Academic training for J-1 students is permitted at any stage of your program while you are enrolled in school or after completion of the program.
Academic Training Authorization for J-1 Exchange Visitors
J-1 Academic Training (AT) provides J-1 Student Exchange Visitors with the opportunity to gain practical experience in their academic field of study. AT is authorized by your J-1 program sponsor and does not require further authorization from a government agency.
In most cases, Middlebury ISSS has issued your Form DS-2019 and is therefore your J-1 program sponsor. Academic Training can be authorized by Middlebury’s Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officers (AROs) in ISSS. ISSS Advisors serve as your J-1 Responsible Officers and are authorized to evaluate your documents and grant AT. (If your DS-2019 was not issued by Middlebury College or the Middlebury Institute, and if you are uncertain how to reach your J-1 Responsible Officer, ISSS can assist you.)
You must meet the eligibility criteria and follow the appropriate procedural steps (for Middlebury College or the Middlebury Institute). Academic Training can only be approved for opportunities related to the J-1 student’s program of study. The position can be unpaid or paid, and in the form of wages or another type of remuneration.
You must meet the following criteria:
- You must be in the United States primarily to study rather than engage in academic training.
- Academic training must be done with a specific employer or at a specific training site, and must be directly related to the major field of study listed on your DS-2019. A specific description of the training opportunity is required.
- You must be in good academic standing.
- You must receive written approval in advance from the RO/ARO for the duration and type of academic training.
Note: For students who are not sponsored by Middlebury, academic training must be obtained from your J program sponsor. J program sponsors have different standards for granting academic training that may differ from Middlebury’s approach.
Time Limits on Academic Training
Students in degree programs are permitted an overall limit of 18 months, inclusive of any prior academic training in the United States, before or after completion of studies. The total training period may not exceed the period of full course of study, meaning that if the period of full course of study is less than 18 months, academic training would be limited to that lesser duration.
AT is available during your academic program and /or upon its completion. The following eligibility criteria must be met:
- Your Form DS-2019 must be unexpired; thus, you must apply for AT prior to completion of a course of study.
- You are in the U.S. in J-1 Student visa status.
- You must be in good academic standing.
- The proposed training (internship, research, etc.) must be directly related to your field of study.
- You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your AT.
AT may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training within the following limitations:
- The AT is approved by both your Academic Advisor/Career Manager and your Responsible Officer.
- For degree-seeking students: AT may not exceed the amount of time it took for you to complete your full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter.
- For non-degree seeking students: AT may not exceed the amount of time you’ve spent engaged in academic studies. The total duration of a non-degree program, including academic study and training, may not exceed 24 months.
- Both part-time and full-time employment count against your total available AT time.
If you are applying for AT upon completion of your program of study, please note that:
- Any prior periods of AT will be deducted to determine your total available AT time.
- Unpaid AT is permissible if you are able to prove that you have adequate financial support, such as funding from your home government or adequate personal funds. This support must be approved by your J-1 program sponsor before you can engage in unpaid AT.
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