Academic Training (AT) is a type of work authorization for J-1 students and it is issued by the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS). The purpose of Academic Training is to provide J-1 exchange students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in their field of study, as well as continue their cultural exchange.
General Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for Academic Training, students must have been enrolled full-time at UCSB for at least one quarter, have a valid passport, DS-2019, and I-94. If you have received a recommendation for a waiver of the two year home residence requirement, you are NOT eligible for an extension of your DS-2019 to participate in post-completion Academic Training.
Job / Internship Requirements
An academic training program should consist of bona fide training activities that are connected to a substantial academic framework and are designed to expose participants to the operations of their field. For degree-seeking students, the job or internship must be directly related to their degree at UCSB. For non-degree-seeking students (EAP), the job or internship may be related to any academic field of study and does not need to be related to the student's degree at their home university. This is because EAP students do not have a major at UCSB and the subject/field code on all EAP DS-2019s is Liberal/General Studies. Again, all AT jobs must be connected to a substantial academic framework.
*Unpaid internships/positions are considered employment and therefore require employment authorization. The only instance when working is not considered employment is humanitarian volunteering (e.g. cleaning up a road after a natural disaster). If you have any questions about whether a job requires employment authorization, please consult an advisor before engaging in the job/internship.
Program End Date
It is important to note that DS-2019 end dates are updated when students complete their degrees. Meaning the end date is shortened to the last day of the last quarter in which a student is enrolled full-time. For example, if a student's original DS-2019 end date is 9/30/23, but the student completes their degree in Spring quarter, then their DS-2019 will be shortened to the last day of Spring quarter (6/16/23).
DS-2019s cannot be extended after the program end date has already passed. Post-completion Academic Training or a Program Extension request must be submitted and approved before the program end date.
Guidance from the Department of State
Beginning July 1, 2023, J-1 students doing AT may participate remotely no more than 40% of the week (e.g., two out of five days per week).
What does this mean for J-1 students pursuing Academic Training?
J-1 students pursuing Academic Training may work remotely for a maximum of two days per week at their job/internship. Be sure to communicate this guidance to your employer and ask your OISS advisor if you have any questions.
Types of Academic Training
1. Pre-Completion Academic Training:
Employment occurs before the academic program is complete.
Hours per week: Academic Training work cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters (UCDC participation is the only exception). However, students may work 20 hours of pre-completion Academic Training and 20 hours of on campus work per week. Please remember that studying should be students' primary focus and they need to maintain an adequate GPA.
2. Post-Completion Academic Training:
Employment must begin within 30 days of the program end date/final class.
Hours per week: Work must exceed 20 hours per week.
You must receive authorization from OISS before you begin working. Standard processing time is 10 business days. For pre-completion AT, submit your application at least two weeks before your employment start date. For post-completion AT, submit your application at least two weeks before the program end date that is listed in Section 3 of the DS-2019. Once the program end date has passed, OISS can no longer extend your DS-2019 or issue an Academic Training authorization.
To Apply, Follow These Steps
- Review this information page in detail.
- Obtain a job offer. Be sure the letter includes all the information listed on this page.
- Meet with your academic advisor to discuss plans. For EAP students, academic advisor is your EAP advisor; for degree-seeking students, academic advisor is your major advisor.
- Complete the Academic Training request on UCSBGlobal. Allow 10 business days for processing.
- OISS will issue a new DS-2019 with Academic Training authorization, as well as an authorization letter. You will receive an email notification when the documents are ready to be collected.
- Submit your Academic Training Evaluation to OISS within 30 days of completion of Academic Training experience.
- Academic Training Request Form
All sections should be completed and signed
- Job offer letter
The letter must include the following:
- Company letterhead
- Company’s name and address
- Job title/position
- Description of the training program, including responsibilities, goals, and objectives
- Number of hours that will be worked per week
- Salary or specification that it is unpaid
- Specific start and end dates of the academic training
- Supervisor’s name, title, email address, and phone number
- Academic Advisor recommendation letter
The letter must include:
- Official letterhead
- Date letter was issued
- Specific end date of the student’s academic program
- Specific dates of the Academic Training and company’s name
- Explain how the training is an integral part of the student’s educational objectives and their cultural exchange
- Approval or recommendation of the proposed Academic Training with company
- Name and signature of advisor
- Proof of Health Insurance (Post-Completion AT only)
Submit one of the following (see Health Insurance Section for more information):
- Copy of Gallagher health insurance policy including coverage details and start and end date
- Copy of other health insurance policy including coverage details and start and end date with waiver provided by Gallagher
- Note: students must have health insurance coverage at all times. For example, if UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) coverage ends at the end of the last quarter of enrollment, the student's new non-UC SHIP coverage needs to begin the very next day
- Proof of Financial Support (Post-Completion AT only, if applicable)
Total funds must exceed $2800 USD per month. If pursuing unpaid employment, or the salary does not exceed $2800 USD per month, students must provide supplemental financial documentation. This could be in the form of a current bank statement or bank letter, no older than 3 months.
Application Materials At a Glance
Academic Training Approval
DO NOT begin employment until receiving the DS-2019 with Academic Training authorization and authorization letter written by OISS. These documents are proof of legal work authorization in the U.S. and will need to be shown to the employer.
While on AT, participants need to report any change in employment to OISS immediately. Change in name or address also need to be updated in GOLD within 10 days of the change. The Academic Training Final Evaluation form (found in UCSBGlobal) must be completed and submitted to OISS within 30 days of the end of AT authorization.
For post-completion AT, once the DS-2019 expires, students have a 30 day grace period to depart the US.