J-1 Academic Training

Academic Training is employment directly related to your major field of study in the United States. The total amount of AT depends on the duration of time spent as a full time student. If you are enrolled as a degree candidate, you are eligible for 18 months of AT. However, Doctoral Students may be eligible for 36 months of AT with the successful completion of the Ph.D. Exchange students may be eligible for the AT based on the number of months that they participated as a full time student at Wesleyan University. For example, a one-semester exchange is eligible for 4 months of Academic Training. In counting months of authorization, part-time Academic Training counts the same as full-time.

Academic Training is date specific and employer specific. You must have a job offer in order to apply for AT. If you decide to extend your employment, you must receive new authorization for AT from your RO or ARO before the current authorization has expired. If you decide to change employers, you must also obtain a new authorization. Both situations would require that you follow the same process as your initial authorization. If you fail to obtain proper authorization, you will violate your student status.

Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible for Academic Training provided that:

  1. your primary purpose in the United States is to study and not to work,
  2. you are in good academic standing and have maintained your full time registration each semester,
  3. the proposed employment is directly related to your major field of study,
  4. your J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) has approved the Academic Training in advance and in writing for the duration and type of Academic Training with a specific employer.

Academic Training Before Completion of Your Program

With permission for Academic Training you may work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods (summer, winter break, etc.)

Academic Training after completion of your program

You must show your J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) a written offer of appropriate employment (related to your field of study and a paid position) no later than 30 days after you complete your program in order to be eligible for Academic Training. Although your employment does not need to begin within 30 days of completing your program, your available Academic Training time will begin subtracting 30 days after your completion date.

*Important Note on travel: If you plan to leave the United States after you complete your program of study and re-enter the country to do your J-1 Academic Training, you must obtain employment authorization before you leave; otherwise, you may have trouble reentering the country. Please contact your RO or ARO for more information on traveling while on Academic Training.

A Note of Caution:

You may not begin your Academic Training until the RO or ARO has given you the authorization. Working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your J-1 status and would result in the loss of benefits normally granted to J-1 students.

Application Procedure

1. Obtain a job offer letter from your prospective employer including the following details:

  • Your job title
  • A brief description of the "goals and objectives" of your training program (your employment)
  • The specific beginning and ending dates of the employment (your Academic Training can only be authorized for the length of the job offer)
  • The specific location of the employment
  • The number of hours you will work per week
  • Your salary (evidence of ability to support yourself while engaged in Academic Training)
  • The name and address of your direct supervisor.

**All of these details must be included for your academic training to be authorized.

2. Discuss the job training with your academic advisor. Complete the student section of  the advisor's recommendation form (attached) and ask your advisor to sign it.

3. When you have both your academic advisor's signed recommendation and the employer's job offer letter, submit both to your Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer.

4. Your J-1 Responsible Officer or ARO will evaluate the proposed employment and decide whether it is warranted and appropriate. If so, he/she will write you a letter of work authorization to give your employer. A new DS-2019 is issued for Academic Training after the completion of your program.

Note:

If your J-1 Program Sponsor (institution/organization listed in Item #2 of the DS-2019) is not Wesleyan University, you must contact your Program Sponsor to confirm if you will be eligible for Academic Training and to coordinate the process for obtaining Academic Training authorization from them.  Wesleyan University may not authorize Academic Training for students not under our J-1 Sponsorship.

Academic Training Form