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Employment Opportunities for J-1 Exchange Visitors (Student Category)

Students attending school in the United States on a J-1 visa have a couple of employment options from which to choose. When looking at employment opportunities, it is most important to first determine what forms of work constitute as “legal” (authorized) and “illegal” (unauthorized). It is vital that students in J-1 status only accept legal forms of employment and obtain proper authorization before employment begins. Students must also avoid exceeding the maximum number of hours per week authorized for work. Working without authorization or working too many hours will result in a loss of J-1 status. A student who loses their J-1 status is thereafter in the U.S. illegally and is no longer eligible for benefits offered under the J-1 student visa status. Upon loss of visa status, a student must exit the country immediately. (J1 Employment Information ).


On-Campus Employment

This option is open to all students, both new and continuing, attending Coastal Carolina University on an F-1 visa so long as they continue to properly maintain F-1 status. Students are permitted to work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session during the academic year. During times when school is not in session (i.e. winter break, summer vacation, etc.), students may work full-time. Students may hold one or multiple jobs on campus; however, the student is still restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours total per week. For example, a student works at Job #1 for 12 hours per week and can then only work eight hours at Job #2. Upon accepting an offer of employment for on-campus work, the student must visit the Office of International Programs & Services (OIPS) with the written offer of employment from the hiring department or office. This form of employment will be authorized internally by the OIPS.

Off-Campus Employment

A student may be eligible to work off campus during the academic year (up to 20 hours per week) when it is necessary due to “serious, urgent, and unforeseen” economic circumstances which have occurred since acquiring J-1 status. Students should submit written requests for off-campus work permission to the OIPS.

Academic Training

Academic Training is work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study. Appropriate activities vary over disciplines. A student may engage in Academic Training during or after their program. Academic Training may involve sequential or simultaneous activities, paid or unpaid, with several employers, U.S. or foreign, provided the application and approval procedure are followed for each employer and activity, and the time limits are not exceeded. Non-degree exchange students may engage in Academic Training so long as the time does not exceed the time spent in the program of study. Non-degree students are furthermore restricted to a total stay of 24 months, inclusive of all study time and any authorized academic training. All Academic Training is counted as full-time, even if employment is only part-time. The regulations do not specify that Academic Training prior to completion of studies must be less than full-time, so a student could choose to engage in full-time Academic Training before completion of his or her program of study. To apply for Academic Training, a student must be in good academic standing and the primary purpose of the student’s stay in the United States must be to engage in the program of study, rather than Academic Training. The student must submit the "Academic Training Request Form ", completed by the student and their academic/internship advisor, to the OIPS for determination of Academic Training eligibility. Upon approval of the Academic Training opportunity, the Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer in the OIPS will authorize the training in SEVIS and generate a new DS-2019 showing the dates of the approved Academic Training (begin and end dates). For additional information about the process, please contact the OIPS.


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