J-1 Student Employment and Training

The information that follows is intended as reference about employment and training for students with a J-1 visa type. Please be advised that any unauthorized employment is considered to be a violation of status and unlawful presence.


Students in J‑1 status may be employed in three situations:

  • As part of the terms of a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship.
  • On the premises of the campus the student is authorized to attend.
  • Off campus, by showing serious, urgent and unforeseen circumstances which arose since acquiring exchange visitor status.

All J-1 employment must be authorized in writing and student must be in good academic standing and must continue full-time studies while working. The employment may not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. If the student has not met these requirements, then a violation of status has likely occurred and the student would be accruing unlawful presence.

Academic Training

A J‑1 student is eligible to participate in academic training while enrolled in school or after completion of the program; however, students may not participate in unpaid academic training after completion of the academic program. The academic training must be directly related to the field of study as listed on the DS-2019. The student must have written approval in advance from the program sponsor for the specific training in order to be maintain their J-1 student status and in order to avoid accruing unlawful presence.

To be eligible for academic training after completion of the academic program, students must have an offer of a position in their field, and have secured academic training authorization before completion of their program.

The student is eligible to work in academic training one month for each month spent in the academic program, up to 18 months. However, students who have completed doctoral programs may be authorized up to 36 months to engage in postdoctoral research training.