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Can I study while I have J-1 visa?

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  • Can I study while I have J-1 visa?

    I am currently having training in Hotel with J-1 visa. As I have spare time, I would like to study in University for my last 2 year undergraduate study. School replied me that I may not able to study while I have J-1 visa with training purpose.

    I would like to ask can I study for seeking a degree while I am having a intern with J-1 visa.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Can I study while I have J-1 visa?

    Academic Practical Training
    Source: Appalachian State University

    J-1 visa holding students may be eligible to participate in an
    academic practical training (paid or unpaid), related to their field
    of study. This option is available after program completion, but
    application must be processed prior to the completion of the program
    of study.

    Eligibility and regulations differ from degree and non-degree J-1
    student, so please see the International Student Advisor for further
    information. The International Student Advisor must approve and
    document all internships and practicum for all J1 visa students at
    least 1 month prior to participation.


    Academic Training for Student in J-1 Status
    Source: Bentley College

    "Academic Training" is flexible in its format and offers a variety of employment situations to supplement your academic program in the United States. It is available before completion of your program of study as well as afterwards. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, it lets you work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods.

    Your J-1 Responsible Officer

    To qualify for "Academic Training," you must first obtain approval in writing from your

    J-1 Responsible Officer, who represents your J-1 sponsor and issues your Forms IAP-66 or DS-2019. He or she must evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program of study and your individual circumstances, and then decide whether it would be appropriate or not.
    If Bentley College is your sponsor, then your J-1 Responsible Officer is an International Student Advisor in the Office of International Services. If your sponsor is an agency (such as LASPAU or the Fulbright Commission), then you must obtain employment authorization from that agency.


    1. Your primary purpose in the United States must be study rather than to work.
    2. You must be in good academic standing at Bentley College.
    3. The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
    4. Throughout your "Academic Training," you must maintain permission to stay in the United States, in J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary.
    5. You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your "Academic Training."


    1. Your employment may be authorized for "the length of time necessary
    to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that the amount of time is approved by [both] the academic dean or advisor
    and the responsible officer," to quote the regulations. It may not
    exceed "the period of full course of study" or 18 months--whichever is
    2. Part-time employment for "Academic Training" counts against the 18month limit the same as full-time employment.
    3. Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for "Academic Training."

    After Completion of Your Program of Study

    1. "Academic Training" approved after completion of your program must be reduced by any prior periods of "Academic Training."
    2. "Academic Training" following completion of your program of study must involve paid employment.
    3. Whether the other items in the application are ready yet or not, you must obtain a written offer of appropriate employment and present
    a copy to your J-1
    4. Responsible Officer no later than 30 days after the end of your program, or you will lose eligibility for "Academic Training" after completion
    If you plan to leave the United States after you complete your program of study and reenter the USA for J-1 "Academic Training," you must obtain employment authorization before you leave. Otherwise you will have trouble reentering the United States.

    The Application Process

    1. Obtain a letter of offer from your prospective employer that includes your job title, a brief description of the "goals and objectives" for your "training program" [your employment], the dates and location of the employment, the number of hours per week, and the name and address of your "training supervisor." [The quotations come from the regulations]. Make sure that your employer's letter includes all of these details.
    2. Give a copy of your employer's letter to your academic advisor or dean for use in writing to your J-1 Responsible Officer recommending the "Academic Training." According to the text of the regulation, your advisor's letter must set forth:
    A. The goals and objectives of the specific training program;
    B. A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training;
    C. How the training relates to the student's major field of study; and
    D. Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the exchange visitor student.

    Your advisor must also approve your "Academic Training" for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training. (See the form included in this chapter. Photocopy it and give it to your advisor.)

    3. When your academic advisor's recommendation is ready, you should deliver or send it to your J-1 Responsible Officer, with a copy of the employer's letter attached.
    4. Your J-1 Responsible Officer must evaluate the "Academic Training" program and decide whether it is warranted and appropriate. If so, he or she will write you a letter of approval.

    A Note of Caution

    As a J-1 student you are eligible for a variety of work opportunities in the United States, but employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Remember that before you start any kind of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Responsible Officer, whose written approval is necessary in advance.


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