J-1 students are permitted to work in the US only if they are maintaining valid J-1 status and have the written permission of their J-1 sponsor. There are two different types of employment for J-1 students: J-1 student employment and Academic Training. For information about each type of employment, and the procedures for obtaining authorization, see the sections below.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a J-1 student and your J-1 sponsor is an external organization instead of Tufts University (e.g., IIE, AMIDEAST, LASPAU), your sponsor must directly authorize you for employment and assist you with obtaining documents needed for Social Security applications. Please contact your sponsor for their directions / instructions.
Student employment is permitted only while you are pursuing your J-1 program objective. There are three types of student employment:
J-1 student employment is available only if you are maintaining valid J-1 status and working toward your J-1 program objective. It is not available once you complete your J-1 program objective or otherwise stop your J-1 program. In all cases, employment must be authorized in writing by a J-1 advisor at the International Center office serving your campus.
Important: These instructions apply only to J-1 students sponsored by Tufts. Students who are sponsored by other organizations must obtain student employment authorization from their J-1 sponsors.
If you have a student employment such as an assistantship, fellowship, or on-campus job, you must first report your J-1 On-Campus Employment using this link to your International Center Portal and accessing the Report On-Campus Employment request in the Request Center.
Once your on-campus employment is reported through the Portal, a J-1 advisor will review your request. After the advisor approves the request, the advisor will update your J-1 SEVIS record and provide a written letter authorizing you to accept student employment.
If you are experiencing severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances, you must meet with an International Center advisor to discuss your specific situation. Severe economic hardship may be the result of unforeseen events such as unexpected medical expenses, financial hardship experienced by your J-1 funding sponsor, economic crises in your home country, or similar situations. This type of employment authorization, if approved, allows you to work off-campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session (or over 20 hours per week during summer vacations), in any job that will help you with your financial needs. Authorizations are granted up to one year or until the end of your J-1 program, whichever comes first.
J-1 Academic Training is training that is related to your major field of study as indicated on your Form DS-2019. Academic Training may take place either during studies (pre-completion Academic Training) or immediately after completion of studies (post-completion Academic Training). The primary purpose of Academic Training should not be financial in nature, but to gain practical opportunities that complement your J-1 program and studies in a particular field or major. Training experiences can take the form of paid employment, internships, or practicum experiences.
J-1 Academic Training is paid or unpaid training that is related to your J-1 program of study. Academic Training may take place either during or immediately after your J-1 program of study.
J-1 students are allowed up to 18 months of Academic Training, although the length of the training cannot exceed the amount of time spent engaged in full-time classroom study. For example, if your program of study was nine months, you cannot be authorized for more than nine months of Academic Training.
Students participating in a J-1 exchange program between Tufts and another non-US institution must have the approval of both their home institution and their Tufts sponsor in line with the procedures discussed below.
In all cases, Academic Training must be authorized in writing by a J-1 advisor at the International Center office serving your campus.
Important: These instructions apply only to J-1 students sponsored by Tufts. Students who are sponsored by other organizations must obtain Academic Training authorization from their J-1 sponsors.
You must apply for Academic Training before you start your employment.
Step 1: Obtain a training offer letter on letterhead stationery from your Academic Training employer that contains the following:
Important: for post-completion Academic Training, your training must start no later than 30 days following the end of your J-1 studies.
Step 2: Your Tufts academic advisor must review the offer and determine that it provides training that is related to your J-1 program field of study. If your advisor approves that the training is appropriate proceed to request authorization for Academic Training on the International Center Portal.
Students in exchange programs should discuss the request with their home institution as well as their Tufts sponsor. Approval of both parties is required.
Step 3: Start the online Academic Training Request in the Request Center.
You will need to upload the following documents:
As a part of the online application you will need to provide the email of your advisor who will need to certify your completion date and recommend your academic training request. Your advisor will need to provide the information below:
Step 4: Once your documents are received by the International Center, an advisor will review your request. If your request is approved, the advisor will issue a new Form DS-2019 and written Academic Training authorization letter allowing you to engage in Academic Training. If you are applying for post-completion Academic Training, your DS-2019 will also extend your J-1 student status.
If you travel outside of the US during your post-completion Academic Training period, you may need to apply for a new J-1 visa before returning to the US to continue your training experience.