J-1 Student Employment
J-1 students may only work in the United States--either on-campus or off-campus--if they are authorized in advance by the ISSS office.
On Campus Employment
U.S. government regulations define the on-campus employment for J-1 students as either “pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship” or employment that “occurs on the premises of the post-secondary accredited academic institution the visitor is authorized to attend” (22 C.F.R. § 62.23(g)). On-campus employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week total while school is in session, but students can work more than that during official school breaks and annual vacation.
All on-campus work—including work pursuant to the terms of an assistantship, fellowship, or scholarship from Stevens—must be authorized by the ISSS office before you can begin working, and authorization may only be granted for 12 months at a time. In order to request on-campus work authorization, you must either submit:
Copy of scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship letter, or
Completed Social Security Letter (for all other types of on-campus employment)
Processing time is approx. 7-10 business days, so make sure that you submit your request for work authorization at least 2 weeks prior to your intended start date. You will not be able to start working until you are authorized to do so b ISSS.
If you find on-campus employment as described above, you will also need to apply for a Social Security Number in order to both begin working and receive payment from Stevens. The Social Security Administration can take between 1-2 weeks (or more) to process
applications for numbers, so please plan accordingly when planning to begin a new job. Information on how to apply for a Social Security Number can be found in the Social Security Information form, and you will need to have a Social Security Letter signed by both your supervisor and ISSS.
Student Economic Hardship Employment
J-1 students may also be authorized for off-campus employment is it is “necessary because of serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances which have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status” ( 22 C.F.R. § 62.23(g)(1)(iii).
Like on-campus employment, off-campus work in this situation is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and can be more than 20 hours per week during official school breaks and annual vacation. You must be approved and authorized for off-campus employment before you can begin working.
Please contact your ISSS Advisor if you think that your situation makes you eligible for economic hardship employment and your advisor will advise you on what documentation you must provide.
Academic Training Information
Academic training is a period of authorized, off-campus employment (both paid and unpaid) directly related to a J-1 student’s field of study. Students may participate in academic training prior to completion (pre-completion) or after completion (post-completion) of study for a total maximum period of 18 months, inclusive of any prior academic training as an exchange visitor (post-doctoral students may apply for up to 36 months of academic training). Exchange and visiting students engaging in short-term programs of study in the "Student Non-Degree" category will only be allowed to engage in Academic Training for a period of time less than or equal to the amount of time spent in their program of study at Stevens. Students who are sponsored by institutions other than Stevens should check with that sponsor for information on academic training.
Academic training may either be authorized for part-time work (20 hours a week or less) or full-time work (more than 20 hours per week). Students who wish to work full time (more than 20 hours per week) during the school year must have the approval of their academic advisor in order to do so. They also must continue to make normal academic progress, and cannot drop below full-time student status in order to work full-time. Students should be advised that part-time academic training is deducted from the total academic training at a full-time rate (e.g., any part time employment, even if just a few hours, is counted as full time for the purpose of academic training).
Students must apply for work authorization prior to engaging in academic training by submitting an application to the ISSS office. You must apply for academic training before the end date on your DS-2019, and the employment must commence within 30 days of the program end date. Academic training requires written approval from the sponsoring
institution before starting any kind of employment. Working without the proper authorization is a violation of your immigration status. Processing time for Academic Training applications is approximately five business days, so any applications must be submitted to ISSS at least one week prior to a DS-2019's end date.
Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that it is approved by the academic advisor and the ISSS office. The typical degree-seeking student may be eligible to engage in a total of 18 months of academic training, with the following exceptions: doctoral students may be eligible for a total of 36 months, and non-degree seeking students may only engage in academic training for a maximum period equivalent to their time spent in a full-time course of study.
Complete and submit the following to the ISSS office:
1. J-1 Academic Training Application Form
2. A copy of the job offer letter from the prospective employer. A copy of this letter should also be submitted to your academic advisor to assist them in making a determination as to the appropriateness of the position.
The letter should mention the job title and include a brief description of the "goals and objectives" of the employment. It must also mention the dates and locations of the employment, the number of hours per week, salary, and the name and address of your "training supervisor" All offer letters must be on company letterhead, signed by a supervisor/HR, and include the date letter was written, your name, start date of employment, and end date of employment (if applicable).
3. Letter of recommendation from your academic advisor. The academic advisor’s letter must include a description of the "training program"—including its location, the name and address of the supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of training. The letter must
explain how the training relates to the student’s major field of study and why the academic training is an integral or critical part of your academic program.
4. For post-completion academic training, you must submit an application for candidacy to the Registrar’s office and ISSS will need to be able to verify your anticipated graduation.
5. Proof of continued health insurance during the training period for you and any J-2 dependents.
6. If employment to be done on post-completion academic training is unpaid, you must provide proof of continued financial support to cover the training period.