Academic training is training 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, 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;
- The student is in good academic standing with the post-secondary accredited academic institution; and
- The student receives written approval in advance from the responsible officer for the duration and type of academic training
Department of State describes the primary purpose of academic training as an opportunity for a student to participate in an academic training program during his or her studies, without wages or other remuneration, but the regulations also allow paid academic training. The procedures for authorizing paid or unpaid academic training are the same.
Pre-Completion and Post-Completion Use
A student may be authorized to participate in an academic training program for wages or other remuneration:
(i) During his or her studies (pre-completion); or
(ii) Commencing not later than 30 days after completion of his or her studies (post-completion). Post-completion academic training must be approved before the program end date on the DS 2019 form.
Time Limitations on Academic Training
A college or university student can participate in academic training as follows:
- 18-month general limit. For undergraduate and pre-doctoral training, a student can engage in up to 18 months or the period of the full course of study, whichever is less.
- More than 18 months can be approved at this level of study only if it is "necessary for the exchange visitor to satisfy the mandatory requirements of his or her degree program in the United States."
- 36-month maximum for post doctoral training. Up to 36 months of academic training can be granted for academic training done at the post doctoral level, inclusive of all prior academic training done at that or lower levels of study.
Non-Degree Programs and Academic Training
Non-degree students are eligible to participate in academic training, but are also subject to the requirement that time in academic training not exceed the time spent in the program of study, and that the student be primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training.
A further restriction on Academic Training duration for non-degree students is that non-degree programs are limited to a total stay of 24 months, inclusive of all study time and any authorized academic training.
Part-Time Academic Training Deducted at Full-Time Rate
All academic training is counted as full time, even if employment is on a part-time basis. The regulations do not specify that academic training prior to completion of studies must be less than full time, so a student could choose to engage in full-time academic training before completion of his or her program of study, provided it did not interfere with making normal progress towards completing the educational program, and was otherwise consistent with the school's own policies
To apply for Academic Training, please complete the Student Exchange Visitor (J-1) Request for Academic Training Authorization form.