J-1 and J-2 Options

Employment Options for J-1 Students and J-2 Dependents

J-1 Students

The following employment options are available provided you are in good academic standing and are enrolled in a full course of study except for official school breaks and the annual vacation period. You must receive employment authorization in advance by notifying Dr. Petoskey of your job offer (instructions are below).

On-Campus Employment

  • Employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship
  • Employment on the premises of the school you are authorized to attend (ECSU)

Employment must total no more than 20 hours per week, except during school breaks and the annual vacation period. Your on-campus employment must be authorized in advance. The employment can be authorized up to 12 months at a time. Notify Dr. Petoskey, who will update your SEVIS record. The SEVIS record update is the authorization. Bring a letter containing the following information to the study abroad office in order for Dr. Petoskey to approve your application.

  • Employer name
  • Employer address
  • Number of hours per week
  • Employment start and end date

Off-Campus Employment

Employment that is necessary because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status. Employment on account of economic circumstances may be authorized up to a maximum of 12 months at a time. Employment must total no more than 20 hours per week, except during school breaks. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Petoskey to further discuss your potential opportunities.

Academic Training

About Academic Training

Academic Training is training related to your field of study. It can be a job, internship, cooperative education position, or other opportunity to obtain off-campus experience related to your field of study.

  • You must request Academic Training authorization from the study abroad office before starting your internship or job.
  • The training may be paid or unpaid.
  • You can apply for Academic Training authorization either during your studies or beginning no later than 30 days after completion of studies.
  • Employment for Academic Training has an overall limit of 18 months, which includes training both before and after completion of studies. However, the total training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in the full course of study.

How to Apply for Academic Training Authorization

Step 1: Find an Academic Training opportunity (job, internship, cooperative education position, etc. related to your studies)

Use campus resources like the career center or your academic department to find opportunities. The training position must start either during your studies or no later than 30 days after you complete your studies.

Step 2: Contact your academic adviser or exchange coordinator for a letter of recommendation. The recommendation letter must be addressed to Dr. Petoskey in the study abroad office.

Provide your academic adviser or exchange coordinator with a copy of your job or internship offer. They will need to evaluate the training opportunity to make sure it relates to your field of study and provides a valuable academic experience.

The recommendation letter from your academic adviser or exchange coordinator must include the following information:

  • State the goals and objectives of the training program
  • Include the name and address (job location) of the employer
  • Include the name of the training supervisor
  • State the number of hours per week and dates of the training
  • Describe how the training relates to your major field of study
  • Explain why it is an integral or critical part of your Exchange Visitor program.

Step 3. Submit the following documents to the study abroad office.

1. Your offer of employment (this could be an offer letter or printed email)
2. The letter of recommendation from your academic adviser or exchange coordinator.

J-2 Dependents

Dependents in J-2 status may request employment authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Income from the J-2’s employment may be used to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if the income is needed to support the J-1. Employment may be authorized up to twelve months, and may be renewed annually.

The application for employment authorization may take up to 90 days to be processed. If approved, the J-2 will be issued an employment authorization card. The card will have an expiration date, and may be renewed annually. During the period of authorized employment the J-2 may accept any kind of employment, full-time or part-time. The J-2’s employment authorization is valid only while the J-1 is maintaining status.

To apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), or to renew a previously approved EAD, mail the following to USCIS:

  • Form I-765  (Instructions are included with the form and should be read carefully. In item 3, use an address that will not change as mail from USCIS will not be forwarded. In item 16, write: (C)(5). The J-2 applicant signs the form in blue ink.)
  • $380 check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Letter explaining why work authorization is sought, written by J-2 applicant; the letter should state that employment is not necessary to support the J-1
  • Photocopies of the J-2’s and J-1’s current and prior DS-2019 forms
  • Two photos (Photos should be passport style: white background, unmounted glossy, unretouched, with a full face position, and taken no earlier than 30 days before submission to USCIS. Lightly print you’re on the back of each photo with pencil. Place the photos in a small plastic bag or envelope and staple to the I-765 form.)
  • Photocopy of the identification page in the J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of the visa page in J-2’s passport
  • Photocopy of J-2’s I-94 card (front and back)
  • Photocopies of any EAD cards issued previously to the J-2
  • Photocopy of the J-2’s driver’s license or other photo identification, if available
  • Marriage certificate (if spouse of the J-1), or birth certificate (if child of the J-1); foreign-language documents should include an English tradition

We advise you to visit the study abroad office and discuss this before starting your application!