Off-Campus Employment: J-1 Academic Training

Academic Training is a type of off-campus work authorization for employment related to a student's field of study.  The J-1 student’s program sponsor (the institution that issues the DS-2019) is responsible for granting the authorization with the required documents explained in the application. Students who are sponsored by institutions other than UC Irvine (such as Fulbright, etc.) should check with their sponsor for information on Academic Training eligibility and procedures.

Common Questions Regarding Academic Training

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1: WHAT TYPE OF JOB CAN I WORK?
A:Your employment must be directly related to the program of study at UCI as listed in Section 4 of your DS-2019.

2: WHEN CAN I START WORKING?
A:Academic Training is available before or after completion of studies/program.

3: HOW MANY HOURS CAN I WORK?
A:You can work part time (less than 20 hours per week) when school is in session during the fall, winter, and spring quarters, or full time (up to 40 hours per week) during the summer break and also for post-completion applicants.

4: DO I NEED A JOB OFFER BEFORE APPLYING FOR ACADEMIC TRAINING?
A:Yes. Academic Training requires a job offer before applying.

5: CAN I APPLY AFTER I COMPLETE MY PROGRAM/STUDIES AT UCI?
A:No. Applications for post-completion Academic Training must be approved before completion of studies/program as listed on the DS-2019.

6: DOES THE EMPLOYMENT HAVE TO BE PAID?
A:Academic Training can be used for paid or unpaid internships or jobs. However, if it is unpaid, proof of financial support is needed for purposes of extending the DS-2019 beyond the current end program date.

7: CAN I WORK TWO JOBS AT THE SAME TIME?
A:Academic Training allows for more than one job at a time, as long as they are all related to the field of study. Separate Academic Training applications are required for each job.

8: WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TIME THAT I CAN WORK?
A:Academic Training is available for a total of 18 months or for a period equal to the length of the study program, whichever is shorter. Academic Training is counted day-by-day, and therefore whether the employment is part time or full time, it will be counted as the same number of days.

9: I AM A DOCTORATE STUDENT. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM THAT I CAN WORK?
A:Academic Training can be extended only for postdoctoral researchers up to a maximum total of 36 months. Students may apply for the extension up to 6 months prior but before the expiration of their 18-month academic training. Postdoctoral students who would like to request an extension beyond 18 months should speak with an International Student Advisor either during the Employment Hand-in Sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 9-11am or make an appointment in a timely manner.

10: IF I APPLY FOR POST-COMPLETION ACADEMIC TRAINING, WHEN IS THE LATEST THAT I CAN START WORKING?
A:The job or internship must begin within 30 days of the program completion date. Additionally it must be approved before the program completion date. However, time authorized for Academic Training will begin counting the day after program completion.

Application Instructions

1. Review the J-1 Academic Training Information.

2. Meet with your academic advisor or EAP advisor regarding your plans and if applying for post-completion to determine your program completion date.

3. Obtain an employment offer letter from prospective employer that states the exact employment dates. Offer letters must be original with a wet/ink signature. Your employer will also need to sign the J-1 Academic Training Application form in Section 3.

4. Have your academic advisor or EAP advisor complete the Academic Status Verification Form and write a letter recommending the academic training. The letter must include the following:

  • Verify date of degree completion
  • Goals and objectives of the specific academic training program
  • The location of the academic training, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the academic training
  • How the academic training relates to the students’ major field of study; and why it is an integral or critical par of the academic program of the student.

5. Make copies of the following documents:

Note: For post-completion Academic Training, please complete the Student Visa Document Request Form and select Program Extension in Section 2, along with a bank statement to cover living expenses only.

6. Submit the J-1 Academic Training Application during a Student Employment Hand-In Session on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9am-11am to the UCI International Center for review. Allow seven [7] working days for processing.

7. The International Center will issue a new DS-2019 and Employment Authorization Letter.

Alternate Application Submission Options

If you cannot attend an Employment Hand-In Session, you may also schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor to submit your Academic Training application by calling 949.824.7249.

Pick up Your Approved Academic Training Application (including extensions)

Normal processing time is 7 business days (day one starts the day after you submit your complete application), you can pick up your DS-2019 in these ways:

  1. Come to the International Center on the 7th business day and present a valid form of identification (e.g UCI Student ID).
  2. Make arrangements with an advisor to have your new DS-2019 mailed to you.
  3. Authorize a friend to pick it up. Prior arrangements must be made with an advisor to have your DS-2019 picked up by a friend. Your friend will need to bring an authorization letter signed by you.

Social Security Number

Once you have received your DS-2019 with the approved Academic Training, you can apply for a Social Security number up to 30 days before your employment start date at the Social Security Administration office. Please refer to our website for more information about a Social Security Number

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