Academic Training

All J-1 students must have OISS permission in advance, before working in any paid or unpaid positions, on-campus or off-campus.

Academic Training is a form of employment authorization for J-1 students who have employment opportunities located off-campus either while still a student at UCSB or after completing your studies at UCSB. Such training is allowed to help you gain work experience in areas directly related to your field of study.

Academic Training Eligibility

To be eligible for Academic Training, students must be in a valid J-1 student status and have a valid passport and DS-2019.  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 academic training. 

NOTE: J-1 students sponsored by another program (i.e Fulbright, CONACYT, etc.) should contact their program sponsors regarding academic training eligibility requirements.

Academic Training Requirements

In general, you are allowed to participate up to a maximum of 18 months of academic training before (pre-completion) and/or after (post-completion) program completion. However, the total training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in the full course of study. For example, if you are in a 6-month program, then you are eligible for only 6 months of academic training. If you are in a 24-month graduate program, then you are eligible for only 18 months of academic training. Post-doctoral students in J-1 status are allowed to apply for an additional 18 months of post-completion academic training (a total of 36 months).

In addition, students can pursue full-time or part-time employment, but it is counted on a full-time basis. For pre-completion Academic Training, students are required to enroll as full-time students at UCSB. Meanwhile, students on post-completion Academic Training are not required to enroll at UCSB.

Application Process and Timeline

Because it takes OISS up to 10 business days to process Academic Training requests, please turn in your request before beginning the internship/employment. Applications should be submitted to OISS at least 10 days before the program completion date:
  • Undergraduate Students/EAP Student: Last day of the quarter
  • Graduate Students: Filing date of thesis/dissertation with UCSB Graduate Division

STEP #1: Attend an Academic Training Information Session and review the Academic Training Information Sheet:
- Academic Training for Degree-Seeking Students
- Academic Training for EAP/Non-Degree Students

STEP #2: Meet with your college or department advisor regarding your plans. If you are an EAP reciprocity student, please meet with an EAP advisor.

STEP #3: Gather all documents for the Academic Training application package.

STEP #4: Submit Academic Training package to OISS for review. Allow 10 working days for processing. OISS will issue a new DS-2019 and Employment Authorization Letter.

Approval for Academic Training

DO NOT begin employment until you receive the updated DS-2019 and employer verification letter; once received, show your DS-2019 and Employment Authorization to your employer to verify your work authorization in the USA.

Travel Outside the USA and Reentry
Students on post-completion Academic Training are still in J-1 student status. To reenter the USA, you must have:

  • Current passport that is valid up to six months after reentry date
  • Current J-1 visa
  • Current DS-2019 with valid travel signature on page 1
  • Original employment authorization letter issued by OISS
  • Original job offer letter or verification of employment from employer

When you receive Academic Training, you are extending your J-1 student status in the USA. It does not include an extension of your J-1 visa. Students will need to apply for a J-1 visa renewal if they plan to travel outside of the USA and their current visa has expired. In addition, students with expired visas may find it extremely difficult to renew their J-1 visa for academic training purposes. Students on post-completion Academic Training are advised to plan carefully before leaving the USA.