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
  • 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.
Written authorization is necessary whether the training is paid or unpaid. At the completion of the Academic Training, a formal evaluation form must be submitted to ISS. Details can be found below. 

  • 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.

If the training will occur after completion of a program, the start date of the employment must be within 30 days of the first commencement date of that term, and must be authorized before the DS-2019 expires. If you need an extension of your Academic Training it must be processed before the current authorization period expires.
To apply for Academic Training, submit the following to ISS:

1. Copies of Valid Immigration Documents
  • Most recently issued DS-2019.
  • Copy of a valid passport, most recent visa stamp and I-94.;
2. Employer Form filled out by prospective Academic Training employer 
3. Official Job Offer Letter, on company letterhead and signed by prospective Academic Training employer

4. Department Form filled out by the Academic department representative responsible for monitoring student progress
5. Student Form filled out by the student applying for Academic Training
6. Copy of J-1 Health Insurance* for post-completion applicants only
7. Copy of J-2 Dependent Health Insurance* for students with J-2 dependents only
8. End of Academic Training – Evaluation Form* Applicable only to applying for an extension to an current Academic Training segment, or those applying for a new segment of Academic Training upon completion of a prior one)

9. Copy of Letter of Completion (LOC)* Applicable only to students who have received a Letter of Completion from OGAPS
10. Proof of Finances* If the form will expire before or during the Academic Training, an extension will also be required. In order to do so, you must submit evidence of financial resources to ISS as part of your AT application. If you need to extend your DS-2019 and your AT will take place while you are still completing your studies, you must submit the J-1 Extension of Stay Form and show evidence of sufficient funding to cover the cost of tuition, fees, insurance, living expenses and any J-2 dependents. If your AT will take place after completion of your studies, you must show funding for living expenses, insurance, and any J-2 dependents. You may use your employment offer letter as proof of personal funds to cover these estimated expenses. Please visit http://iss.tamu.edu/Current-Students/Estimated-Cost-of-Attendance for additional information.
IMPORTANT: In order to comply with J-1 regulations, all students MUST submit the End of Academic training – Evaluation Form to ISS upon conclusion of their Academic Training.
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 does not exceed the following time limitations:
    • For Non-Degree Seeking (including Reciprocal Exchange (REEP)) students: The overall total amount of time spent in the US in the J-1 student non-degree seeking category cannot exceed 24 months, whether studying or in AT.  As a result, the total time spent in AT (regardless of whether it’s part-time or full-time) cannot exceed 12 months, inclusive of any prior academic training in the United States, or the period of full course of study in the United States, whichever is less.
    • For Undergraduate and Masters students:  The total time spent in AT (regardless of whether it’s part-time or full-time) cannot exceed 18 months, inclusive of any prior academic training in the United States, or the period of full course of study in the United States, whichever is less.
    • For Doctoral Students: The total amount of time spent in AT (regardless of whether it’s part-time or full-time) cannot exceed a total of 36 months, inclusive of any prior academic training in the United States as an exchange visitor, or the period of the full course of study in the United States, whichever is less. Note that for Doctoral students who have not yet completed their studies, the maximum period of AT is only 18 months. Only upon completion of your degree are you eligible for the additional 18 months.
NOTE: For purposes of counting the amount of Academic Training used, there is no distinction between part-time and full-time positions. For example, an Undergraduate student who used 3 months of part-time academic training prior to graduation will be eligible for a maximum of 15 months of Academic Training when they graduate.

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 on filing taxes in the US, see here.