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What is Academic Training?
Academic Training for J-1 students is intended to provide practical work experience which complements the academic program.
The training opportunity must be an integral part of your overall academic goals.
Academic Training may be undertaken before or after completion of studies. Such training may include, but is not limited to, internships, practicum and/or field work.
Academic Training Time Limits
You are eligible for up to eighteen months of Academic Training (AT) throughout your J-1 status. However, the total training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in the full course of study.
An additional eighteen months may be possible for those who pursue and complete a Ph.D. program.
Important! You must apply for and receive Academic Training authorization before you begin working. Apply for Academic Training authorization at least two weeks before you need to begin working.
Note: Non-degree students will be eligible for less than 18 months of Academic Training. As a non-degree student, you are only eligible to be in J-1 status for a total of 24 months—this includes your period of study and any Academic Training. If you are a non-degree student who has studied for two semesters at Indiana University, you will be eligible for the equivalent of two semesters’ worth of Academic Training authorization.
Academic Training can be taken part-time or full-time before or after a degree program at any time while you are in the US in J-1 status counts toward the total limit. For example, if you are pursuing a program that is only 12 months long, then you will only be eligible for 12 months of Academic Training authorization. Academic Training may be taken in one period after completion of your program, or you may divide it by doing some in the summers, some part-time while you are still taking classes, and the remainder after graduation. If you obtain permission for 6 months of Academic Training during or after a Bachelor’s degree and continue to study in a Master’s program that is 18 months or longer, you will be eligible only for another 12 months of Academic Training in connection with your Master’s degree.
Am I Eligible for Academic Training?
To be eligible for Academic Training authorization:
- Your Certificate of Eligibility (form DS-2019) must be valid;
- You must be in good academic standing;
- You must participate in Academic Training that is directly related to your field of studies and is an integral/critical part of your academic program;
You must have an offer of employment and submit an application (see below) for Academic Training authorization at least two weeks before you need to begin your employment;
- In the case of AT taken at the end of your program of study, you must apply within two weeks of the completion of your program of study;
- If your DS-2019 was issued by Indiana University, you must receive authorization for Academic Training from the Office of International Services (OIS) before you start your employment.
- You must have and maintain health insurance consistent with the federal guidelines for J-1 students for yourself and all J-2 dependents.
Note: If you are under the sponsorship of any other exchange visitor program [ie.,IIE, AMIDEAST, etc.], you should contact your program sponsor for AT policies, application forms and instructions. Remember that you must receive written approval, prior to beginning your employment, from your exchange visitor sponsor.
How do I Apply for Academic Training?
Students in J-1 status may apply for Academic Training authorization from the Office of International Services (OIS), provided that IU issued your DS-2019.
The employment must be in your field of study, must be recommended by your academic advisor, and must be authorized in writing by OIS before you begin the employment.
To Apply for Academic Training Authorization
To apply, please log into iStart.
You will be asked to:
- Provide information about your prospective employer and prospective employment;
- Upload a letter from the prospective employer, on company/institution letterhead, stating the duties of the job, the name of the supervisor the location (street address, city, state, and zip code) where the employment will occur, specific start and end dates, number of hours of work per week and salary amount of the proposed employment;
- Confirm information about your health insurance;
- Provide your academic advisor's name and email address;
- Provide your academic advisor with a copy of your job offer letter;
- Confirm that you have reviewed the information on this website.
- When Academic Training authorization is approved, you will receive an email message with further information. Your authorization will take the form of a letter authorizing your employment under Academic Training. In cases where the AT is granted for several weeks, or in cases where you will be working after graduation, you will also receive a new DS-2019, which will list the period of authorization you’ve been granted.
- Note: The letter authorizing you for Academic Training states the specific employer, dates, and location of the employment. If there are any changes in the employment or you wish to work for a new employer, you must complete the entire application process again. This letter must be processed before you start your new job.
Traveling Outside of the US while on Academic Training
While traveling on Academic Training, J-1 students are advised to carry the following:
- DS-2019, signed for travel (remember that each travel signature is valid for 12 months from the date that it was signed, unless the period of Academic Training expires first)
- Valid J-1 visa stamp
- Passport, valid for at least six months into the future from the date of re-entry to the US
- Job offer/confirmation letter
Traveling while on Academic Training after completion of your program of study can present challenges. OIS does not recommend that you travel outside of the US while you are on Academic Training authorization if your J-1 visa stamp is expired.