J-1 Student Work Authorization

J-1 student work regulations are different from F-1 regulations.  Unlike F-1 students, all forms of employment for a J-1 student must first be authorized by the Responsible Officer or the Alternate Responsible Officer at the Center for International Education (CIE) before the employment begins.  Employment authorization is immediately terminated if students transfer to another university or are terminated from SEVIS.  Unauthorized employment in the U.S. can subject a student to deportation, or a loss of any future immigration benefits in the U.S.

On-Campus Work

J-1 students may request the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer (RO/ARO) for permission to work on campus. J-1 students may be authorized to work for up to 20 hours per week while the fall and spring semesters are in session and full time during summer and holiday breaks.  The on-campus employment authorization may be granted for up to 12 months to students who are in good immigration status and have good academic standing.  Students must continue to register for a full load of courses during the period of employment.  For more information, see “On-Campus Work.”

Students with employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship at ACU also need to request on-campus work permission prior to the beginning of their employment.  The total number of hours students are employed at the university cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the regular semesters but may be full-time during summer and holiday breaks.

Off-Campus Work

J-1 students may work off-campus only with special permission.  This permission may be granted in the following situations:

  • Off-Campus Work authorization that is necessary due to serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status can be applied for by J-1 students who are in good academic standing and maintaining good immigration status.  To qualify, you must demonstrate that the circumstances arose unexpectedly after you received your J status and that your financial situation is serious and urgent.  If received, this permission for off-campus work is granted for up to one year.  For more information or to apply, make an appointment with the RO/ARO in the CIE.
  • Academic Training is temporary employment authorization for paid or unpaid training that is related to the J-1 student’s field of study.  J-1 students must have an offer of employment or training and provide the required documentation to the RO/ARO at the CIE.  Academic Training is available for J-1 students prior to the completion of studies or beginning within 30 days of the completion of studies and can last for a total of 18 months in duration. Please meet with the RO/ARO in the CIE for more information.  Click here for more information.

Remember:  Any off-campus work without USCIS permission puts you out of J-1 status, and immediately places you at risk for deportation.

Disclaimer:  The CIE makes every attempt to provide accurate immigration advice for J-1 students. The information on our website is general and should not be taken as legal advice. Please contact an immigration attorney if legal advice is needed. It is your responsibility to understand and follow the rules given by DHS and the University.




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