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.

Below are the CPT application procedures for Middlebury College and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  Please note, all forms, letters, and supplemental information can be found on our Forms page.

Important Information:

  • You must apply and be approved for AT before your program end date listed on your Form DS-2019.  ISSS would like submissions at least 2 business weeks before the end date to give us ample time to process requests. 
  • Your AT should commence no later than 30 days after your program end date.
  • All AT authorization, regardless of it being full or part time, will count as full time against the time you are allowed for AT.
  • You may engage in AT anywhere in the United States.
    • For Middlebury College students: If you choose to remain in Middlebury, you will no longer be eligible to live on campus or partake in student benefits, such as use of the dining hall.  You will need to seek non-student positions available through the Human Resources website.
  • You may begin engaging in AT as of the date it is authorized by ISSS and continue to participate as long as your Form DS-2019 remains valid.
  • AT authorization is employer specific; therefore, you must request a new AT authorization (using the application processes described below) for each employer before you begin employment with those employers.
  • If you are granted AT to begin after you complete your degree/program, ISSS will extend your DS-2019, and therefore your J-1 status, as part of the process of granting AT.
    • Additional Financial documentation may be required by ISSS as we are required to establish you have sufficient funding to cover the extended period of time of the DS-2019, if you are not paid for your AT or your income for your AT will not be enough to cover the additional amount needed.  ISSS will communicate how much we need to see and what documentation is acceptable when we review the request.
  • You are responsible for notifying ISSS of a change of address within ten days of the change through out your DS-2019 program dates.

Travel and Reentry before and during AT:

If you plan on leaving the United States after you complete your program of study and reenter the country for J-1 Academic Training, you must obtain employment authorization before you leave.  Otherwise, you may experience difficulty when attempting to reenter.

If you wish to depart the United States during your authorized period of AT, you may return for the remaining authorized period provided you have all of the following documents to present at the U.S. Port of Entry:

  1. A valid passport
  2.  A valid Form DS-2019 that has been properly endorsed.
  3. A valid J-1 visa
  4. A letter from your J-1 sponsor authorizing AT
  5. A letter from your current employer explaining you are returning to the U.S. to continue the opportunity, following your trip abroad.

The completion of your AT is followed by a 30-day grace period during which time you may either depart the United States, transfer to another institution or change to another status.  Employment is not allowed during this 30-day grace period.

Middlebury College Application Process for College-sponsored J-1 Students

  1. Obtain an offer letter from a prospective employer or organization related to your field of study. This will need to be shared with both your Academic Advisor/Career Manager and ISSS.  A sample letter can be found on the Forms page. This letter should be printed on official company letterhead with an original signature and contain the following information:
      1. The start and end dates of your training.
      2. The number of hours to be worked per week.
      3. The name, address and phone number of your training supervisor.
      4. Salary information. (if applicable)
      5. A brief description of the work to be performed, including the location of the training.
  2. Meet with your Academic Advisor at Middlebury to complete the Letter From Academic Advisor For Academic Training Form found on the Forms page. Submit this to ISSS.
  3. Schedule an appointment with ISSS and bring the following additional documents:
      1. Form DS-2019
      2. Valid passport
      3. J-1 visa
      4. Form I-94 (this may be an electronic printout or paper card)
      5. Proof of health insurance for yourself and any dependents.
  4. After reviewing these documents and determining the amount of time you’re eligible to participate in AT, ISSS will issue a letter authorizing you for AT and update your Form DS-2019 as needed.

Middlebury Institute Procedures for Institute-sponsored J-1 students:

The sample Employer Letter and AT Advisor Letter referenced below can be found on our Forms page under the Academic Training section.  Please follow the below steps:

  1. Obtain a letter of offer for training/employment with the following information.  A sample employer is provided on the Forms page:
    • A description of the training program,
    • The complete address of the training site,
    • The name, address, email, and phone of the training supervisor,
    • The number of hours per week to be worked, and
    • The start and end dates of the training.  The dates must be in MM/DD/YYYY format.
  2. The student’s academic or career advisor fills out and signs the fillable AT Advisor Letter. This is the letter of recommendation verifying the appropriateness of the position in regard to the student’s major field of study.  The Advisor provides the completed, signed letter to the student to submit to ISSS. 
  3. The student uploads the AT Employer Letter and the AT Advisor Letter via the Document Submission Form.
  4. The RO/ARO in ISSS evaluates the Advisor’s Letter and the Employer Letter to determine whether academic training can be granted or not.  (Note: this is usually a foregone conclusion based on Advisor’s Letter but there could be exceptions.)
  5. The RO/ARO issues a written letter authorizing the specific academic training, updates the student’s SEVIS record/DS-2019.
  6. The student will be provided the DS-2019 and authorization letter by ISSS.  You will be notified to either pick up the documents in person or they will be sent to you electronically by ISSS.

Advisor’s Letter of Recommendation Specifics:

The student’s academic or career advisor must fill out and sign the AT Advisor letter for the academic training approval. This letter includes:

  • The goals and objectives of the specific training program.
  • A description of the training program, including its location, name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training.
  • How the training relates to the student’s major field of study.
  • Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program.

ISSS will accept either the Academic Advisor or the Career Advisor completing the letter.  Bear in mind that the advisor that completes and signs this letter should be able to sufficiently address the requirements listed as related to the student’s program of study.

Questions? Please contact us at isss@middlebury.edu

updated 05/15/2023

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