Employment as J-1 Student


On-campus employment is defined as employment for which UNL provides a paycheck. Positions include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, some fellowships, and hourly employment.

To obtain authorization for on-campus hourly employment, J-1 students need to obtain a J-1 Student Employment Information Form from the ISSO, have the on-campus employer complete the form, and submit it to the ISSO for approval during the semester of employment.

Students employed as teaching or research assistants (TAs or RAs), with the assistantship listed on their DS-2019, do not need further authorization to perform those duties. However, students who secure a TA or RA position that is not listed on their DS-2019 will need to fill out a J-1 Student Employment Form.

J-1 students are eligible to work on campus no more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring academic semesters. During semester breaks, official school vacations, and summer vacation, J-1 students are eligible to work full-time on campus. Please note that on-campus employment is not permitted after completion of a degree program unless the student has been issued a Form DS-2019 to begin a new program and intends to enroll for the following semester, or, unless the student has obtained Academic Training authorization to be employed on-campus.


Off-campus employment (other than Academic Training—see below) is generally not allowed. Exceptions must be approved by USCIS. Contact an ISS Specialist if you believe you may qualify.

Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) in a J-1 student's field of study is available during and after completion of studies. Every month in J-1 student status makes a J-1 student eligible for a month of AT (up to a maximum of 18 months). J-1 students who obtain a Ph.D. are eligible for an additional 18 months.

You must apply for AT before you have completed your degree program, and begin work no later than 30 days after completing your degree program.

If you are an exchange student, ask an ISS Specialist to confirm that your home (degree-granting) university does not object to your academic training request.

To apply for AT, submit the J-1 Academic Training request form. You'll also need a letter from your prospective employer indicating:

  • Title of your position
  • Employment dates and location of employment
  • Annual salary
  • Hours per week (more than 20 hours per week is full-time)
  • A brief description of the goals and objectives of the practical training program
  • Name and address of supervisor