What is Academic Training?
Academic Training is training related to your field of study; it requires authorization from ISS.
Training could be in the form of a job, internship, research position, cooperative education position, or other opportunity to obtain experience that furthers your academic objective.
Use campus resources like the Student Development Center or your academic department to find training opportunities. Then, apply for Academic Training permission through ISS.
Academic Training can be paid or unpaid.
Pre-authorization from ISS is always required for:
- Off-campus academic training opportunities
- On-campus opportunities that don’t qualify as on-campus employment (a separate category of employment authorization)
- On- or off-campus academic training opportunities that extend beyond your academic program completion (program completion refers to either graduation for degree-seeking students or end of exchange for visiting students).
When to Apply & Time Limits
- You can apply for Academic Training authorization from ISS at any time during your studies.
- You must have an offer for a training opportunity before you submit your Academic Training application to ISS (authorization is specific to your job/internship/training opportunity)
- Academic Training is limited to 18 months or the length of your academic program (enrollment), whichever is shorter. This includes training both before and after completion of studies. 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.
- ISS processing time is 7-10 business days for all Academic Training applications, so you must apply at least 10 business days prior to your requested Academic Training start date.
- You must receive Academic Training authorization from the ISS office before starting your training activity (internship or job).
The rules are slightly different depending on whether your Academic Training takes place during or after your enrolled studies at UW. To help discuss the different rules, ISS separates Academic Training into two categories:
- Pre-completion Academic Training: training that begins and ends during your enrolled coursework/studies at UW
- Post-completion Academic Training: training that continues on or begins after your completion of coursework/studies at UWa. Post-completion Academic Training applications are due to ISS before completion of coursework/studies and before your current DS-2019 expires.
b. Post-completion Academic Training must begin no later than 30 days after completion of studies.
c. Post-completion Academic Training approval also requires a DS-2019 extension, so additional documents (financial and insurance information) will be required.
You are eligible to apply for Academic Training authorization if you:
- Are currently in J-1 status sponsored by UW (students sponsored by outside organizations, such as Fulbright, must contact their J-1 sponsor for Academic Training information).
- Are primarily in the U.S. to study rather than engage in academic training
- Are in good academic standing at UW
- Have an offer for a training opportunity directly related to your major field of study.For visiting exchange students, the training opportunity must relate to the classes you take at UW. Use campus resources like the Career Center, the Carlson Center, or your academic department to find opportunities.
- Already discussed with your UW academic adviser your planned academic training opportunity, and provide them in advance with the necessary information to help with your Academic Training application to ISS. See below for more info.
How to Find Your Academic Adviser (to Help You Apply)
ISS advisers cannot evaluate an Academic Training application without a recommendation from an academic adviser. This is an immigration rule.
You must contact your academic adviser to assist you with your Academic Training application to ISS:
Students in a WWU degree program: contact your academic department adviser.
Visiting exchange students through an academic department: contact your academic department adviser.
Visiting exchange students through WWU Study Abroad: contact -------.
The academic adviser will complete the adviser section of the online application. By doing so, they are recommending your academic training approval. They must provide the following information:
- The goals and objectives of the specific academic training program
- How the academic training relates to your major field of study
- Why it is an integral or critical part of your academic program
- Academic Training site (name of organization/employer providing training)
- Academic Training address
- Name of training supervisor
- Number of hours per week
- Start and end date of training
How to Apply for Academic Training Authorization
Step 1: Gather proof of your job/internship/training offer.
Step 2: Contact your UW academic adviser; be sure they have the necessary information to complete the adviser section of the application.
Pre-Completion Academic Training Applicants (training ends before completion of studies):
Post-Completion Academic Training Applicants (training ends after completion of studies):
Immigration Status, UW Status, and Visa Validity During Post-Completion Academic Training
When ISS approves post-completion Academic Training for you, we extend your DS-2019 for the training period. This extends your J-1 status within the U.S. ISS will continue to provide advising related to your J-1 status, including travel signatures, travel questions, Academic Training extensions, if applicable, etc.
J-1 Visa Validity
The J-1 visa stamp in your passport is separate from your J-1 status within the U.S. It is common for the J-1 visa to expire earlier than the DS-2019. It’s okay to remain in the U.S. with an expired J-1 visa stamp as long as your DS-2019 is valid and you are actively participating in your Academic Training activity.
However, if you leave the U.S., you must apply for a new J-1 visa before you can reenter the U.S. to resume your Academic Training activity. (Exceptions may apply for short trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands, except for Cuba). ISS can extend your DS-2019, but we cannot extend your J-1 visa stamp. J-1 visas can only be obtained at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside the U.S. Please plan accordingly if you will travel internationally during your Academic Training period.
After your studies end at UW, you are no longer eligible for various UW student services that are funded by enrolled student fees. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- IMA access
- Eligibility for on-campus housing
- ISHIP or GAIP insurance coverage (There may be exceptions such as for students who purchased the annual ISHIP option; be sure to consult the applicable insurance office on campus for details)