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Employment/Training for J Visa Holders

Information workshops are held each semester by the international student advisor. Check the International Education events calendar for details.

On-Campus Employment  

All J-1 students are eligible to begin on-campus work no earlier than 30 days before their start date on their DS-2019 and must end before or on the end date of their DS-2019 and can only apply for state work study jobs.

Check the Student Employment Center website for available positions.

On-campus employment for J-1 students is permitted as long as the student works no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. Students may be employed full time during vacations and recess periods as long as they intend to register for the next term.

On-campus employment means employment performed on the premises of the school or at an affiliated off-campus location. On-campus employment may be of a type normally performed by students, such as work in the school library, cafeterias, computer center, or in a students' store, or employment that is part of a student's scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship.

Under no circumstances are students permitted to accept off-campus employment without the authorization of the Office of International Education and/or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To do so is to violate USCIS law and would seriously jeopardize your F-1 or J-1 visa status.

Students working on campus are exempt from having to obtain an employment authorization card (EAD) from USCIS.

Off-Campus Employment

Work Authorization Based on Unforeseen Economic Circumstances

The Office of International Education international advisor may authorize a student for this work permission because of serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances. Examples include the following:

  • Incurring large medical expenses
  • The value of currency from the student’s country decreased.
  • The student’s sponsor has died or suffered an economic loss.
  • Other natural disaster in country

Please submit to the Office of International Education:

  1. Letter from employer stating job offer, salary, and starting and ending dates
  2. Letter from applicant to Office of International Education explaining how economic situation has changed since first receiving J-1 status.

If approved, the Office of International Education will issue a letter permitting you to legally work off campus. This can be given in one year intervals and has to be renewed each year.

Academic Training

Academic training is work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study. You must have permission and documentation before starting a paid position.

Exchange Students

Exchange students qualify for academic training that equals the number of months they have studied: one semester exchange equals four months of academic training; one year exchange equals eight months of academic training.

Degree-Seeking Students

For degree-seeking students, training is permitted at any stage of study—during or after—and cannot exceed an overall period of 18 months or a period equivalent to the duration of their program. Doctoral students may qualify for up to 36 months of training. If you begin academic training after completion of a degree, it must begin within 30 days of the end of the program.

Helpful Forms and Documents


To be eligible, students must be in the U.S. primarily to study rather than engage in academic training.

  • Academic training must be done with a specific employer or training site and directly related to the field of study.  Description of training is required.
  • Student must be in good academic standing.
  • Student must receive written approval in advance from their international advisor for the duration of academic training. 

Students may change employers and have paid or unpaid training—as long as documentation is provided from the Office of International Education to student for employer.

Full-time employment under this category is allowed during vacations and recess periods as long as the student intends to register for the next term. Time spent in pre-completion practical training will be deducted from the period of full-time employment available for post-completion practical training. For example, if the student works 20 hours a week for four months, he/she would have two months deducted from the 12 months of post-completion practical training.

Applications are submitted to the Citizenship and Immigration Services for final decision.