MENU Office of International Services

J-1 Student Employment

On-Campus Employment:

J-1 students must obtain authorization from their program sponsor to engage in up to 20 hours per week of on-campus employment. Once authorized, UIC employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session; this amount includes all other authorized employment. J-1 students may work more than 20 hours per week during official university breaks only (Winter Break, Summer).

J-1 students are required to report all on-campus employment to the Office of International Services in 12 month increments. If you are a J-1 student and work on-campus, submit a copy of your job offer letter that includes start and end dates to the Office of International Services.

On campus employment does not need to be related to the student’s field of study.

Note: Graduate Assistantships correspond to a percentage of hours to be worked each week:

  • 50% = 20 hours per week
  • 33% = 14-15 hours per week
  • 25% = 10 hours per week

Off-Campus Employment:

J-1 students are eligible for off-campus employment in the form of Academic Training. Academic Training authorization can be issued by OIS if the student has been maintaining their status and if they meet other eligibility requirements.

Academic Training

Academic Training is work authorization for students on a J-1 status. This training is authorized by the J-1 program sponsor and does not require further authorization from USCIS or the Department of State.

Academic Training may be available during the academic program and/or upon the completion of the student's program. The following eligibility requirements must be met:

  • The primary purpose in the United States must be to study rather than Academic Training
  • Be in good academic standing and maintaining J-1 student status
  • The proposed employment is directly related to the major field of study
  • During Academic Training, maintain J-1 student status and apply for extensions when necessary
  • Maintain health insurance coverage for the J-1 and any J-2 dependents during the Academic Training period

General limitations of Academic Training:

  • Employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training. The amount of time must be approved in advance by both the academic advisor and OIS. Employment may not exceed the period it took to complete the program or 18 months, whichever is shorter. However, for those earning a Ph.D., post-doctoral training may be authorized for up to 36 months. See an OIS advisor to discuss details.
  • Part-time employment for Academic Training counts towards the 18 or 36 month limit.
  • Must begin the training within the 30 day grace period of the completion date.

How to Apply:

Download the Academic Training application packet. Once a student obtains all required documents, they must meet with an OIS advisor. A student must apply for academic training before the end date on the DS-2019. Academic Training cannot be authorized after the end date on the DS-2019.

Upon approval of the request by OIS, the student will receive an authorization letter and a new DS-2019. The student may not begin employment until they have received your new DS-2019 and the authorization date has been reached.