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J-1 Employment

J-1 Exchange Visitor Employment
General Info

Unauthorized employment is a violation of program status. An exchange visitor's participation is subject to termination when he or she engages in unauthorized employment.

A J-1 degree-seeking student may engage in part-time employment other than academic training when the employment meets certain criteria, and the student meets certain conditions. All kinds of J-1 college or university student employment require the responsible officer to approve the specific employment in writing, and the student's SEVIS record to be updated to reflect the employment authorization before the student begins working.

  • A J-1 student may engage in on-campus employment if the:

    1. Student is in good academic standing,
    2. Student continues to engage in a full course of study, except for official school breaks and the student's annual vacation;
    3. Employment totals no more than 20 hours per week, except during official school breaks and the student's annual vacation;
    4. Occurs on the premises of the post-secondary accredited academic institution the visitor is authorized to attend; and
    5. The ISSS Office has approved the specific employment in advance and in writing. The student must request a J-1 On-premises Employment Letter from ISSS and bring it to the BYU Student Employment office. Such approval may be valid up to 12 months but is automatically withdrawn if the student's program is transferred or terminated.
  • A J-1 exchange visitor in these EV categories may be employed only by the exchange visitor program sponsor or appropriate designee and within the guidelines of the program approved by the Department of States as set forth in the Certificate of Eligibility (Form DS-2019) issued by the program sponsor.

    An exchange visitor may receive compensation from the sponsor or the sponsor's appropriate designee for employment when such activities are part of the exchange visitor's program. All employment authorization at BYU for these EV categories must be coordinated through the department dean/head and the BYU Human Resources Office.

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The ISSS Office must review every request for off-campus employment and make a written determination whether such activity is warranted, will not interrupt the exchange visitor's original objective, and satisfies all federal regulations, before issuing approval.
ALL OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT MUST BE AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE. Employment without prior authorization is a violation of status.


    • Federal regulations allow students in J-1 status to engage in employment off-campus before or after completion of studies.
    • Academic Training must be directly related to the J-1 student's major field of study. The student must also be in good academic standing and receive written approval in advance from the Responsible Officer for the duration and type of Academic Training. Health insurance coverage is required throughout the training.
    • Students must obtain Academic Training authorization in advance, for each and every off-campus internship/training experience, whether paid or unpaid.
    • Note: Academic Training can last no more than the time spent in the program of study .
    To apply for academic training:

    BEFORE BEGINNING EMPLOYMENT: The student must provide a letter from an employer offering proposed training to his/her academic dean or advisor. The academic dean/advisor will then write a letter to ISSS setting forth the following:

    • The goals and objectives of the specific training program,
    • A description of the training program including its location, the organization's name and address,
    • Name, phone number, and address of the training supervisor
    • Number of hours per week and start/end dates of the training,
    • How the training relates to the student’s major field of study,
    • Why it is an integral or critical part of the student’s academic program, and
    • For Post Completion Academic training, include salary

    The student will then submit an Academic Training e-form request at

    The Responsible Officer will review the request and the letter and grant permission for academic training if the criteria and time limitations are satisfied. A new DS-2019 will be issued to the student.


    J-1 Students are authorized to participate in academic training for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided the training:

    1. Is approved by the academic dean or advisor and then by the Responsible Officer;
    2. Does not exceed 18 months (for undergraduate and pre-doctoral training), inclusive of any prior academic training in the United States, or the period of full course of study in the United States, whichever is less. Students in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic year, who are enrolled in a program listed on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List may qualify for an additional 18 months of academic training; and
    3. Does not exceed a total of 36 months (for postdoctoral training), inclusive of any prior academic training, or the period of the full course of study, whichever is less (a new Form DS-2019 shall be issued for each 18 month period).

    Part-time employment for Academic Training counts against the 18 or 36 months limit the same as full-time employment.

    As long as the student stays within the stipulated time limits, academic training permits part-time training while school is in session or full-time training during vacation periods and after completion of course work (while the student is completing a thesis or dissertation).

  • Professors, Research Scholars, and Short-term Scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations off-campus, if authorized to do so by his or her sponsor. Such lectures and consultations must be incidental to the exchange visitor's primary program activities.

    Student Interns and Specialists generally cannot work off-campus unless the activity is considered a part of their EV program at BYU.

    To engage in off campus employment, each Professor/Scholar must:

    • Ensure the activity proposed is considered directly related to their EV Program,
    • Have approval from their BYU Department Head and supervisor over the proposed lecture/consultation,
    • Ensure the activity is brief, and
    • Obtain written permission from the BYU ISSS office.