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j-1 Employment

Students in J-1 status may accept employment under certain circumstances. In all cases, your J-1 program sponsor must authorize your employment. If you are uncertain about your J-1 program sponsor, refer to Item 2 on your DS-2019; your J-1 program sponsor is listed there. This page is provided for informational purposes and is intended for students sponsored by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. If you have questions or would like to determine your eligibility for J-1 employment, please contact us. If you are sponsored by an outside agency, please consult with your program sponsor officer regarding employment eligibility.

Student employment occurring on premises

J-1 students sponsored by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign must obtain a letter of authorization from the ISSS office for each specific on-campus job, prior to beginning work. Students must request their J-1 work authorization letter through iSTART.

Students with outside J sponsorship must contact their program sponsor to obtain this letter.

As a student in J-1 status, you may work at the university up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, and full-time (over 20 hours per week) during official school vacation periods. All qualifying on-campus work must occur within a university-owned building. You must complete a Form I-9 via the Tracker Electronic I-9 system (access provided by hiring unit) prior to working on-campus. Please note that your on-campus employment must stop once you complete your studies.

Off-campus Employment

Financial Hardship

On occasion, students in J-1 status experience a sudden and unexpected change in their financial situation. An ISSS advisor may authorize J-1 off-campus employment to help alleviate the situation. If you believe that you qualify for off-campus work permission, make an appointment with an ISSS advisor. Be prepared to discuss the exact nature of your problem with the advisor. You may be asked to provide documentation of your situation so that the advisor can determine if off-campus work permission is warranted. If permission is granted, you may still only work 20 hours per week during the academic year, and full-time during school vacations. Your total employment from all sources cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year.

Academic training

Academic training authorization permits you to take a job that is directly related to your field of studies and commensurate with your educational level. You may work with academic training either prior to or after completion of studies. Please note that if you are planning on working in academic training after the completion of your studies that you should have applied prior to the end of your last registered semester. Please make an appointment with an ISSS advisor for further information on academic training guidelines, time limits, and application procedures, or visit the J-1 Academic Training page.