Academic training (AT) is a type of work authorization available to J-1 academic students for training related to a student's field of study. The type of training will depend on field of study. Student eligible for academic training must be in good standing in their program and must be "primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training." The AT must by authorized by the program sponsor (the institution issuing the DS-2019) prior to the start of the AT, per 22 CFR 62.23(f)(3).
- must be in valid J-1 student status and in good academic standing
- AT in the first semester is not encouraged and requires additional documentation and committee approval
- must have a job offer in hand to apply
- must not exceed duration allowed (see below)
- must be related to student's field of study
- must submit separate application for each job offer if AT includes more than one job/employer at a time
- must have completed self-evaluation for any previous AT period
- students with exchange agreements/3rd party funding - must provide a letter from sponsor in support of academic training
- must apply and be approved before beginning the academic training
- allow at least 2 weeks for AT pre-completion applications (AT can be part-time during the fall & spring semesters or full-time in the summer)
- apply at least 2 weeks BEFORE the completion of study for post-completion applications (AT must be a minimum of 20 hours per week)
Special terms for post-completion AT only:
- job must begin within 30 days of program completion date
- you may change employers, but there cannot be any gap in employment dates
- proper health insurance must be maintained for both J-1 and J-2s for the duration of post-completion AT (see below)
- if AT is unpaid, student must submit offer letter AND provide statement of funding plan for AT period. OISS recommends planning to have funding of at least $2000/month for living expenses while on AT.
Duration of AT
- Available for a total of eighteen (18) months or for a period equal to the length of the study program, whichever is shorter.
- Can be extended only for postdoctoral researchers up to a maximum total of thirty-six (36) months. Students may apply for the extension at any time before the expiration of their eighteen (18)-month academic training so long as the AT has a research component as verified by the faculty advisor on the AT Academic Advisor Recommendation Form.
- One semester (Fall or Spring) students are allowed four (4) months of Academic Training after the semester is completed.
- Two semester students (Fall and Spring) are eligible for a total of nine (9) months of Academic Training.
Application Deadline and Procedure
- Please submit your complete application for AT at least 2 weeks prior to the beginning of your requested AT or your program end date as indicated on your DS-2019 (whichever is earlier).
Procedure for Requesting Academic Training
- Prepare required documents:
- Complete the AT Academic Advisor Recommendation Form, including:
- Student section
- Academic advisor section confirming (per 22 CFR 62.23(f)(5)(i)):
- The goals and objectives of the specific academic training program;
- A description of the academic training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training;
- How the academic training relates to the student's major field of study; and
- Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the student.
- Job offer letter and job description that includes all required parameters as outlined on the Academic Training Request form, or have your prospective employer complete the designated section on the form. If employment is post-completion and unpaid, please also prepare a statement indicating your plan for funding - OISS recommends planning for at least $2000/month to cover living and insurance expenses for the duration of post-completion AT.
- Obtain proof of health insurance that complies with the J exchange visitor requirements (see below), including proof for any of your J-2 dependents, for the duration of the J-1 program, including AT. Failure to maintain proper health insurance will result in termination of the J-1/J-2 status.
- Complete the AT Academic Advisor Recommendation Form, including:
- Submit Academic Training Request Form and the above attachments to OISS at least 2 weeks before requested AT is to begin.
- Allow 2 weeks for processing, then pick up your new DS-2019 with your Academic Training authorization from OISS within 3 business days from being notified for pick-up. The new DS-2019 will be proof of work authorization for I-9 purposes and applying for a SSN.
Maintaining Status on AT
- Report change of address within 10 days via ESTHER (pre-completion) or directly to OISS via the electronic Change of Address form (post-completion)
- Submit a final evaluation at the end of each approved AT
- Adhere to part-time or full-time status as authorized by AT
- Report early completion of AT
- Request new AT for any change in employer, change in parameters of AT, or extension of AT prior to end of current AT
- Maintain health insurance for J-1 and J-2s for duration of AT
Health Insurance Requirement
Minimum requirements for health insurance under J-1 regulations:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 for each accident or illness (a higher benefit is better)
- Medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000, should you need to be sent home on the advice of a doctor
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000, should you die while in the U.S.
- Minimum 75% coverage for each accident or illness
- Maximum deductible of $500 per condition per plan year
- A pre-existing “wait period” limitation of no more than six months
- The policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of home country government (for those covered by their home country's national insurance plan), or the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by the U.S. government (an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-1" or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above).
- Policy must be in English
- All exchange visitors and any accompanying dependents may also be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (22 CFR 62.14(a))
Instructions on how to provide OISS proof of your enrollment and coverage information if your insurance expires while on AT:
- Secure an electronic copy of your health insurance policy
- Your Insurance Company Representative completes the J Exchange Visitor Insurance Verification Form for Insurance Company
- Submit the insurance information at https://oiss.rice.edu/J1insurance and upload the required documents at the link provided on the form.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to access the form at https://oiss.rice.edu/J1insurance.
Please note: Only fully completed and signed forms will be accepted. For coverage extension you only need to submit both Verification forms.
Submit FINAL SELF-EVALUATION upon completion of Academic Training period.