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Academic Training


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Definition of Academic Training

Academic training is training related to a student's field of study. Appropriate activities vary over disciplines. For example, postdoctoral training in biochemistry might consist of paid research at one location with one faculty adviser, where academic training in music may involve a number of paid or unpaid teaching or performance opportunities. Academic training may involve sequential or simultaneous activities, either paid or unpaid, with several employers, provided the application and approval procedures are followed for each employer and activity, and the time limits are not exceeded.


Eligibility Requirements

The student is primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training; The student is participating in academic training that is directly related to his or her major field of study at the post-secondary accredited academic institution listed on his or her Form DS-2019; The student is in good academic standing with the post-secondary accredited academic institution; and The student receives written approval in advance from the responsible officer for the duration and type of academic training.


Duration of Academic Training

36-month maximum for post-doctoral training. Up to 36 months of academic training can be granted for academic training done at the post doctoral level, inclusive of all prior academic training done at that or lower levels of study.

Non-degree students are eligible for one month of Academic Training for each month spent in a non-degree J-1 program. In addition, non-degree J-1 programs are limited to a total stay of 24 months, inclusive of all study time and any authorized academic training.

    Application and Authorization Procedures

    To apply for Academic Training, you  must submit the following documents to Beth Nazar at

    1. An offer letter from the employer which specifies (a) the beginning and ending dates of the training experience; (b) the number of hours per week (the employer may use the sample letter in the application form); (c) responsibilities in the position, (d) the employer address; and (e) the name of the supervisor.
    2. Recommendation letter for Academic Training from your advisor that includes:
    • The goals and objectives of the specific Academic Training program;
    • A description of the Academic Training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week and the dates of the training;
    • How the Academic Training relates to the student's major field of study; and
    • Why is is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the student.
    1. If the Academic Training requires an extension, please contact Beth Nazar at before submitting the following:

    • Proof of funding of $1500 per month for living expenses. (This can be from a variety of sources including but not limited to salary from the position, personal funds, and family funds.)  Additional funding must be shown for J-2 dependents. ($5000 per year for a spouse and $3000 per child).
    • Proof of adequate health insurance for the duration of the extension.  (This must be shown for J-2 dependents as well.)

    OISS will: 

    1. Verify your eligibility to apply for Academic Training;

    2. Verify your enrollment in an appropriate course, if applicable; and

    3. Authorize Academic Training (which will appear on your DS-2019).

    A Note of Caution

    While immigration regulations provide a variety of opportunities for you to be employed during your time in J-1 status, working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your status.  You should therefore consult with OISS staff before beginning any employment.  OISS is here to advise and counsel you regarding your immigration responsibilities, but is ultimately your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations that apply to J-1 students.  If you fail to meet your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for future immigration benefits. 



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