Academic Training

 Academic Training is work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study. Appropriate activities vary over disciplines. Academic Training may involve sequential or simultaneous activities, either paid or unpaid, with several employers, U.S. or foreign, provided the application and approval procedures are followed for each employer and activity, and the time limits are not exceeded.


  • The student is primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training;
  • The student is participating in academic training that is directly related to his or her major field of study at the post-secondary accredited academic institution listed on his or her Form DS-2019
  • Maintaining J-1 status and in good academic standing
  • The student receives written approval in advance from a CIS Advisor for the duration and type of academic training.

Types of Academic Training

  • Academic Training before completion can be part-time or full-time. Part-time employment is allowed while classes are in session. Full-time employment is only allowed during a vacation period.

  • Academic Training after completion can be full-time. The student must begin employment no later than 30 days following the completion of the program. Your DS-2019 form must be 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.

Application Procedures

To apply for Academic Training, the student must complete the following procedures:

  • The student meets with their academic advisor/faculty advisor/internship coordinator to verify eligibility for Academic Training.
  • The student requests a letter from the prospective employer on the company’s letterhead which must include the following details:
    • name, address, and contact information of employer/site supervisor,
    • description of work to be performed,
    • start and end dates of employment/appointment, and
    • number of hours to be worked per week.
  • The student meets with their academic advisor/faculty advisor/internship coordinator to complete the Academic Training Application. .
  • The student returns the Academic Training form and letter from their employer to CIS for processing.
  • An advisor at CIS will review the documents and authorize the training in SEVIS.
  • The student will be issued a new DS-2019 stating the terms of the Academic Training before they can begin work.

* Please allow 5 full business days for processing*

Important Points to Remember

  • A student must be authorized by CIS before beginning employment. Working off-campus without prior authorization is a violation of J-1 status.
  • Students must allow 5 business days for CIS to process their Academic Training application.
  • A student may engage in Academic Training only for the specified employer, location and amount of time approved in SEVIS by CIS.
  • Although Academic Training regulations permit employment, its purpose is to attach practical experience to student coursework. It should not be perceived simply as a form of work authorization.
  • Academic Training applications must be submitted to CIS for authorization whether the position is paid or unpaid.