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Academic Training FAQ

What is the cost?

There is no fee to apply for academic training.

When can I begin academic training?

You can begin academic training within the time frame you have been authorized by the RO as indicated on the DS-2019 and letter from the RO.

Can I travel home (or outside of the United States) before or during academic training?

Yes, but if your visa expires while you are outside of the United States or you have exhausted the number of entries permitted on your visa, you will have to apply for a renewal of the J-1 visa. It is not advisable for students to leave the United States if their visa needs to be renewed.

Students traveling to Canada, Mexico, or contiguous islands may depart the United States on an expired visa as long as they are not outside of the United States for more than 30 days and they have a valid DS-2019.

Your DS-2019 must be extended before leaving the United States. If you leave the United States with an expired DS-2019, you will not be permitted to re-enter in the J-1 visa category and therefore will not be eligible for academic training.

My DS-2019 expires at the end of the semester. What can I do about this?

Once the RO has approved your application for academic training, you will receive the following:

  • An extended DS-2019 that will note the new start and end dates and the purpose of the extension as academic training.
  • A letter of authorization from the RO.
Can I continue with my health insurance?

Throughout the duration of academic training, you are considered a J-1 student. As a J-1 exchange student, you are required by regulations governing this visa to have health insurance for the number of months you will remain in the United States as a J-1 student.

If you studied at the University for the fall semester only, your insurance expires on December 31 at midnight. If you studied at the University for the year or spring semester only, your insurance expires on June 30 at midnight.

Students who complete their studies are no longer eligible for the group insurance plan. Our broker recommends Wallach & Co. or Liaison International for individual coverage.

Can I change employers?

Only if you have notified the RO and the RO has approved a new period of academic training. Authorization for academic training is employer-specific. If you begin working for an employer who is not listed on the authorization letter from the RO, you are in violation of your status.

What if I depart the United States early and do not complete my academic training?

You must notify the RO at the University prior to departure. The RO will notify the State Department of early departure, but this will not impact your future applications for a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa. It is simply a notification procedure.

Consequences of Illegal Employment

All visa holders in the United States must abide by the specific regulations governing their visa type.

If a J visa holder works illegally, that individual is considered "out of status" and is ineligible for any privileges afforded to this visa type. Working illegally may also cause an individual to be deported and may cause fines to the employer.