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Academic Training for J-1 Students

Academic training is work, training or experience related to your field of education, and may be used during your study (pre-completion) or after graduation (post-completion).  As with ALL employment, written authorization from a Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) of your J-1 program is required before you begin.

This training may include a number of paid and unpaid opportunities, and may even include simultaneous activities.  ALL academic training is counted as full-time, even if only one hour per day.

Academic Training can be divided into two basic categories:

  • Pre-Completion - Training you do before you finish your degree.
  • Post-Completion - Training you do after you complete your degree.

Post-completion academic training must begin no later than 30 days following the completion of studies, which is defined as your “end of program”.  During the post-completion academic training period, you will continue to be in the SEVIS system and responsible for maintaining all aspects of your J-1 status, including the insurance requirement, reporting changes of address, etc.

Due to updated  Department of State guidance  released on April 22, 2022, J-1 Students engaging in Academic Training may only work remotely/through telework up to one to two days per week. The remainder of the work week must be in person at their site of activity.

Duration of Academic Training (AT)

J-1 students are granted up to 18 months of academic training to be used on a pre-completion and/or post-completion basis. Note the following exceptions:

  • The length of your academic training may not exceed the length of your program's classroom time. For example, if your J-1 program is only 12 months, you cannot receive more than 12 months of Academic Training. Masters: Students seeking or completing a Master’s degree are eligible for 18 months of AT.
  • Ph.D. students may be eligible for a second 18 months of academic training, for a total of 36 months. The second 18 months can only be applied toward post-completion Academic Training, i.e., for qualified positions following completion of all requirements for the degree.
  • There is no distinction between "part-time" or "full-time" academic training. Every month that you are authorized is deducted as a month used, regardless of whether or not the position is part-time or full-time.
How to Apply
Step 1: Obtain an offer letter from your employer

Your letter of offer on letterhead from your employer detailing:

  • Start and end dates of employment
  • Number of hours/week
  • Terms of remuneration (unless a volunteer opportunity)
  • Location(s) of the activity (complete address)
  • Name, address, and contact information of the supervisor
  • Description of the duties
Step 2: Submit online request in accessVIS for J-1 Academic Training.

Submit this online request to VIS for a DS-2019 and Academic Training Letter.

If applying for Pre-Completion or Post-Completion Academic Training, you must include the following:

  1. Your employer's letter
  2. Evidence of health insurance coverage, as required by the J-1 regulations

The United States Department of State requires that all J-1 students and their J-2 dependents have adequate health insurance while in the United States.  Minimum insurance coverage must provide: 1) medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness; 2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; 3) expenses associated with medical evacuation to your home country in the amount of $50,000; and 4) a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.  If your employer does not provide adequate health insurance coverage, you must purchase it for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the entire period of your academic training.  If you are currently insured under Stony Brook University's Student Insurance Plan, you may extend your plan as long as there are no lapses in coverage. Please visit the Student Health Service's website for more details. Failure to maintain adequate health insurance may result in termination of your J-1 program.

Step 3: Allow 5-7 Business Days for Processing

VIS will evaluate your application. If eligible, an advisor will issue a work authorization letter and issue a new DS-2019 if needed to extend your stay.

Proof of Authorization

If your request is approved, you will receive a letter of authorization for the specific opportunity and a new DS-2019 reflecting any extension of status that may be required. Information regarding your activity, location, and the duration of your approved academic training will be entered into SEVIS, but may not appear on your updated DS-2019.

Once you have authorization for Academic Training, Apply for a Social Security Number if you don't already have one. You must have a Social Security Number before you can be paid.

Note: Social Security Number applications will not be accepted if there are less than fourteen (14) days of Academic Training remaining.

Early Terminiation, Extensions & Changing Employers

If you resign from your Academic Training or are terminated prior to the expiration of your authorized period, you must notify your International Student Advisor immediately.

If you wish to extend your Academic Training, you must speak to an International Student Advisor prior to the expiration of your current authorized period.

If you wish to change jobs during your Academic Training, you must submit a completely new Academic Training application in accessVIS.