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Academic Training

J-1 students may engage in academic training related to their major during or after their undergraduate studies. Two types of training are offered and must be approved and authorized by International Student Services.

Pre-completion Academic Training
What is it?
When do I apply?
How do I apply?
How is it approved?
When can I start?
How long is it?

Academic Training allows a J-1 student to engage in employment training or practical training, with or without pay, that is directly related to that student’s field of study. Pre-completion academic training is training done prior to your program end date, or graduation. The Department of State does not differentiate between post-completion and pre-completion academic training. Any internship or training experience, with or without pay, credited or uncredited, is classified as academic training for all J-1 students.

For pre-completion AT, we recommend that you apply at least 30 days prior to the start date of your internship. This will allow adequate time for us to review, make a decision, and process your DS-2019, which is required prior to starting training. The DS-2019 will serve as proof of your authorization.

  1. Coordinate with your academic advisor to map out how and if you would be able to fit an internship within the time you have left prior to graduation.  
  2. Then, you can work directly with your internship coordinator and Career Services to find an experience or opportunity that relates directly to your major. You may also find an opportunity on your own, but you will still work with Career Services to initiate application in Handshake. 
  3. Complete the pre-completion academic training experience request in Handshake. Your application will contain the following items: offer letter, the memorandum of understanding, and learning objectives.  

NOTE: This application will go through a series of approvals, of which ISS is the last.  

The Handshake experience request will go through a series of approvals, of which ISS is the last. You will need approval from your academic advisor, internship coordinator, Office of the Registrar, etc.

You will be able to view in your Handshake experience request whether or not your pre-completion AT has been approved. Upon approval, you will be notified by our office to pick up your DS-2019. The DS-2019 will show your academic training site of activity. This is the document that authorizes you to engage in an internship, whether on or off campus.

Once you have approval from the ISS office and the updated hard copy of your DS-2019, you may start your pre-completion academic training. Note that if you are doing it prior to graduation, the last day of your internship MUST end prior to the program end date on your DS-2019.

You are authorized to engage in academic training for the time period specified on your DS-2019. For pre-completion academic training, this period of time is typically no longer than six months. Note that any time you engage in AT prior to graduation will count towards the total 18 months you are allowed to engage in AT. This means if you complete 6 months of AT prior to your graduation, you will only be allowed 12 months after graduation to engage in any kind of post-completion AT.

Post-completion Academic Training
What is it?
When do I apply?
What is the process of the application?
When can I start?
How long is it?
Academic Training Concerns

Academic Training allows a J-1 student to engage in employment training or practical training, with or without pay, that is directly related to that student’s field of study. Post-completion academic training is training done after your program end date or graduation. The Department of State does not differentiate between post-completion and pre-completion academic training. Any internship or training experience, with or without pay, credited or uncredited, is classified as academic training for all J-1 students.

You may apply as early as the semester start date of your graduating semester. Please make sure your application has been submitted on or before the scheduled deadline. This will allow adequate time for us to review, make a decision, and process your DS-2019, which is required prior to starting training. The DS-2019 will serve as proof of your authorization.

Fall 2022 Deadline: November 16, 2022

Step 1: STUDENT - SECURE AN AT OFFER

Find an AT experience that is related to your major, that will begin within 30-days of the completion of your program. Use the Employer Verification template with your employer that provides training details and confirms agreement by the employer that bona fide academic training will be provided.

Step 2: INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR AND DEAN – ACADEMIC RECOMMENDATION

Schedule time to meet with your internship coordinator to discuss your AT placement and academic recommendation. Be prepared to discuss your goals and objectives directly supported by the AT placement you’ve secured. Once the Academic Recommendation is completed and submitted, it will be sent to the dean of your academic department for final approval.

Please note that the internship coordinator and dean may deny recommendation if they not see a direct correlation to your major or validation of placement being integral and critical to your program.

Academic Recommendation Form

Step 3: STUDENT - SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE AT APPLICATION

Complete the online AT application and provide all the required documentation that should be uploaded as well:

  1. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the company you will be working under. The MOU is an agreement between BYUH and the organization you will be working under.  
  2. Bank statement
  3. Housing plans after graduation
  4. Proof of health insurance and;
  5. Employer verification letter

Submit your application to the ISS office for initial screening.

Academic Training Application

Step 4: ISS – FINAL APPROVAL AND SEVIS AUTHORIZATION

When ISS receives approval from your academic dean, ISS will process your AT in SEVIS and authorize your AT for the appropriate time and update site of activity. If your AT application is denied, your ISS advisor will work with you to start travel arrangements to return home.

Step 5: STUDENT - PICK UP YOUR NEW DS-2019

Once your AT is approved and authorized in SEVIS, ISS will notify you to pick up your updated DS-2019 and authorization letter. If you leave before your AT is approved, you must notify your ISS advisor and request that your document be mailed to you.

Reminder: You may not start AT without authorization from ISS. 

All academic training can begin after you have been approved by the ISS office. The University posts grades one week after graduation. Academic training is a benefit for those who graduated. Once ISS is informed that the student has successfully completed their program/graduated with a bachelor's degree, the applicant will be approved to begin their academic training. Once you have approval from the ISS office and received the updated hard copy of your DS-2019, you may start your post-completion academic training. Note that you must begin your academic training within the 30 days following graduation.

You are authorized to engage in academic training for the time period specified on your DS-2019 in box five. You allowed 18 months total to engage in Academic Training, assuming you did not engage in pre-completion academic training. If you did engage in pre-completion AT, that time will be deducted from your total time of AT allowed. If you would like to extend your academic training authorization up to the 18 months allowed, please contact our office.

According to the 22 CFR 62.23 (f):

  1. No teaching or co-teaching of K-12 (kindergarten to year 12) students.
    • Per the Department of State’s Guidance Directive 2012-06, the regulations do not permit exchange visitors sponsored under the professor, research scholar, short term scholar, or college and university student categories to teach at primary and secondary school in public or private schools.
    • Instead, teaching in K-12 schools is restricted to the teacher category, which we do not sponsor
  2. No patient contact
    • Per Department of State’s Guidance Directive 2012-05 and 22 CFR 62.23(i)(8)(i), college and university students are not to engage in activities involving patient contact for AT placements. 
    • Guidance Directive 2012-05 provides clarification on appropriate and inappropriate placements under the social services and social sciences occupational categories. This guidance specifically addresses placements in facilities and residences that could potentially place exchange participants in unsafe environments and include internship or training activities that are clinical or may require participants to have patient contact or perform unskilled labor.
    • Prohibited Activities per Guidance Directive 2012-05
      • Any activity conducting physical and therapeutic intervention, restraining, monitoring clients, and assisting them with meals, housekeeping, and hygiene; or activities in which the intern or trainee may find themselves in situations where the delivery of clinical and/or therapeutic services or performing unskilled labor (as defined in Appendix E of 22 CFR Part 62).
      • Prohibited activities are inconsistent with the objective and intent of the Exchange Visitor Program and sponsors must cease placing interns and trainees in such positions. 
  3. No AT placements in student employment positions.
    • 22 CFR 62.23(f)(5)(i)(D)
      • Academic trainees and student employees at the same site of activity must be engaged in different types of activity with primarily substantive roles directly related to the major field of study.
      • Avoid placement in positions or duties performed by student employees.
  4. No AT placements in positions that lack academic rigor or are there to fill the labor needs of an organization
    • 22 CFR 62.23(f)(3)(ii) and 22 CFR 62.23 (f)(5)(i)(D)
      • AT placements must be professional training with academic rigor that is tied directly to the student’s major and related to program objectives
      • AT placements are not to fill labor needs, specifically unskilled positions, of an organization
      • AT is not to be used for the primary purpose of employment; it is academic training with program objectives
    • Guidance Directive 2018-01
      • Unskilled placements in AT are not permitted. Training is to be in primarily substantive roles
  5. No remote work allowed for academic training
    • While remote AT placements were allowed during the pandemic over the past two years, the U.S. Department of State clarified in April 2022 that “a fully or predominantly virtual exchange program is not permitted”; thus, remote academic training is not allowed. AT must primarily be in person and not remote. 
    • Limited hybrid option
      • Limited hybrid option of one to two telework days is allowed through June 30, 2023
      • Primary residence must be near the site of activity, confirming ability to engage in in-person AT
  6. No unskilled labor positions
    • Unskilled work is work which needs little or no judgment to do simple duties that can be learned on the job in a short period of time. A person does not gain work skills by doing unskilled jobs. Here is the list of unskilled labor positions:
      • Assemblers
      • Attendants, Parking Lot
      • Attendants (Service Workers such as Personal Services Attendants, Amusement and Recreation Service Attendants)
      • Automobile Service Station Attendants
      • Bartenders
      • Bookkeepers
      • Caretakers
      • Cashiers
      • Char workers and Cleaners
      • Chauffeurs and Taxicab Drivers
      • Cleaners, Hotel and Motel
      • Clerks, General
      • Clerks, Hotel
      • Clerks and Checkers, Grocery Stores
      • Clerk Typist
      • Cooks, Short Order
      • Counter and Fountain Workers
      • Dining Room Attendants
      • Electric Truck Operators
      • Elevator Operators
      • Floor workers
      • Groundskeepers
      • Guards
      • Helpers, any industry
      • Hotel Cleaners
      • Household Domestic Service Workers
      • Housekeepers
      • Janitors
      • Key Punch Operators
      • Kitchen Workers
      • Laborers, Common
      • Laborers, Farm
      • Laborers, Mine
      • Loopers and Toppers
      • Material Handlers
      • Nurses' Aides and Orderlies
      • Packers, Markers, Bottlers and Related
      • Porters
      • Receptionists
      • Sailors and Deck Hands
      • Sales Clerks, General
      • Sewing Machine Operators and Handstitchers
      • Stock Room and Warehouse Workers
      • Streetcar and Bus Conductors
      • Telephone Operators
      • Truck Drivers and Tractor Drivers
      • Typist, Lesser Skilled
      • Ushers, Recreation and Amusement