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J-1 Student Academic Training (AT)

Academic training (AT) is an off-campus employment authorization in the field of study available to J-1 students.
  • AT for non-degree, undergraduate, and pre-doctoral students may be up to 18 months or the period of the full course of study, whichever is less, inclusive of all prior academic training done at that or lower levels of study.
  • AT for post-doctoral (received a doctorate degree) training may be up to 36 months inclusive of all prior academic training done at that or lower levels of study.
    • Only 18 months may be used prior to program completion.
  • STEM students:
    • For the next two academic years (2021-2022 and 2022-2023), undergraduate and pre-doctoral degree-seeking students pursuing a STEM field may be eligible for 36 months of AT.
    • Approval for the 36 months must be requested by OISS from the Private Sector’s Office of Designation.
      • For recent graduates, the request must be made no later than 30 days after completion of the STEM-related program.
    • Refer to STEM Designated Degree Program list for a list of STEM eligible fields using the CIP Code on your DS-2019 (6-digit subject code on your DS-2019, XX.XXXX).
  • The length of employment may not exceed the period of study in J-1 status.
  • AT may be undertaken during the course of study or after its completion. 22 CFR. 62.23(f).
  • Must maintain J-1 status.
  • Must be primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training.
  • Must be in good academic standing.
  • AT employment must be directly related to academic program of study.
  • Student must have an offer of employment.
  • If applicable, has not been approved for a two-year home residency waiver.
    • It will be noted on the DS-2019 you used to apply for your visa and/or your visa.

Important Information
  • You must be offered a job/training in your field of study before you can get AT authorization.
  • You cannot work prior to receiving a written authorization from OISS and this authorization cannot be backdated.
  • All AT is counted as full-time even when it’s part-time. For example, if you use 1 month of part-time AT as a master’s student, you will have 17 months of AT left.
  • Exchange students need a written approval for the AT from your home institution.
  • Pre-completion (before program completion) AT can be used on a full-time (more than 20 hours per week) basis in the summer or during semester breaks and part-time (up to 20 hours per week) only during the academic year.
    • Employment is limited to a total of 20 hours per week (on- and off-campus combined) during fall and spring semesters unless a student qualifies for an exception as listed below.
      • Exception - Students in their last semester during fall or spring may be eligible for FT AT or may split 40 hours per week between AT and on-campus employment if they satisfy the following requirements. Talk to an OISS advisor for further clarification.
      • OISS will need a memo from the Academic Advisor verifying that the student is in their last semester and that the employment is required for program completion.
        • Must have completed all required coursework except for thesis/dissertation/independent study.
        • Must have applied for graduation.
        • May only by used once per major.
  • Post-completion (starts after program completion) AT must be requested before program completion or DS-2019 end date, whichever is sooner, and should begin no later than 30 days after the program completion.
    • The authorization end date depends on information provided in the offer letter and regulatory time limits.
    • There can be no gaps in employment when on post-completion AT.
      • If you are planning to continue employment, you must apply for extension of AT prior to the expiration date of your current approval.
    • For post-doctoral students, AT is authorized for up to 18 months at a time.
  • AT may be paid or unpaid.
    • Unpaid training opportunities must conform to labor laws.
    • You must show proof of funding for you and your dependents if you will have unpaid post-completion AT.
      • $2,000 per month for the appointment period.
        • Additional $1,000 per month for a spouse and $875 per month for each child for the appointment period.
  • Employment/training is employer specific. If you change employers, you must complete a new request before starting employment.
  • Report any address changes to OISS within 10 days of the change by updating it in MyNEVADA or for post-completion students, submitting the Change of Address Form.
  • Students are exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes for the first 5 years, but are required to pay all federal and state taxes.
Students must maintain health insurance coverage during the AT period for themselves and their dependents. There can be no gaps in your insurance coverage. Required coverage for all J-1 visa holders and their J-2 dependents should meet the minimum requirements outlined below:
  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000;
  • Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness;
  • Includes provision for co-payment that does not exceed 25% co-pay by the Exchange Visitor;
  • Does not exclude benefits for perils inherent to the activities of the Exchange Visitor's program;
  • Go to Health Insurance Requirements and 22 CFR 62.14 for the full requirements.
To return to the U.S. during pre or post-completion AT, you’ll need the following documents:
  • AT DS-2019 signed for travel (valid for up to 1 year or the duration of your DS-2019, whichever comes sooner);
  • Visa valid on the date you re-enter;
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date you re-enter;
  • AT employment letter or contract;
    • Pre-completion AT: unofficial transcripts to show enrollment and proof of financial support as shown on your DS-2019;
  • Please note: re-entry after travel out of the country is never guaranteed. You must enter with a J-1 status to resume AT.
  • Go to Travel Outside the U.S. for more information.

How to Apply
  1. Secure a signed and dated offer letter from your employer on their company letterhead clearly stating:
    • The position title and responsibilities
    • Pay, if any
    • Start and end dates
    • Number of hours per week
    • Name of the supervisor and their contact information
    • Address/location of employment.
  2. Login to complete the AT Application Form and get a recommendation from your Academic Advisor.
    • You will add your academic advisor's information in the AT Application for them to get an email to submit a recommendation for you
    • If using exception: memo from the Academic Advisor verifying that the student is in their last semester and that the internship is required for program completion.
    • Exchange students - upload a written approval for the AT from your home institution. The letter must specify the authorized employer for the AT request.
    • Upload any supporting documents for the selected AT reason into the application.
  3. Recommendation submitted electronically by your Academic Advisor.
  4. Provide proof of insurance coverage during post-completion AT.
    • The proof must show that it meets the insurance requirements.
    • University insurance will cover you for the period you paid for during your last semester.
  5. Provide proof of funding for unpaid post-completion AT.
  6. If you live in the area: Call the OISS to schedule an appointment with an OISS advisor.
  7. If you do not live in the area, submit the Shipping Request Form.
  8. You will be authorized for AT in SEVIS if everything is in order.
    • You will receive a new DS-2019 showing AT notation which should be given to the employer.
    • Please do not start working until you obtain the new DS-2019 with the AT authorization and the start date is effective!

Conclusion of AT
  • Submit the J-1 AT Evaluation Form within 10 days of the completion of your AT period.
  • If you have more than one employer, submit an evaluation for EACH employer.