J-1 Academic Training

Academic Training is a benefit of J-1 student status that allows you to work - either paid or unpaid - for the purpose of applying knowledge and skills learned during your program of study.


You may use Academic Training during your program of study (Pre-Completion AT) or immediately following the completion of your degree program (Post-Completion AT). To be eligible, you must:

  • Have an unexpired DS-2019 issued by the University of Kansas. If you are under the sponsorship of any other J-1 exchange visitor program (i.e., IIE, AMIDEAST, etc.) you need to contact your sponsoring agency.
  • Be in good academic standing at the University of Kansas.
  • Have completed one semester.
  • Have an offer of employment that is directly related to your major field of study, and confirmed by your academic advisor.
  • Employment is expected to be in-person to promote cultural exchange during this academic training. As of July 1, 2023, the J-1 Exchange Program has capped remote work to 40% (i.e. two days out of 5 days per week).

Academic Training cannot exceed the period of time you spend in your academic program in J-1 student status. Your J-1 status begins on your arrival date or program start date, whichever one is later.

DegreeWork LengthNotes
Bachelors18 months or the length of your programWhichever is shorter
Masters18 months or the length of your programWhichever is shorter. For example if you are in a nine-month degree program, such as the LL.M., your AT is limited to nine months
Doctoral18 months with the possibility to extend up to 36 months. You will need to submit a new application in iHawk for the extension.


You may apply for AT during and/or after the completion of your degree program.

You should apply at least two weeks before the employment start date if you are applying before completing your degree program.

Once you have completed your degree program (post-completion AT) you must apply before the end date on your DS-2019 form (whichever is earlier). If applying for post-completion AT, you will need to pay a $170 fee for J-1 AT processing (details below).

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.

Academic Training employment may be part time or full time. Academic training will be deducted at a full-time rate, regardless of the number of hours worked, from the total amount of time you are eligible for academic training.

Effective July 1, 2023

J-1 students on Academic Training may participate remotely no more than 40% of their program (e.g., two out of five days per week) when their host organizations have instituted partial remote policies and their sponsor has approved their hybrid program participation.

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 to be complete before meeting with an ISS advisor.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Post completion Academic Training will require proof of finances for the period of academic training, and an upload of your receipt for the J-1 AT fee payment:

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.


Go to the ISS webstore to pay the ISS J-1 AT fee.

  • Pay the non-refundable $170 "ISS J-1 Academic Training Fee"

    • Check email for receipt as proof of payment to upload in iHawk

After all 5 e-forms are submitted in iHawk, schedule an APPOINTMENT with an ISS immigration advisor to review and process your request.  Learn how to schedule an appointment on our website

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

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 $100,000 per accident or illness
    • Repatriation at least $25,000
    • Medical evacuation at least $50,000
    • Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
    • An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.
  • 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.
  • Every 12 months and at the end of your Academic Training, 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.

Traveling while on AT

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.