meant to be exhaustive (i.e., there may be other serious situations, not listed below, that have or could endanger the health, safety, or welfare of an exchange visitor or otherwise could be expected to bring the Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program, or the sponsor's exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute).
Changing Employer or Extending AT +
In order to be eligible for a change of employer or extension of AT, your DS-2019 must be valid.
If changing employers while on post-completion AT, there CANNOT be a gap in employment dates. Post-completion AT must be continuous.
If you need to extend your authorized academic training period, you will need submit a completed AT application at least two weeks prior to the expiration of your DS-2019.
Ending AT +
Leaving or Departing the U.S.
After the completion of AT, J-1 students have a grace period of 30 days within which to depart the United States.
- Log in to the RGlobal portal
- Click J-1 Student Services
- Click Close SEVIS Record
Students who have been admitted to a new school (not Rutgers), can asked to have their J-1 status transferred to the new school. This requires the "release" of a student's J-1 record so they can receive new DS-2019. Please contact the ISSS office for more details and instructions at ISSSfirstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have changed your legal status and are (or will no longer be) a J-1 student, please follow the instructions below and submit proof of your new visa status.
- Log in to the RGlobal portal
- Click J-1 Student Services
- Click Close SEVIS Record