International Student Services
Employment Options for J-1 Students and J-2 Dependents
You must receive employment authorization BEFORE you begin working. The following employment options are available as long as you are in good academic standing and are enrolled in a full course of study (except for official school breaks and the annual vacation quarter).
If your program sponsor is not the UW, but an outside organization (such as Fulbright/IIE), you will need to obtain employment authorization from your sponsoring organization.
What is it?
On-campus employment includes:
- Employment pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship
- Employment on the premises of the school you are authorized to attend (UW).
- You can work no more than 20 hours per week during the regular academic quarters.
- You can work more than 20 hours per week during quarter breaks (check the UW academic calendar) and your annual vacation quarter.
- The employment can be authorized up to 12 months at a time.
- On-campus employment authorization is cancelled if you graduate/complete exchange program, fail to maintain J-1 status, or transfer to another school.
How to Apply:
1. Apply for work authorization by reporting your employment through our webform below. You will need the following information to complete the webform:
- Employer name (UW hiring department)
- Employer address
- Number of hours per week
- Employment start and end date
- Whether or not the employment relates to a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship, or if it simply occurs on the UW campus
2. Wait for employment authorization confirmation from your ISS advisor. Your ISS advisor will update your J-1 SEVIS record with your employment information. The SEVIS record update is the authorization.
3. If you do not yet have a Social Security number (SSN), follow Social Security number application instructions.
Off-Campus Employment for Serious Economic Circumstances
You may apply for permission from ISS for employment that is necessary because of serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring J-1 exchange visitor status.
ISS recommends that you schedule an appointment with your primary ISS advisor to discuss your situation prior to looking for a job and applying for employment permission through ISS. To schedule the appointment, call ISS at 221.7857 between 10am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.
- ISS can authorize employment on account of serious economic circumstances up to a maximum of 12 months at a time.
- After ISS apprvoal, you can work no more than 20 hours per week, except during school breaks and the annual vacation quarter.
- Total employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week (for example: if you work on campus 10 hours per week, you can only apply for permission for 10 hours of off-campus work due to a serious economic situation).
How to Apply
Submit the following documents to your primary ISS adviser either by email or to the ISS front desk:
1. Proof of job offer (could be email offer, official letter from employer, etc.)
2. Email or letter that includes the following information:
- Description of your financial situation; explain in detail the serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen after you gained J-1 status.
- Name of employer
- Name of supervisor
- Employer address
- Start date of employment
- End date of employment (cannot be longer than 12 month-increments)
- Number of work hours per week
Allow ISS 7-10 business days for processing. Your ISS advisor will evaluate your application. If approved, you will receive written permission from ISS for off-campus employment.
About Academic Training
Academic Training is training related to your field of study. It can be a job, internship, cooperative education position, or other opportunity to obtain off-campus experience related to your field of study.
- You must request Academic Training authorization from the ISS office before starting your internship or job.
- The training may be paid or unpaid.
- You can apply for Academic Training authorization either during your studies or for an training position that will begin no later than 30 days after completion of studies. If you apply for Academic Training for a position to begin after your studies, you must still submit your application before your current DS-2019 expires.
- Employment for Academic Training has an overall limit of 18 months, which includes training both before and after completion of studies. However, the total training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in the full course of study.
- For postdoctoral training, the overall limit is 36 months.
- All Academic Training is counted as full-time, even if employment is on a part-time basis.
How to Apply for Academic Training Authorization
Step 1: Find an Academic Training opportunity.
This could be a job, internship, cooperative education position, volunteer position, etc. It must be closely related to your studies at UW.
Use campus resources like the Career Center, the Carlson Center, or your academic department to find opportunities. The training position must start either during your studies or no later than 30 days after you complete your studies.
Step 2: Contact your academic adviser or exchange coordinator.
Students in a UW degree program: contact your academic department advisor.
Exchange or visiting students through an academic department: contact your academic department advisor.
Exchange students through UW Study Abroad: contact Courtney de Vries.
Your academic advisor or exchange coordinator will need to evaluate the training opportunity to confirm it relates to your field of study and provides a valuable academic experience.
Provide the following to your academic advisor or exchange coordinator (email would be easiest; the Academic Training Request Form is a fillable pdf):
1. A copy of your job/internship offer
2. Academic Training Request Form with “Student Section” first completed by you
3. The information listed below; in the “Advisor Section” of the Academic Training Request Form, your academic advisor must provide the following information:
- Stated goals and objectives of the training program
- Name of employer
- Address (job location) of the employer
- Name of the training supervisor
- Start and end dates of the training
- Number of hours per week
- Description of how the training relates to your major field of study
- Explanation of why the training is an integral or critical part of your Exchange Visitor program
Step 3. Submit the following documents to ISS (either by email or in person):
- Copy of your job/internship offer (letter or email)
- Completed Academic Training Request Form (printed and signed by your academic advisor or exchange coordinator)
- If your Academic Training end date will extend beyond your graduation or exchange program end date, your DS-2019 will be extended. You must also submit:
–Funding documentation to show ability to pay for living expenses during Academic Training period
–J-1 Insurance Requirement Statement of Compliance
Your ISS advisor will review your application and, if approved, will issue a new DS-2019 notated with your Academic Training authorization. Allow 7-10 business days for ISS processing.
Dependents in J-2 status may request employment authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Income from the J-2’s employment may be used to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if the income is needed to support the J-1. Employment may be authorized up to twelve months, and may be renewed annually.
The application for employment authorization may take up to 90 days to be processed. If approved, the J-2 will be issued an employment authorization card. The card will have an expiration date, and may be renewed annually. During the period of authorized employment the J-2 may accept any kind of employment, full-time or part-time. The J-2’s employment authorization is valid only while the J-1 is maintaining status.
To apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), or to renew a previously approved EAD, mail the following to USCIS:
- Form I-765 (Instructions are included with the form and should be read carefully. In item 3, use an address that will not change as mail from USCIS will not be forwarded. In item 16, write: (C)(5). The J-2 applicant signs the form in black ink.)
- $410 check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
- Letter explaining why work authorization is sought, written by J-2 applicant; the letter should state that employment is not necessary to support the J-1
- Photocopies of the J-2’s and J-1’s current and prior DS-2019 forms
- Two photos (Photos should be passport style: white background, unmounted glossy, unretouched, with a full face position, and taken no earlier than 30 days before submission to USCIS. Lightly print your on the back of each photo with pencil. Place the photos in a small plastic bag or envelope and staple to the I-765 form.)
- Photocopy of the identification page in the J-2’s passport
- Photocopy of the visa page in J-2’s passport
- Photocopy of J-2’s I-94 card (front and back)
- Photocopies of any EAD cards issued previously to the J-2
- Photocopy of the J-2’s driver’s license or other photo identification, if available
- Marriage certificate (if spouse of the J-1), or birth certificate (if child of the J-1); foreign-language documents should include an English tradition
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