J-1 Academic Training


The U.S. State Department allows J-1 students ("student" category on the DS-2019) to engage in Academic Training during or after completion of an academic program when the student:
 
  • Is in the U.S. primarily to study rather than to engage in Academic Training;
  • Is or will be participating in training that is directly related to his/her field of study listed on the DS-2019 (i.e. it cannot be changing a degree plan to accommodate an employment offer and calling it an internship);
  • Is in good academic standing and in a legal program status;
  • Participates in training that is an integral or critical part of his/her academic program;
  • Receives, before beginning the training, written authorization from the Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer (RO/ARO) of the J-1 program. International Student Services (ISS) Advisors are the AROs who can authorize the training if Texas A&M issued the Form DS-2019.
  • Sponsored students must see a Sponsored Student Programs (SSP) Advisor before applying. Students with DS-2019 issued by agencies other than Texas A&M University will receive instructions from SSP.

Written authorization is necessary whether the training is paid or unpaid. Unpaid Academic Training is permitted only prior to completion of a program, except for students who are supported from sources such as the home government.

  • Academic Training may include jobs such as internships, practicums, Cooperative Educational programs, post-doctoral training,etc.;
  • A specific job offer is required to apply for any Academic Training;
  • Eligible degree OR non-degree students with defined programs may participate in Academic Training. Training may occur before or after completion of a program. Training before completion may not be full time if it delays completion of the academic program;
  • Academic Training following completion of an academic program must be authorized no later than thirty (30) days after the official completion date of the program but before the DS-2019 expires. At Texas A&M the completion date is either the date a “Letter of Completion” (obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies) is written or the conferral (graduation) date;
  • The training must be directly related to the student's major field of study listed on the DS-2019.
  • A new DS-2019 must be prepared for Academic Training.  The authorization and dates of employment will appear on the new DS-2019.
The International Student Services (ISS) Advisor (who is identified as Responsible Officer/Alternative Responsible Officer (RO/ARO) can authorize Academic Training for eligible students who have Texas A&M DS-2019s. Although no Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is required from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); ISS provides an official letter of authorization for a specific job, for specific dates, with a specific employer. Changes in employment conditions require a new authorization letter.
Sponsored students must see a Sponsored Student Programs (SSP) Advisor before applying. If the training will occur after completion of a program, the student must apply for Academic Training within 30 days after that date, but before the DS-2019 expires. If you need an extension of your after-completion Academic Training you may start the process as early as 3 months before your current authorization expires.

If the training will occur before completion of a program, the student may apply within 30 days before the starting date.
 
1. If the student is sponsored, a letter from a SSP Advisor indicating the sponsor's permission for the student to be granted Academic Training;

2. Valid Documents  
  • Most recently issued DS-2019. If the most current form has expired, student is not eligible for Academic Training. If the form will expire during Academic Training, ask the ISS advisor about an Extension of the Program.
  • Valid passport and I-94 card (and for all J-2 dependents). The ISS Advisor will copy the originals;
3. Job offer letter on employer letterhead stationery stating:
 
  • The job title (cannot be tenure track position);
  • Exact dates of employment;
  • Number of hours of work per week, salary, specific location (address) of the job;
  • A detailed description of duties, including the name of the training supervisor;
  • If the employment follows completion of an academic program, add the following: that within 30 days after completion of the training, the employer will provide ISS with a written evaluation of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the training in achieving the goals and objectives stated in the departmental letter. The employer should have a copy of the departmental letter;
4. Departmental Letter (on letterhead stationery) of recommendation addressed "To Whom It May Concern" stating:
 
  • The student's major and degree level
  • A statement of how the training relates to the field of study, and why the training is an integral or critical part of the student’s academic program;
  • The specific goals and objectives of the planned training program. These should also be shared with the employer;
  • A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and exact dates of the training; and
  • If the training is prior to completion of an academic program, add the following:
(i) whether the training is an elective OR is a non-waivable, mandatory requirement for the student's Texas A&M academic program; (ii) that the student is in good academic standing; (iii) if the student will be earning Texas A&M course credit for the work, the name and number of the course. Unless the training is done during a vacation, the student must register for at least one credit hour; (iv) the specific academic requirements remaining and the expected date of graduation (month/year); and, (v) that within 30 days after completion of the training, the Academic Advisor will provide ISS with a written evaluation of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the training in achieving the stated goals and objectives. For graduate students, the letter must be written by the Academic Advisor and also signed by the graduate faculty member identified by the Office of Graduate Studies as authorized to sign as Department Head (Departmental Graduate Advisor). For undergraduates, the letter must be written and signed by the Undergraduate Advisor of the Department. Please ask the advisors to put their titles with their signatures.
 
5. Student letter addressed "To Whom It May Concern" stating the following:
 
Dates of any previously performed periods of Academic Training (indicate part-time or full-time); b) Why the training is an integral or critical part of the student’s academic program at Texas A&M; c) That he/she is in good academic standing, in a legal status with USCIS, and in compliance with J-1 program (and sponsor) requirements; d) Expected Date of graduation (month/year); e) That student will not break J-1 regulations by allowing the family’s (J-1 and all J-2s) health and repatriation insurance expire during the academic training; f) That the student will not break J-1 regulations by not reporting change of addresses to the ISS advisor while on academic training;

6. If the training will take place after completion, Texas A&M Diploma or "Letter of Completion" issued by the OGAPS.
Academic Training may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of
the training, provided that:
  • The training is approved by the Academic Advisor and Sponsor;
  • The training is authorized by the ARO of the student’s J-1 program;
  • The training is NOT a tenure track position;
The training does not exceed the following time limitations:
  1. For students in a prescribed course of study in a non-degree program, their stay is limited to a total of 24 months. They are limited to 18 months of Academic Training or the amount of time spent in the program, whichever is less. The original plan for the program (written on the DS-2019) must have included the Academic Training.
  2. For students in degree programs, 18 months is available unless the academic program lasted for less time than that (i.e. MS graduated within a year, only 12 months is allowed. Or non-degree completed within 4.5 months, only 4.5 months is allowed)).
  3. 36 months is available for post-doctoral training, unless the academic program lasted for less time than that. This is authorized 18 months at a time.

NOTE: Part-time Academic Training is counted as full time.

Before beginning employment, an employer must complete the “Employment Eligibility Verification” Form I-9. Also, the employer and the employee must be aware of all U.S. laws concerning tax obligations. For more information concerning these matters, refer to the form entitled “U.S. Employment Tax Obligations” which is located in the Self-Help Center of the International Student Services (ISS)
(t:everyone/ci@orientat/taxoblig.doc) or visit the ISS website: U.S. Taxes: “Overview of US Tax System