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J-1 Academic Training

Students in valid J-1 status may apply for Academic Training (AT) through their program sponsor to pursue authorized work or training directly related to their field of study.

Academic Training is designed for students to apply knowledge and skills learned during their academic program. The work must be considered appropriate to your current degree program, as reviewed by your academic advisor and University dean.

The training may be paid or unpaid, full- or part-time, and involve sequential or simultaneous activities with several employers. However, ALL activities must be authorized prior to starting any employment and before the completion of your studies.

While on Academic Training, you are still considered a J-1 student under the University of Rochester's sponsorship and you must continue to comply with all J-1 regulations and reporting requirements.


All current J-1 students in degree or non-degree programs may apply for Academic Training to be used either during the course of study or to begin within 30 days after completion of studies.

You must meet the following eligibility criteria to apply:

  • Maintain valid J-1 status and be in good academic standing at the sponsoring school
  • Pursue training that is directly related to your major field of study
  • Obtain approval from your academic advisor and dean for all training activities
  • Keep your J-1 record and DS-2019 up to date, including any necessary extensions
  • Maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and J-2 dependents throughout AT

Authorization Period

Academic Training is limited to a cumulative total up to 18 months for the duration of your J-1 status, but may not exceed the length of your academic program.

Doctoral students may be eligible for an additional 18 months of post-doctoral training activities, for a total of 36 months throughout the J-1 program.

Students in non-degree programs are limited to a total stay of 24 months, inclusive of all study time and any authorized Academic Training.

Eligibility limits are not reset by pursuing a higher degree level. Authorized AT periods may be granted as either pre-completion or post-completion of degree requirements, but any period authorized during your studies will be deducted from the total eligibility.

Full-time and part-time (20 hours or less per week) are counted equally against the total time allowed.

Application Procedures

AT authorization is granted by your J-1 program sponsor, rather than by a US government agency

For post-completion authorization, you must apply for AT before your DS-2019 end date and the employment must begin within 30 days of completing your program of study.  Do NOT begin working until you have received your AT authorization in writing.

With appropriate documentation, your training will be authorized in SEVIS and a new DS-2019 will be issued. Your stay will be extended for up to 18 months at a time or for the duration of the employment offer, whichever is shorter.

University-sponsored J-1 students need to provide the following documents to the ISO for AT authorization. Please allow one week for processing.

  • AT Recommendation Form (PDF): Provide information about the purpose of the proposed training activities and obtain a recommendation from your academic advisor and dean.
  • Employer's Job Offer: Obtain a detailed letter from your prospective employer on company letterhead that includes your job title, dates and location of employment, number of hours per week, salary, and the name and contact information for your training supervisor. This letter should also include a brief description of the “goals and objectives” of your training program.

Changing Employers

You may change or add employers while on Academic Training, but you must apply to ISO for EACH position with a new employer’s letter and recommendation form. You must receive written authorization for new employment from ISO before beginning work.