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International Student Services

J-1 Employment

On Campus

Employment is defined as providing any type of work or services on either a part-time or full-time basis in exchange for money, tuition, books, supplies, housing, food, or any other benefit.

As a J-1 student, you may be employed only after you have received the appropriate written authorization. Failure to observe this requirement will place you out of status. Also, employers may be cited, fined, and/or imprisoned for hiring persons ineligible for employment or maintaining employees who are no longer authorized to be employed.

Length of Employment: Permission to be employed typically expires upon

  • completion of program of studies or ending of the period of lawful stay, whichever is earlier or
  • expiration of employment authorizations as noted by USCIS or International Services.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Fellowships

  • If your program is sponsored by an organization other than BYUH, you will need to obtain written permission for employment from that organization in order for International Services to authorize your employment.
  • If you already have an assistantship considered to be equivalent to 20 hours a week, you are not eligible for additional on-campus employment.

On-campus employment is permitted, provided you

  • are in good academic standing
  • continue to engage in a full course of study--not required to be enrolled during annual leave
  • work no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session
  • have approval from International Services before you begin

Please consult with International Student Services regarding questions about employment.

Off Campus

You may request authorization to work off campus in certain limited circumstances that are detailed below.

Academic Training Guidelines for J-1 Students March 2019

Academic training is authorized employment for eligible J-1 exchange visitors that is directly related to the major field of study (noted on the DS-2019) and exposes students to operations in their field and should not be driven by labor needs of the employer.

  1. Authorized paid or unpaid employment approved by the program lead in the major field of study and an Advisor in International Student Services,
  2. May be completed as part of a degree (pre-completion) or begin no more than 30 days after graduation (post-completion),
  3. Post-completion academic training must be at least part-time. Students may have more than one employer and must meet all applicable employment laws.
  4. BYU-Hawaii approves post-completion academic training for up to 12 months (exceptions are rare).
  5. Proof of health insurance for the period of academic training must be provided to International Student Services.
  6. The J-1 student is expected to return home after completing academic training within the 30 day grace period.



  1. The student is primarily in the United States to study and not for employment.
  2. The student is in good standing and has no holds (financial, Honor Code)
  3. Approval by an Advisor is given before the starting date for the duration and type of training shown on the DS-2019.
  4. Pre-completion academic training is similar in purpose to curricular practical training for F-1 students and requires approval in Handshake. Academic credit is earned toward a degree.


The student is responsible to meet the requirements for pre-completion and/or post-completion academic training including: maintaining active status, health insurance, informing the International Student Services Office of changes in address and/or employment. BYU-Hawaii may terminate academic training at any time during the approved period if program requirements are not met.

Application Process

  • Student meets with department internship coordinator to discuss either pre-completion academic internship before graduation or post-completion employment after graduation.
  • Meet with an ISS advisor to discuss the requirements and process.
  • Obtain a written employment offer with the following information:
    • Name and address of employer
    • Name and contact information of the supervisor
    • Title of position and description of duties and responsibilities
    • Start and end dates
    • Part-time or full-time and compensation (if any)
  • Post-completion employment letters must be approved by the Vice President for Academics to confirm the employment is directly related to the major area of study
  • If the post-completion employment is in a non-student position at BYU-Hawaii approval by the Vice President for Academics is required
  • If academic training is unpaid, the student must show proof of funds to ISS how he/she will meet personal costs and support for dependents,
  • Pre-completion academic training is processed as an academic internship in Handshake
    • ISS Advisor verifies the department internship course is listed in Mapper and approves internship
    • ISS Advisor approves academic training in SEVIS and issues an updated DS-2019 to the student
  • Student presents new DS-2019 to employer as authorization to work after the start date

After Academic Training

  • Student and supervisor complete the evaluation of training and submit to ISS within 10 days
  • Student should return home within the 30 days grace period

Health Insurance

The J Exchange Visitor programs requires individuals on academic training to have health insurance during the period of employment in the U.S.


  • If you need to travel outside the U.S. during Academic Training, be sure to travel with a valid passport and visa, the updated DS-2019 (with travel signature) and employment offer letter
  • There is no guarantee that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will permit you to re-enter the U.S if you travel during Academic Training.

Application Procedure

To allow sufficient planning and approval time, we recommend that you consult with an advisor in this office at least six months prior the anticipated completion of your program of studies.

Step 1

Submit the following to International Services:

Signed letter from your academic dean or advisor setting forth the following:

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

Step 2

The Responsible Officer will then review the request and the letter:

  • If the criteria and time limitations set forth in 22CFR 1514.23(f)(3) and (4), summarized above, are satisfied, your request will be approved.
  • Return to International Services within three to five days for your authorization to participate in the academic training.

Severe Economic Hardship:
Authorization may be given when necessary because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring J-1 status; however, employment is limited to 20-hours while school is in session but may be more than 20 hours during school vacations. Apply at International Services.

Social Security Cards

A Social Security Number (SSN) is:

  • a unique 9-digit U.S. government- issued number used for taxpayer identification, income reporting and record-keeping purposes
  • required before you may begin employment
  • valid for a lifetime--keep your SS card in a safe place

Application Procedure

  1. Obtain a written offer of employment from your employer.
  2. Bring the written offer to International Services to request a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) certifying that you are
    1. are in good legal status,
    2. are eligible to work and
    3. have secured or have a promise of employment.
    4. more information about Social Secutiry number and card
  3. Complete a Social Security number application.
  4. Take your International Students Services certification offer letter, valid passport, visa, Form I-94, Form I-20 and completed application form to our local Social Security Administration (SSA) office located at:

US Social Security Administration
Rm 1-114 Federal Building
300 Alamoana Blvd
Honolulu, Hi 96850
Phone: 1-800-772-1213
MTTF: 8:00 am – 3:30
pm Wed: 8:00 am-11:30 am

US Social Security Administration
970 Manawai St.
Kapolei, Hi 96707
Phone: 1-800-772-1213
MTTHF: 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Wed: 8:30 am-11:30 am

You will be given a receipt that acts as a temporary card until your permanent card arrives.

Tax Information

As you may already know,

  • If you reside in the United States during 2016 for at least one day, you are required to submit tax Form 8843 by the June 15, 2017 deadline.
  • If you earned money in the United States during 2015, you are ALSO required to submit federal and likely state income tax forms by the April 15, 2017 deadline


If you worked in Utah, you are required to complete and submit state tax forms.

If you worked in another state, you may be subject to that state's income tax laws--not every state has income taxes.

You will have to contact the state to determine if you need to submit forms.

If you worked on campus:

  • BYUH files Form 8233 with the IRS and keeps a copy for audit purposes.
  • BYUH sends W-2 Forms to you if you are from a country not covered by a tax treaty.
  • If you are from Mexico, Japan, South Korea, or Canada, you have the option of claiming the tax treaty or filing an income tax return according to the information on your W-4.
  • You must renew Form 8233 at the Payroll Office every year during the month of December for the next calendar year.

We, at International Services are not tax experts and are not in a position to answer your tax questions. If you have additional questions regarding your tax obligations, we suggest that you utilize the following resources: