Academic Training

Academic Training is flexible in its format and offers a variety of employment opportunities to supplement your academic program in the U.S. It is available before completion of your program of study as well as afterwards. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, it lets you work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods; and, under certain circumstances, you may interrupt study to work full-time, for example while you are writing a thesis. J-1 students in non-degree programs are eligible for Academic Training.

For advice and for further information, consult the OISS staff.

Your J-1 Responsible Officer

To qualify for Academic Training, you must first obtain approval from your J-1 Responsible Officer. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program of study and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not. If UNH is your sponsor, then your J-1 Responsible Officers are members of the OISS staff. If your J-1 sponsor is another agency, you must contact them to ask for work permission.

General Limitations

  • Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that the amount of time is approved by the Academic Dean or Advisor and the Responsible Officer. It may not exceed the period of full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter. If you receive a Ph.D., however, your "post-doctoral training" may last as long as 36 months. Additional Academic Training, beyond the 18 or 36-month limit, is allowed only if it is required for the degree.
  • Part-time employment for "Academic Training" counts against the 18 or 36-month limit the same as full-time employment.
  • Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for Academic Training.


  • Your primary purpose in the U.S. must be to study.
  • You must be in good academic standing at the school listed on your Form DS-2019.
  • The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
  • Throughout your Academic Training, you must maintain valid J-1 student status and apply for extensions as necessary.
  • You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your Academic Training.

Limitations After Completion of Your Program of Study

  • Academic Training approved after completion of your program must be reduced by any prior periods of Academic Training.
  • Academic Training following completion of your program of study must involve paid employment.
  • You must obtain a written offer of appropriate employment and present the letter to your J-1 Responsible Officer prior to the completion of your program, or you will lose eligibility for post-completion Academic Training.
  • If you plan to leave the U.S. after you complete your program of study and return for J-1 Academic Training, you must obtain employment authorization before you leave. Otherwise, you lose your eligibility for this benefit.

Application Process

Obtain an employment offer letter from your prospective employer that includes: your job title, a brief description of the goals and objectives of your employment, the dates and location of your employment, the number of hours you will work per week, and the name and address of your training supervisor.

Complete a Request for Academic Training Authorization Form and submit it to the OISS with a copy of your employment offer letter.

Your J-1 Responsible Officer will evaluate the Academic Training program and decide whether it is appropriate. If yes, he or she will write you a letter of approval. To authorize "postdoctoral training" your J-1 Responsible Officer must also issue you a new Form DS-2019, for no more than 18 months at a time.