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Employment Options for J-1 Students

This is an outline of the types of employment available to J-1 students. No employment should be pursued without written authorization from the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer. If you have questions after reading this, meet with Mrs. LaSota.

Types of Employment Available

There are three types of work permission available to J-1 students. Applications must be submitted to the program sponsor (noted in section 2 of your Form DS-2019). This information is specifically geared to J-1 students sponsored by Muskingum College and does not apply to J-1 visitors in any category, circumstances, or other sponsorship.

1) On-Campus Employment

When Can I begin working on campus?

As a J-1 student, you may apply for permission to work on campus at Muskingum immediately, provided you have been authorized to attend Muskingum by the International Programs Office and are pursuing full-time studies. Your employment should not b e more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session and full-time during vacations.

2) Academic Training

What is academic training?

It is employment that is integral or critical to the student’s academic program at Muskingum College. Academic training must be a direct application of your coursework and/or research to a professional position in your field of study. The Vice President of Academic Affairs (Academic Dean) must evaluate an academic training request as effectively connected to your major field of study. Academic training may be on or off campus employment.

The RO reviews academic training applications very carefully. The fact that the employment is in a related field is not sufficient for something to qualify as academic training; the work must be integral to the academic program.

How long can I work under academic training?

The length is connected to the period you are in J-1 status. The maximum total allowed in most cases is 18 moths. Every moth that you are authorized is deducted as a month used, whether the permission I part-time, full-time, or never used.

Can I pursue academic training after finishing my degree?

Academic training may be pursued during the period of study or immediately thereafter. You must apply for post-completion academic training within 30 days of completing your studies or before your current DS-2019 expires, whichever comes first. You may work full time during post-completion academic training.

Do I need a job to apply for academic training?

Yes you mist first present a job offer letter with your AT application.

What if I have finished my studies and cannot find a job?

Then you will not be eligible for academic training. You must apply for post-completion academic training within 30 days of completing your sties or before your current DS-2019 expires, whichever comes first. Otherwise, you have a 30-day grace period to depart from the United States.

Can I change jobs during academic training?

Yes, as long as the new position meets the definition of academic training. You must submit a new application before accepting a new position. You cannot begin any employment without written authorization from the RO, nor do the regulations allow for gaps in employment. Therefore, you must notify the RO immediately if you are considering changing jobs.

What Items Do I Need to Bring to Apply?

  • A letter from the Vice President of Academic Affairs (Academic Dean) stating:
    • The goals and objectives of the training
    • The position you will have
    • The location and address
    • The name of your supervisor
    • The number of hours per week
    • The dates of employment
    • That the training relates to your field of study at your home institution
    • Your anticipated completion date
  • A letter from your prospective employer outlining the job offer
  • DS-2019,
  • I-94 card
  • passport

Then what happens?

If your application is approved, the RO will issue a work authorization letter. If an extension of J-1 status is needed, a new DS-2019 will be issued.

Once I finish my studies, must I have health insurance?

Yes, as long as you are in J-1 status, the United States government requires that you maintain your health coverage so long as you are here as part of the J program, even if you have completed your studies and reached the "end date" on your DS-2019. In some cases you will need to find a new insurance policy to cover your period of Academic training. This new policy must meet Department of State minimum requirements.

Can I travel during post-completion academic training?

Travel during this time can be complicated, especially if a students J-1 visa has expired. Students must meet with the RO to discuss the details of any travel plans.

3) Economic Need Work Permission

What is economic need work permission?

It is a type of employment authorization for J-1 students who have severe, sudden and unforeseen economic hardship. If you wish to apply for this, make an appointment with the Responsible Officer.

Does this application get submitted to USCIS?

No. If your application is approved, a letter from the RO authorizes your employment.

Is it renewable?

Economic need work permission can be renewed for full-time enrolled students depending on the circumstances.