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.
Length of Academic Training
Amount of Academic Training
Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree-Seeking Student
Eligible for up to 18 months of AT
Total training period (including both pre-completion and post-completion) must not exceed 18 months.
Eligible for up to 36 months of AT
Eligible for 18 months initially, granted additional 18 months upon completion of degree requirements. 36 months cannot be issued all at once.
Total training period is equal to duration of program:
1 quarter = 3 months of AT
2 quarters = 6 months of AT
3 quarters = 9 months of AT
Total training period includes both pre-completion and post-completion AT
NOTE: For Post-Completion Academic Training, the time between the end of the program and Academic Training start date counts towards the total amount of Academic Training authorization time.
Types of Academic Training
- Pre-Completion Academic Training:
Hours per week: Work cannot exceed 20 hours per week. Employment during academic program.
- Post-Completion Academic Training:
Hours per week: Work must exceed 20 hours per week. Employment that begins within 30 days of the program end date/final class.
You must receive authorization from OISS before you begin working. Standard processing time is 10 business days. For pre-completion AT, submit application at least two weeks before your employment start date. For post-completion AT, submit 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 sheet.
- Obtain a job offer. Be sure the letter includes all the information listed below.
- Complete the Academic Training request form.
- 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. Please bring the completed Academic Training Request Form and Job Offer when meeting with your advisor.
- Submit complete application to OISS (see complete list of materials on page 2 of this sheet). 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 Academic Training Evaluation form to OISS advisor 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 Garnett Powers & Associates 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 Garnett Powers & Associates
- 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. Academic Training Final Evaluation form 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.
- Complete the checklist. If your insurance meets the requirements, you will be directed to “Create Waiver Login Account”
- Create your Waiver Login Account and follow instructions for submitting your insurance policy for review
- You will receive a “Waiver Application” email with a confirmation of satisfactory coverage (Waiver Confirmation) – submit this document in your AT Application
You will notice terminology like, “visiting scholar,” and “waive the UC Santa Barbara Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan.” This waiver process is primarily used for visiting scholars. However, your use of this service as a student applying for post-completion AT is permitted.
Failure to maintain the minimum required amount of health insurance coverage will result in the termination of your SEVIS record. If your record is terminated, you and your J-2 dependents must return to your home country immediately. Terminated SEVIS records are ineligible for reinstatement, extension of stay, change of category, or any other Exchange Visitor benefits.