Academic Training for J‐1 Students
International students on J‐1 visas are eligible for up to 18 months of work authorization, called academic training. Post‐doctoral students may apply for additional 18 months of Academic Training. Some J‐1 program participants are also allowed to work part‐time during the academic program. Academic Training is granted in the form of a letter by the Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). Students should consult with the RO or ARO at their institution. Academic Advisors may find this Academic Training Knowledge Base useful to complete the electronic Verification.
Minimal Paperwork for the Employer
Fortunately, there is little paperwork for an employer who hires F‐1 or J‐1 students. All paperwork is handled by the students, the school, and USCIS (for OPT).
Continuing Employment after the Practical/Academic Training Period
Federal regulations require that employment terminate at the conclusion of the authorized practical or academic training. However, students on an F‐1 visa, or students on a J‐1 visa who are not subject to a two‐year home residency requirement, may continue to be employed, if they receive approval for a change in visa category‐usually to H‐1B. Students must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for H‐1B status.
Individuals may work in the U.S. for a maximum of six years under an H‐1B visa. This visa is valid only for employment with the company that petitioned for them. They must re‐apply to the USCIS if they wish to change employers. As soon as the initial job offer is made, they should petition for an H‐1B visa if employment is likely to extend beyond the practical training period.
What about Taxes?
Unless exempted by a tax treaty, F‐1 and J‐1 students earning income under practical training are subject to applicable federal, state, and local income taxes. Information on tax treaties may be found in Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, and 901, U.S. Tax Treaties.
Generally, F‐1 and J‐1 students are exempted from social security and Medicare tax requirements. However, if F‐1 and J‐1 students are considered “resident aliens” for income tax purpose, social security and Medicare taxes should be withheld. Chapter 1 of Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens explains how to determine the residency status of international students. More information on social security and Medicare taxes can be found in Chapter 8 of Internal Revenue Services Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens and in Section 940 of Social Security Administration Publication No. 65‐008, Social Security Handbook.
For your reference:
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 8 and Title 22
citation numbers for regulations governing practical training are as
F‐1 students: 8CFR 214.2 (f) (9) & (10)
J‐1 students: 22CFR 62.23 (f)
CFR Title 8 citations governing IRCA requirements are:
F‐1 students: 8CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iii) and 8CFR 274a.12(c)(3)(i)
J‐1 students: 8CFR 274a.12(b)(11)
Frequently Asked Questions