J-1 students are eligible for a type of employment authorization in the United States that is referred to as academic training. Such employment can only be in a field of study indicated on the student’s DS-2019.
A Student Must Have a Written Job Offer in Order to Apply
- The limit is 18 months or less for the total amount of time that the student has studied full-time at Illinois Institute of Technology; for example, a student enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program for two or more years is entitled to 18 months of employment
- A student enrolled for nine months is eligible for nine months of employment
- Doctoral students are eligible for up to 36 months of academic training
- Academic training can be undertaken before or after the completion of one’s program of study
Part-Time or Full-Time Employment
Part-time employment is allowed while courses are in session; full-time employment is only allowed during a vacation period or after completing the required coursework while writing a thesis.
Academic Training After Completion Can be Full-Time
You must apply before the program’s completion; however, the employment may begin up to 30 days after the program’s completion. Your DS-2019 form must be extended and remain valid for the duration of academic training. Requests for extension of DS-2019 due to academic training require a written job offer, proof of insurance coverage, and proof of funding during the extension period.
Part-time employment is subtracted from the total amount of time allowed at the same rate as full-time employment.
Note: You are legally allowed to remain in the United States in J-1 status for 30 days after completion of academic training. This period is known as the “grace period.” You are not allowed to travel outside the U.S. or be employed during the grace period.
You Must Have a DS-2019 Before Employment Begins
You must have a new DS-2019 issued by the International Center for academic training before employment begins. Starting employment before academic training authorization is given by the International Center constitutes a violation of J-1 student immigration status and will result in the loss of your J-1 student immigration status.
Academic Training is Employer-Specific
If you wish to add new employers, you must submit new academic training applications for each employer. Employment with new employers may not begin until after a new DS-2019 is issued by the International Center.
If Employment Ends Early
You must inform the International Center if your employment will end earlier than indicated on the DS-2019 issued for academic training. The academic training period will be shortened on the DS-2019 and a new DS-2019 will be issued. If you are engaged in post-completion academic training, this will result in the shortening of the DS-2019 end date, possibly placing you in the 30-day grace period.
Bring the following documents to the International Center during walk-in hours or make an appointment with an international student adviser:
- A completed adviser’s recommendation form
- A written job offer (the letter should specify the company name, position title, job requirements, dates of employment, and rate of pay, if it is a paid position)
- For post-completion academic training, proof of health insurance coverage during the period of academic training