Off-Campus Employment for J-visa students

Academic Training for J-1 students

What is Academic Training?

Academic Training is off-campus work authorization for J-1 students either during or after their program of study. Students may have multiple employers and the work can be paid or unpaid. Academic training is considered full-time work, even if it is on a part-time basis. 

Please note that the OIS cannot approve Academic Training for J-1 students not sponsored by EMU. If the DS-2019 was not issued by EMU, for example Fulbright students, students should consult with their sponsor for Academic Training approval.

How long is Academic Training?

The duration of Academic Training is equal to the length of study. For example, if a student completes their 4-month program of study at EMU, they are eligible for 4 months of Academic Training. Undergraduates and graduate students have an Academic Training maximum limit of 18 months. Non-degree students only have a total of 2 years, inclusive of their study at EMU and eligible Academic Training.


  • Student must be in good academic standing
  • Employment must be related to student's major of study
  • Employment must be approved before the student's program end date on the DS-2019
  • Employment must begin within 30 days after the student's program end date on the DS-2019

Application Process

The eligible student must submit the following to OIS at least one week prior to the DS-2019 end date:

  • A job offer on letterhead detailing their employment, including location, job responsibilities, hours and dates of employment
  • A support letter from the home university sponsor
  • A support letter on letterhead from the student's dean or academic advisor stating:
    • Goals and objectives of the training
    • Description of the training, such as location, name and address of company, hours per week, employment dates
    • How the training relates to the student's major field of study
    • Show how the training is an integral part of the student's academic program
  • Proof of Health Insurance (See below)

Do I need to have health insurance during Academic Training?

Yes, you need to have health insurance during Academic Training, as required by the U.S. Department of State. Proof of health insurance is required at the time of Academic Training application.

  • If your employer provides the required health insurance coverage, please submit a letter from your employer stating that their policy meets the U.S. Department of State guidelines as indicated at . The letter (on letterhead and signed) must state that it's policy has the following minimum benefits:
    • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
    • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
    • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
    • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • If your employer does not provide insurance or it does not meet the above requirements, you must purchase the EMU student health insurance policy:
    • Take your employment offer letter to the Snow Health Center Insurance Office. Or, you can email it to Pat Short, Insurance Specialist, at Your offer letter proves you are eligible for the EMU plan.
    • If you are paying by check or money order, the Snow Health Center can extend your insurance in person. If you are paying by credit card, please go to the United HealthCare website ( to extend it on your own.
    • Once you have purchased the extended plan, please submit a copy of your updated insurance card to the OIS. You can print this card through your online United HealthCare account.

    Should you not be able to extend your EMU plan for the entire duration of your Academic Training due to the timing of when the next year's plan is offered, you are required to submit a copy of your extended plan before the current one used for the Academic Training application expires.


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