Academic Training

J-1 Academic Training for Students Holding J-1 Visa Status, International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO), Brandeis University

Video: J-1 Academic Training for Students Holding J-1 Visa Status

Please note the following updates to our Academic Training processes: (1) upon request by your employer, Brandeis will authorize AT for tenure track appointments, and (2) if you work without authorization, we would recommend travel to regain status rather than applying for reinstatement. Please contact the ISSO if you have any questions.

To complete the Academic Training Application, please click on the ISSO Portal button in the sidebar. 

You are eligible for Academic Training (AT) provided that:

  1. Your primary purpose in the U.S. is to study and not to work.
  2. You are in good academic standing and have maintained your full-time registration each semester. (Academic standing is determined upon completion of one semester of full-time study.)
  3. The proposed employment is directly related to your major field of study.
  4. Your J-1 Responsible Officer has approved the AT in advance and in writing for the duration and type of AT with a specific employer.

Applying for AT

You may apply for AT before or after completion of your program of study. Pre-completion AT authorization would allow you to work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods (summer, winter break, etc.). To be eligible for AT after graduation, you must provide your J-1 Responsible Officer with a written offer of appropriate employment (related to your field of study and a paid position) no later than 30 days after you complete your program. Post-completion AT authorized work should begin within 30 days of program completions. If you have plans to leave the US after program completion and re-enter the country to participate in your J-1 AT, you must first obtain employment authorization before you depart otherwise you may have trouble re-entering the country.

AT is date specific and employer specific. You must have a job offer in order to apply for AT. If you decide to extend your employment, you must receive new authorization for AT from the ISSO before the current authorization has expired. If you decide to change employers, you must also obtain a new authorization. Both situations would require that you follow the same process as your initial authorization. If you fail to obtain proper authorization, you will violate your student status.


The maximum period of AT that can be granted is 18 months in total. However, if the total duration of your studies in the U.S. is less than 18 months, AT will only be granted for a period of up to the equivalent of the duration of your program (e.g. 9 months of study will only allow 9 months of AT). Doctoral students may be eligible for 36 months of AT with the successful completion of the PhD. Exchange students may be eligible for the amount of AT based on the number of months that they were enrolled as a full time student at Brandeis. For example, a fall-semester exchange is eligible for 3.5 months of AT.

In counting months of authorization, part-time AT counts the same as full-time.

You may not begin your AT until the ISSO has given you written authorization. Working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your J-1 status and would result in the loss of benefits normally granted to J-1 students.

After the end date of your AT and DS-2019, you will have 30 days to do one of the following: depart the U.S., transfer to another J-1 sponsor to begin a new program, begin a new program of study at Brandeis University, or seek a change to another non-immigrant or immigrant status. There are many factors that impact a J visa holder when completing the exchange; most notably if there is the two year home residency requirement and the J change of category regulations. We strongly recommend that you meet with an ISSO staff member to review your particular situation.

Any J-1 student interested in pursuing AT is encouraged to contact the ISSO and schedule an appointment with their ISSO advisor to discuss AT rules and application procedures.

Note: The ISSO and Brandeis University is only able to authorize AT for those under our J-1 sponsorship. If your J-1 Program Sponsor (institution/organization listed in Item #2 of the DS-2019) is not Brandeis University, you must contact your Program Sponsor to confirm if you will be eligible for AT and to coordinate the process for obtaining the authorization from them.

Reporting Requirements

Any change of employer while on J-1 AT (sponsored by Brandeis University) must be approved in advance by the ISSO, including any change to the current employer, position, salary, location, job description, etc. All changes must first be approved by the ISSO prior to the change occurring. Learn more about reporting changes.