J-1 and J-2 Information

J-1 and J-2 Information


J-1 Student status   J-1 Two Year Residence   J-1 Employment Options   J-2 Employment Options

J-1 Student status

The J visa is known as the Exchange Visitor’s Visa.  The form issued from Westminster is the DS-2019, the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.  The majority of the applicant’s support must come from a sponsor, not from personal resources.  After one semester of coursework, work on or off campus, is permitted with approval from the Director of International Students.  The spouse and dependent children of a J-1 student hold J-2 status and can usually obtain permission from INS to work in the U.S.  Health insurance is required of all J visa holders.

J-1 Two Year Residence

Some Exchange Visitors are subject to what is called the two-year home country physical presence requirement. This “two-year residence” requirement applies to you if you receive any funding (including nominal travel grants) from your home government or a U.S. Government agency.  It also applies to you if trained personnel in your field are identified by your home government as being in short supply and your field has consequently been included on the U.S. Government's “Exchange Visitor's Skills List.”  An exchange visitor who is subject to this requirement must reside for two years in his or her country of nationality or last legal permanent residence or have the requirement waived before being eligible for other U.S. Immigration statuses. If under a 2 year home requirement it will be stamped on your DS-2019 by an immigration official.  See the Department of State web site for information about applying for a waiver.  http://travel.state.gov/index.html

 

J-1 Employment Options

This provides you with an introduction to employment issues and options for international students in J-1 status.

Students may engage in two types of employment: (1) Academic Training related to the course of study, and (2) other employment related to on-campus work or economic necessity.

The following restrictions apply for employment for J-1 students:

  • The student is in good academic standing.
  • The student continues to engage in a full course of study.
  • The employment totals no more than 20 hours per week (hourly restriction does not apply to Post-Academic Training).
  • The Director of International Students has approved the specific employment.

Academic Training

J-1 academic training such as mentored ministry credits is authorized by your J-1 program sponsor and does not require further authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), or the Department of State.  In order to be eligible for Academic Training, the following criteria must be met:
• The student must be in good academic standing.
• The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study. 
• Throughout your Academic Training you must maintain permission to stay in the U. S., in the J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary. 
• The student must maintain health insurance coverage throughout your Academic Training.

The following steps must be followed when applying for Academic Training:
• Submit the Approval for Academic Training” form to your academic advisor for recommendation.*
• Locate a ministry situation that is willing to sponsor you for the Academic Training.
• Obtain a letter from your employer stating the terms of your training. (Sample letter)*
• Once the form and letter are complete, submit them to the International Student Coordinator for approval.
• Your SEVIS record will be updated indicating your Academic Training.

Post-Academic Training

J-1 Post Curricular Academic Training is authorized by your J-1 program sponsor and does not require further authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), or the Department of State.  In order to be eligible for Post Curricular Academic Training, the following criteria must be met:
• The student must be in good academic standing.
• The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
• Throughout your Academic Training you must maintain permission to stay in the U.S., in the J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary.
• The student must maintain health insurance coverage throughout your Academic Training.

The following steps must be followed when applying for Academic Training:
• Submit the Approval for Post Curricular Academic Training” form to your academic advisor for recommendation. *
• Locate a ministry situation that is willing to sponsor you for the Post Academic Training. 
• Obtain a letter from your employer stating the terms of your training.(Sample letter)*
• Once the form and letter are complete, submit them to the International Student Coordinator for approval.
• Your SEVIS record will be updated indicating your Post Academic Training.

J-2 Employment Options

J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for employment authorization so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. 

J-2 dependents can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States.  The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS. 

Application procedure:

Form I-765
- Form I-765 filing fee
- Two photos according to specifications on the EAD application
- Copy of the current DS-2019 of the J-2
- Copy of the current DS-2019 of the J-1
- Copies of Forms I-94 of both the J-1 and J-2
- Letter from the J-2 stating why the employment is desired and stating that the income from employment will not be used for the support of the J-1 student.

If permission for employment is granted, an EAD is issued and is valid for any kind of full-time or part-time employment for the period of time stated on the EAD. 

A J-2 spouse or dependent child must file Form I-765 with all supporting documentation each time an extension of employment is necessary.  In order to avoid interruptions in J-2 employment, it is important to file the Form I-765 for extension sufficiently in advance.

  







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