Working (J-1 Students)

On-Campus Employment

Information about off-campus employment here

International students who are in valid J-1 student status sponsored by UCSB and pursuing a full course of study can work on campus up to 50% time (20 hours/week or less) during the academic terms and full-time during the academic break periods (including summer break). On-campus employment at UCSB includes teaching or research assistantship, working at the UCen or Library, etc. Generally speaking, on-campus employment means that you will be receiving a paycheck from UCSB.

SEVIS regulations regarding on-campus employment for J-1 students require your J-1 sponsor (UCSB) to authorize all on-campus employment in writing before your employment start date. You must have written authorization from OISS to work on campus.

Before you begin any on-campus employment, you must complete Request for J-1 On-Campus Work Authorization form (with signatures from your employer and graduate student advisor) and submit the completed form to OISS.There are two versions of this form: one for students attending UCSB through EAP and one for all other J-1 students. Please be sure to select the correct form below.


  • The written authorization is only valid for a maximum of twelve months, or until the expiration date of your DS-2019 form, or the ending date of your employment, whichever is sooner.
  • You will need to obtain a new authorization for each year of on campus employment or if you change jobs.
  • When you complete your study program you are no longer eligible to be employed on-campus without special authorization (for example, academic training).
  • If your DS-2019 was issued by a program other than UCSB (such as Fulbright or IIE, Agency for International Development), you must contact your program sponsor for on-campus employment authorization.

Academic Training

Academic Training is a type of work authorization for employment in a student's field of study listed on the DS-2019.

A J-1 student’s program sponsor (the institution that issues the DS-2019) is responsible for granting the authorization with the required recommendation from the student's academic department (if you are an EAP student, this must come from your EAP advisor).

Students sponsored by UC Santa Barbara must request Academic Training authorization from OISS.


Degree-Seeking & Education Abroad Program (EAP) Students

  • must have completed at least one quarter in J-1 status.
  • can be used before or after completion of program.
    • Before completion of degree/program, AT can be part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) while school is in session. Full time (more than 20 hours) is allowed during annual vacations such as winter, spring, and summer vacation.
    • After completion of program, AT must exceed 20 hours per week.
  • must have a job offer in hand BEFORE the completion of study (for post-completion Academic Training).
  • can be used for paid or unpaid internships or jobs. If AT is unpaid, the student must submit proof of financial support for at least $2,400 /month for living expenses for the time following the end of their program.
  • allows for more than one job at a time, as long as all are related to the student's field of study and separate AT request forms are submitted and OISS has issued authorization for each. If changing employers while on AT, there cannot be a gap in employment dates.
  • must begin within thirty (30) days of the program completion date (for post-completion Academic Training). However, time authorized for Academic Training will begin counting the day after program completion.

Duration of Academic Training

Degree-Seeking Students

  • Available for a total of eighteen (18) months or for a period equal to the length of the study program, whichever is shorter.
  • Can be extended only for postdoctoral researchers up to a maximum total of thirty-six (36) months total. Students may apply for the extension at any time before the expiration of their eighteen (18)-month academic training.

Education Abroad Program (EAP) Non-Degree Students

  • Based on the number of quarters a student is enrolled at UCSB
    • One quarter = 3 months total (including pre- and post-completion AT)
    • Two quarters = 6 months total (including pre and post-completion AT)
    • Three quarters = 9 months total (including pre- and post-completion AT)
  • NOTE: Time used between the end of the program and post-completion start date counts towards the total authorization time.

Application Deadline

Submit the completed Academic Training application to OISS at least two (2) weeks before you want to start the training (for pre-completion AT) AND two (2) weeks before completion of the academic program & before the DS-2019 expires (for post-completion AT). The completion date may or may not be the same as the end date on your DS-2019. "Completion" is defined as:

  • Undergraduates - the last day of final exams of the quarter you are graduating
  • Graduates - the day degree requirements are fulfilled such as passing final exams or filing a dissertation with Graduate Division
  • EAP Reciprocity - the last day of final exams of your last quarter in the program.

Instructions for Requesting Academic Training

  1. Obtain Health Insurance that meets U.S. State Department Requirements (including ALL J-2 dependents) for the duration of the J-1 program, including Academic Training. Failure to maintain sufficient health insurance will result in termination of the J-1/J-2 record.
  2. Review the Academic Training Information Sheet:
  3. Obtain a job offer –which contains all of the information listed on page 2 of the information sheet.
  4. Complete the Academic Training Request Form:
  5. Obtain a recommendation letter from either:
    • Major Academic/Faculty Advisor (Non-EAP Students) OR
    • EAP Advisor (EAP Students)

    NOTE: please be sure to bring the job offer and completed Academic Training Request form when meeting with your advisor.

  6. Submit completed Academic Training application with any required supplemental documents as listed on page 2 of the information sheet to OISS.
  7. Meet with an advisor at OISS to review the authorization and reporting requirements. The new DS-2019 showing Academic Training authorization will be provided at that appointment.

A copy of the DS-2019 with the AT annotation should be given to the employer and can also be used to apply for a Social Security Number. For more information, visit the Social Security Number page on our website.

Following the end of an Academic Training, students must submit the Academic Training Final Evaluation & Completion Form to OISS within 30 days.

Note: While on Academic Training, students are still considered to be in J-1 student status sponsored by UCSB. Students are required to maintain adequate health insurance while on academic training and to update any change in their living address in the UCSB GOLD system.

Off-Campus Employment

The US Department of State advises that university policies governing J-1 off campus employment take precedence over federal regulations regarding J-1 student off-campus employment. UCSB Graduate Division policy states:

All appointments or combined appointments are limited to 50% time (an average of 20 hours a week) during the academic terms. The 50% time restriction will apply without exception for international students, dependent upon their visa type or country of origin (consult the Office of International Students and Scholars for further information). All continuing students may work 100% time during the summer, provided they were registered and paid fees for the immediately preceding spring quarter.

In an exceptional circumstance of urgent financial necessity which has arisen since acquiring J-1 student status, authorization can be given for off-campus employment.  A student cannot begin work without authorization from OISS.  To receive authorization you must provide the following:

  1. Documentation of a serious, urgent and unforeseen economic situation (such documentation can be in the form of bank records, an official notice of loss of departmental funding, or unpaid medical bills, etc.).
  2. A letter from your academic advisor in your department stating that you have discussed your intention to work off campus due to a financial emergency. 
  3. The letter must clearly state that your advisor believes that such employment would not interfere with your academic objectives.

In order to obtain employment authorization, you must make an appointment at OISS to see an international student advisor and bring to that meeting the documentation of your financial emergency. OISS can then issue your written authorization for off-campus work permission up to the end of the period indicated on your current DS-2019 form (item #3) or to the end of your study program.

If your J-1 sponsor is not UCSB, you must request employment authorization from the program sponsor indicated in item #2 of your DS-2019 form – i.e., International Institute of Education, US Agency for international Development, etc.  You will still be limited to the 20 hour per week rule while school is in session.  Additional information for UCSB sponsored J-1 students is available at OISS.