Academic Training

Academic training is an opportunity for J-1 exchange students to participate in temporary professional training activities (paid or unpaid) related to their academic program. It may be engaged in either during or after completion of the period of study.

PLEASE NOTE: Beginning February 1, 2022, ISS will implement an Academic Training fee of $170. On February 1, 2022 you will need to pay the fee in the ISS Store and upload your receipt in your iHawk application for AT.


  1. You must be primarily in the U.S. to study rather than engage in Academic Training.
  2. The academic training must be directly related to your major field of study as listed on your DS-2019.
  3. You must be in good academic standing (at least 2.00 cumulative KU GPA for undergraduate and 3.00 for graduate).
  4. You must receive written approval for the Academic Training in advance from an international student advisor.
Time Limitation

You can be authorized to participate in academic training for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that :

  1. Undergraduate or pre-doctoral training does not exceed 18 months (inclusive of any prior academic training in the U. S.).
  2. Post-doctoral training does not exceed 36 months (inclusive of any prior academic training in the United States).

Note: You cannot receive academic training for a period longer than you have spent pursuing a full course of study in the U.S. Non degree seeking students also cannot stay in the U.S. more than a total of 24 months (including all study and academic training).

When to Apply?

You may request academic training authorization at any time during the academic program or within thirty days after the completion of studies as indicated by your academic advisor on the “Academic Training Recommendation” form. The employment must be authorized no later than 30 days after the date studies are completed; however, the employment does not need to begin within 30 days of finishing school. For example, you may complete a degree on May 31, but not have a job starting until August 1. The authorization needs to be obtained by June 30. 

Also note, the clock starts ticking towards the maximum time limitation (of 18 or 36 months) either on the day employment begins or on the 30th day after completion of studies (whether employment begins then or not), whichever occurs first. In the example above, if you have 18 months of Academic Training, the 18-months clock starts running on June 30, not August 1 when the job starts. The authorization will then end 18 months after June 30 even though you haven’t worked the full 18 months.

How to Apply?

Consult your J-1 program sponsor (indicated in #2 of your DS-2019). Your sponsor must authorize the academic training.

The following procedure is for students sponsored by The University of Kansas:

Login to iHawk and complete the "Academic Training" e-forms under "J-1 Student Services."

ALL 5 e-forms are required.

You should submit Parts 1-4 in the given order.  You can submit 1-4 at the same time; however, your advisor in Part 2 will need to review what your employer submits in Part 1 so your advisor will not get an email until Part 1 is totally complete.  Once Parts 1-4 are totally complete (including employer and advisor review), you will be able to submit Part 5.

>Part 1 - Employer Information

You are expected to meet with your employer contact in advance of submitting Part 1.

You will provide

  • Your phone number
  • Your non-KU email
  • Your current major at KU
  • Dates of any previously authorized Academic Training
  • Name of contact person at employer (usually your immediate supervisor)
  • Email address for employer contact

The employer contact you list will instantaneously receive an email and will need to provide:

  • Name of academic training supervisor
  • Name of employer
  • Address of employer
  • Number of hours per week
  • Dates of academic training
  • Broad goal of academic training and relationship to your major
  • At least 2 specific, measurable objectives for you to achieve during your academic training


>Part 2 -Academic Advisor Recommendation

You are expected to meet with your academic advisor in advance of submitting Part 2.

You will provide:

  • Your academic advisor’s name*
  • Your academic advisor’s KU email

Your advisor will instantaneously receive an email and will need to:

  • Verify term expected to complete degree
  • Review the information submitted by the employer
  • Recommend the academic training*

*U.S. law requires that either your academic advisor or dean make the recommendation for academic training.

>Part 3 - Health, Safety, Welfare Hotline

This e-form provides you with contact information should you feel your health, safety or welfare is in jeopardy while you are on academic training.

>Part 4 - Health Insurance

U.S. regulations require you to carry health insurance throughout your J-1 program, including any academic training for yourself and all of your J-2 dependents.  Through a series of questions you will inform ISS which insurance plan(s) you will carry so that there is no gap in coverage and you meet the minimum insurance requirements defined by the U.S. government.

>Part 5 - Funding

Post completion Academic Training will require proof of finances for the period of academic training.

Upload proof of finances, which may be:

  • academic training salary
  • personal or family savings
  • a combination of salary and savings

At a minimum you must show you have at least 125% of poverty guidelines.  ISS provides instructions on calculating 125% of poverty guidelines.

When can I come to ISS to process the academic training?

AFTER all 5 forms are submitted you will receive an E-mail from ISS that instructs you to call the ISS office to schedule an hour-long appointment and meet with an immigration advisor to process the academic training.

You can also monitor the status of your request in iHawk. When all 5 e-forms are showing "Pending Review" status, you should call the ISS office to schedule an appointment.

Guidelines for Post-Completion J-1 Academic Training


  • Continue to carry the required level of health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents. Minimum requirements:
    • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
    • Repatriation at least $7,500
    • Medical evacuation at least $10,000
    • Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • The completion date on your DS-2019 is adjusted to match the employment end date provided by your employer. If you have not received your entire period of Academic Training eligibility and wish to take advantage of any remaining balance, you must resubmit all the Academic Training e-forms and get an extension prior to your current completion date. You will be in violation of your status if you fail to do so.


  • DO NOT continue working in an on-campus student position once you have completed your academic program.
  • DO NOT work before receiving your new DS-2019 with Academic Training authorization, before the authorization start date, or after the authorization expires.
  • DO NOT promise an employer you can start on a specific date or sign an employment contract with a specific start date unless you already have your new DS-2019 with Academic Training authorization.
  • Keep the original DS-2019 with the Academic Training authorization. Your employer should make a copy if they need one.
  • If you wish to change employers you must first receive Academic Training authorization for the new employer from your J-1 program sponsor. This process will involve obtaining a new recommendation from your academic advisor or dean. Do NOT begin working for a different employer before you receive the new authorization. Working without proper authorization is a violation of your J-1 status.


  • Report any change in address, phone, email, or name within 10 days of the change through iHawk.
  • At the end of your Academic Training and/or every 12 months, submit an evaluation of your Academic Training through iHawk. You will reflect on the goals and objectives your employer set at the beginning of the training.
  • If you are ending your Academic Training early and leaving the country more than 30 days prior to the expiration date on your DS-2019, submit the Leaving KU form in iHawk.


  • Have your DS-2019 signed by an ISS advisor (or program sponsor if not you are not sponsored by KU) if you plan to travel out of the U.S. during Academic Training.
  • If you are leaving the country and you do not have a valid J-1 visa, you will need to apply for a new one while abroad if you plan to return while still on Academic Training. It may be more difficult to obtain a J-1 student visa while on Academic Training since your degree is already completed and you are only returning to work. In addition, all new visas require a security check that could take months. Carefully consider these risks before traveling out of the country.
  • To reenter the U.S. while on Academic Training you will need to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of reentry, a valid J-1 visa, and a valid DS-2019 showing your Academic Training authorization with a current program sponsor travel signature. The basis for re-entry to the U.S. while on Academic Training is for the purpose of resuming employment, so you should also carry a letter from your employer or a copy of your job contract to verify employment.


  • You are allowed 30 days following the expiration of the Academic Training to remain in the U.S. for the purpose of preparing to leave the country. Depending upon the conditions of your particular program and whether or not you are subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement, you might also be able to apply for a change of status or to enter a new academic program during this period, but you may not continue to work. An ISS advisor can provide you with guidance on your possible options.

Immigration Advising Hours

Virtual Drop-In Advising

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:30pm to 4:00pm. These virtual drop-in sessions are only for questions that will take 15 minutes or less.

>>Virtual Drop-in Request

Walk-In (In-person) Advising

Tuesday, Thursday 1:30pm to 4:00pm.

Schedule an Appointment

Call 785-864-3617 to set up an appointment for all processes (except a reduced course load with approval on an electronic I-20).


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