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J-1 Academic Training

J-1 students are permitted to accept employment directly related to their field of study through Academic Training (AT). Academic Training may not exceed a cumulative total of 18 months (in some cases 36 months) or the period of full course of study in the United States, whichever is less. Your J-1 program sponsor approves AT. The following information is intended for students who are on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's J-1 exchange program.

You may apply for academic training in the following cases:

  • During summer vacation, if you intend to register the following Fall semester.
  • While school is in session provided you maintain full-time enrollment in classes.
  • After completion of course work, but prior to deposit of thesis or dissertation.
  • After completion of course of study (application should be submitted prior to the end of last registered semester).

Please login to iSTART to access the Academic Training e-form. You will also need to upload the following documents to the e-form:

1. A letter of recommendation from your academic advisor or exchange program coordinator at the university.  The letter must be on department letterhead and contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • Date of program completion or graduation
  • Degree level
  • Field of study
  • The goals and objectives of the specific training program
  • Location of the training (must be the exact address)
  • Name and address of the training supervisor
  • Number of hours per week
  • Dates of the training
  • Explanation of how the training relates to your field of study.
  • Explanation of why the training is an integral or critical part of your academic program.

The ISSS advisor will evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of the proposed Academic Training program in achieving the goals and objectives. If Academic Training is approved, the ISSS advisor will issue you a SEVIS-compliant DS-2019 and a letter permitting you to undertake Academic Training.

2. Proof of funding, if you are applying for Academic Training to begin after the end of your program. For more information about how much is needed, please contact us.

Special note regarding health insurance for academic training after completion of studies:
The United States Department of State requires that all J-1 students and their J-2 dependents have adequate health insurance while in the United States.  Minimum insurance coverage must provide: 1) medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness; 2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500; 3) expenses associated with medical evacuation to your home country in the amount of $10,000; and 4) a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.  If your employer does not provide adequate health insurance coverage, you must purchase it for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the entire period of your academic training.  If you are currently insured under the university's Student Insurance Plan, you may extend it for one semester.  Please visit the Student Health Insurance website for more details and deadlines. Failure to maintain adequate health insurance may result in termination of your J-1 program.