J-1 Academic Training (AT) is paid employment and/or unpaid internships designed to complement a J-1 student's program of study. Prior to beginning any AT, you must obtain written approval from both your academic advisor and an Alternate Responsible Officer (international student advisor). If you will engage in AT following the completion of your studies (post-completion AT), you must receive authorization prior to the end of your program of study.
As a J-1 student, you may engage in AT provided that you:
• are primarily in the United States to study rather than work,
• will participate in training directly related to your major field of study,
• are in good academic standing,
• will maintain health insurance coverage while working, and
• receive written approval in advance for the duration and type of training from an Alternate Responsible Officer.
For most degree-seeking J-1 students, AT may not exceed 18 months (including any prior academic training in the United States). If your program of study is shorter than 18 months, the AT may not exceed your program length. For example, a student who completes an MS degree in 12 months would be eligible for no more than 12 months of AT.
Doctoral students may receive up to 36 months of AT (including any prior academic training in the United States) if they are engaged in postdoctoral research under the supervision of an academic or research institution (or the period of full course of study in the United States, whichever is less). Non-degree J students are limited to a 24-month stay, including study time and any time spent pursuing AT.
Obtain an offer letter from your employer that includes ALL of these details:
1. job title
2. a brief description of the goals and objectives of your employment
3. the dates and location of the employment
4. the number of hours per week
5. the name and address of the training supervisor
6. the expected salary for your position (see below for more information about financial requirements)
Give a copy of the offer letter to your academic advisor or dean.
Obtain a letter of recommendation from the academic dean or advisor that includes:
1. The goals and objectives of the specific academic training program
2. A description of the academic training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training
3. How the academic training relates to the student's major field of study
4. Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the student
If the AT will take place after the completion of your program of study and is unpaid, provide evidence of financial support sufficient to cover all living expenses.
Obtain evidence of continuing insurance coverage.
Obtain evidence of continuing financial support for yourself and all dependents if the position is unpaid or your salary is insufficient to cover all living expenses ($2000 for yourself, $700 for your spouse, $350 for each child per month of requested AT.)
Log into ISSS Link, submit an Academic Training Request e-form, and upload a copy of the academic dean’s or advisor’s letter, the proof of financial support (if applicable), and the evidence of continuing insurance coverage.
An Alternate Responsible Officer will:
• Determine if and to what extent the student has previously participated in academic training as a student, in order to ensure the student does not exceed the period permitted
• Review the letter of recommendation
• Make a written determination of whether the AT is warranted and the criteria and time limitations are satisfied
• Notify the student and the academic dean or advisor of the approval or denial of the AT request
The AT may not begin until the authorization letter is received. Please allow five business days for processing.
Note: Unlike OPT for F-1 students, all AT for J-1 students is deducted at the same rate, whether part-time or full-time.
Remember: All international students must comply with U.S. tax laws. The Internal Revenue Service has created a special resource for Foreign Students and Scholars.
During AT, you are required to pay federal, state and local taxes. You must file a tax return on or before April 15 each year. The return will determine if any of the withheld taxes can be refunded. Emory is pleased to offer access to the Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR) tax software to international alumni on OPT.
As a J-1, you are not required to pay Social Security or Medicare (FICA) taxes for the first five calendar years during which you are physically present in the United States. If these taxes are deducted from your paycheck, contact your employer’s human resources or payroll department.
After you have spent five calendar years in the United States in J-1 status, you become a resident for tax purposes and must pay FICA taxes. If you spend even one day in the United States in J-1 status during a particular year, you must count that year toward the five-year limit. Consult with a tax professional who specializes in international issues for more information.