J-1 Academic Training (AT)

Academic Training is a benefit of J-1 student status that allows you to work off-campus—either paid or unpaid—for the purpose of applying knowledge and skills learned during your program of study.

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Beginning 9AM Friday, March 10 through 11 AM Monday, March 13, you will not to be able to submit or upload any ISSO applications (including this one) as we conduct our Compass database migration. Do not worry, you will be able to submit applications again starting 12:00 PM Monday, March 13. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

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J-1 Academic Training (AT) Overview

You must meet certain requirements

To be eligible, you must:

Academic Training Length

You may apply for Academic Training during and/or after the completion of your degree program. 

There is an application deadline

You may work only for a certain number of hours

*Only full-time if you are in a Doctoral program and have finished all your requirements except for your dissertation

**All AT that takes place before graduation will be deducted from the time allowed after you finish.

Any time that is authorized during your program will be deducted from the time allowed after you finish.

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How to Apply

Steps to apply for J-1 Academic Training
Step 1.

Upload your supporting documents to us.

Use our upload form to upload the documents below as a single PDF file for processing:

Step 2.

Pay (For Post-Completion AT only)

Pay the $210 Administrative Fee (Post-Completion AT only). You remain in J-1 status under Columbia’s sponsorship with an active SEVIS record during post-completion AT. Doctoral students will pay a second fee if granted the 18-month extension.

Step 3.

Pick-up your DS-2019 and AT authorization letter

Allow up to 10 business days for us to review and process your application. We will notify you by email when it is ready. If you will need to apply for a Social Security number, ask us for the letter you will need for the application.

Step 4.

Apply for a Social Security Number (if you need one)


Step 5.

Start your employment on your AT start date

Be prepared to show your employer:

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What to Do Once You Have AT

During the academic year (Pre-completion AT)

You must:

After graduation (Post-completion AT)

You continue to be in J-1 status, and therefore must:

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Traveling on AT

Have the following documents with you if you travel abroad during your period of authorized AT:

  • Valid passport unexpired for at least 6 months past the date of re-entry to the U.S.
  • Unexpired DS-2019 with unexpired travel signature (valid 12 months)
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • Letter from employer

Visit our Travel page for more information.