Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) provides an opportunity for J-1 students to participate in a temporary internship or employment (paid or unpaid) related to their field of study in the U.S. You may be authorized for more than one job/internship at a time, as long as all are related to your field of study as listed on your DS-2019. However, you must submit SEPARATE Academic Training requests for each position.


Types of Academic Training

Before Your Studies End 
Academic Training authorized before the completion of studies is called pre-completion AT. Pre-completion AT is limited to part-time (20 hours/week or less) during the academic terms, but can be full-time during the vacation or break periods.

After You Complete Studies
Academic Training authorized after the completion of studies is called post-completion AT. Post-completion AT can be full-time or part-time.

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Am I Eligible?

You can request Academic Training if you:

  • Are in valid J-1 status and have maintainted full-time enrollment;
  • Have secured a job/internship. If you are doing post-completion AT, the start date must be no more than 30 days after your program end date;

AND, for post-completion AT applicants:

  • Are able to show proof of funding of $1,800/month to cover living expenses during the post-completion AT period and, if applicable, additional funding of $1,000/month for a J-2 spouse and $500/month per J-2 child. If your AT is paid, you may use your salary information toward the proof of funding requirements.
  • Agree to maintain health insurance that meets the minimum Department of State requirements for J visa holders for the duration of post-completion AT.

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How Long Can I Do Academic Training?

18-Month General Limit
Students at the undergraduate or Masters level can request AT for a maximum of 18 months or for a period equal to the length of your studies, whichever is shorter. For example, UCEAP Reciprocity students at UCSC for 1 quarter are only eligible for 1 quarter's worth of AT.

Additional 18 Months for PhD Students
Students who are completing a PhD can receive AT for up to 36 months or for a period equal to the length of your studies, whichever is shorter. It is typically split into 18-month segments, and the additional 18 months AT must be applied for separately, even if with the same employer.

Note: All AT is counted as full-time, even if you are only working on a part-time basis AND is inclusive of all prior AT in the U.S. For example, if you are an undergraduate student and used part-time AT for 3 months before graduating, you are only eligible for another 15 months of AT after graduating, whether it is full- or part-time (assuming your program was at least 18 months).

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How to Apply

  1. Obtain an official, signed internship/employment offer letter within your field of study.
  2. Complete an Academic Training Request Form in the J-1 Employment Forms section and obtain the required signatures from your academic department.
    • For Post-Completion AT applicants ONLY: Include proof of funding documentation and sign the health insurance agreement.
  3. Submit the AT Request and supporting documents to an International Student Advisor at least 2 weeks before your job start date.*
  4. Pick up your new DS-2019 with AT authorization at the Front Desk within 3-5 business days.

*Note: AT authorization cannot be backdated and you can only begin your internship/employment AFTER you have received the new AT DS-2019 from ISSS. You cannot work beyond the dates approved or work for a new employer without submitting either an additional AT request or an AT extension request.

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