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Academic Training for J-1 Students

Academic Training is a period of authorized, off-campus employment done in the U.S. for a company with a U.S. location. Employment must be directly related to a student’s field of study and can be paid or unpaid. J-1 students may participate in Academic Training prior to graduation or after their completion of study for a total of 18 months or the period of their full course of study, whichever is shorter.

Students must apply for work authorization prior to engaging in Academic Training. If Stanford has issued your DS-2019,  submit an online application in Axess. Processing time is approximately 5–10 business days

If Stanford is not the J-1 sponsor, students must contact their sponsoring agency for more information.

Student Eligibility Conditions

  1. The training opportunity is directly related to the student’s major field of study.
  2. The student is in good academic standing.
  3. The student has a job offer. (Academic Training cannot be used for self-employment.)
  4. The student is in valid J-1 status.
  5. The student has health insurance coverage for themselves and any J-2 dependents.
  6. The student's SEVIS (U.S.) address in Axess is kept up-to-date.
  7. The employment takes place within the U.S. for a company with a U.S. location

The student also needs to report any personal information changes to the International Center within 10 days.

Academic Training Before Graduation

Students may work part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time on Academic Training. Full-time is only allowed during vacation periods or after graduation. Part-time Academic Training is deducted from the available Academic Training at a full-time rate (e.g., if you were to work half-time for two months before you graduate, you are left with 16 months of employment eligibility remaining after you graduate).

However, doctoral students who have completed their course requirements may be authorized for full-time Academic Training prior to graduation.

Academic Training After Graduation

Students must apply for their Academic Training before they graduate (the program end date on the DS-2019), or they lose their eligibility to work.  Students should apply for academic training as soon as they receive a job offer, ideally, no later than 2-4 weeks before their graduation date.  Since a job offer is required, students should start their job search early. The Academic Training period approved will be reduced by any prior periods of Academic Training.

If a student plans to leave the U.S. after they complete their program of study and re-enter the country for J-1 Academic Training, they must obtain employment authorization before they leave or risk having trouble re-entering.

Application and Authorization Procedures for Stanford-Sponsored J-1 Students

Academic Training is authorized by Bechtel International Center. To apply for Academic Training, please submit the online application in Axess.

Once your Academic Training application is approved by your advisor and Bechtel, the International Student Advisor will issue you (and your dependent/s) a new DS-2019.

You will be notified by email when your new DS-2019 is ready for pick-up.

If you have multiple employers, you must submit separate applications for Academic Training.

General Limitations

  • Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that is approved by both the academic dean or advisor and an International Student Advisor. The time period may not exceed the period of full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter.
  • Additional Academic Training, beyond the 18-month (or 36-month for PhD students only) limit, is allowed only if it is required for the degree.
  • Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for Academic Training.

PhD Students: Extended Period of Academic Training

PhD students are eligible for Academic Training that may last as long as 36 months. This extended period is seen as "postdoctoral training."

Students who qualify for the second 18 months of Academic Training (based on postdoctoral work) must apply for the second period separately from the first. Academic Training can only be authorized for a maximum of 18 months at a time.

Students may apply any time prior to the current Academic Training expiration date.

To approve this second period of Academic Training, we will issue a new form DS-2019.