Academic Training

What is Academic Training (AT)?

Academic Training (At) is a benefit available for J-1 students to gain work experience within their field of study. Academic Training requests are evaluated and authorized by the ISSS Office prior to students beginning AT.

The primary purpose of Academic Training (AT) at FIU is to allow an Exchange Visitor (EV) J-1 visa holder (degree or non-degree seeking student) to participate in an academic training program after his or her studies, with or without wages or remuneration, with the prior approval of the academic dean or advisor in the student’s program, and the responsible officer (RO) at the ISSS Office.

Important Information:

  • AT should commence no later than 30 days after completion of EV’s studies, if the criteria, time limitations, procedures, and evaluations listed below are satisfied
  • AT can be paid or unpaid
  • Undergraduate (degree and non-degree seeking) and master’s degree students can engage in up to 18 months or the period of the full course of study, whichever is less.
  • Doctoral students are eligible for a maximum period of 36 months. Students may only apply for 18 months of academic training. Up to 36 months of academic training can be granted for academic training done at the post-doctoral level, inclusive of all prior academic training done at that or lower levels
  • For FIU Exchange or VSP Students, the approved length of AT is equal to the time student has been studying at FIU. If the student has been at FIU for one semester, AT will be approved for one semester only- no extensions.
  • The student must be in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training. AT is considered incidental and a benefit after student ends his/her studies.
  • The student must in academic training that is directly related to his or her major field of study at the post-secondary accredited academic institution listed on his or her Form DS-2019
  • The student must be in good academic standing with the post-secondary accredited academic institution
  • Part-time academic training counts toward the total allowable days of academic training.


This process is carried out by the student who will work with his/her program’s advisor/coordinator and the company granting the AT opportunity to compile all the documentation needed for the application and to provide updates during the AT period (required).



Please compile all these documents and follow steps below.

1) Signed offer letter on letterhead from employer including the following details:

  • Employment start date and end date
  • Physical address of employment
  • Number of hours per week
  • Job description, responsibilities, and objectives
  • Supervisor full name, title, email address and telephone number

2) Letter of support from student’s academic adviser including:

  • Goals and objectives of the specific academic training program
  • How job duties directly relate to student’s field of study
  • Why the training is an integral or critical part of the academic program

3) Proof of Health Insurance (compulsory) for the period of the Academic Training.

4) Signed Academic Training Acknowledgment Form



Please submit documents described in Step 1 to the ISSS Panther Portal

  • AT approval requests MUST be submitted at least 30 days before your program ends. 
  • Once documents are submitted, ISSS will review and approve, deny, or request further information within 5-7 business days.  
  • You will receive an email from ISSS with approval/denial information and next steps.
  • If AT is approved, your DS-2019 will be extended accordingly and a new one will be issued for student to pick up from the ISSS Office.



Per 22 CFR 62.23(f)(6), FIU ISSS Office must "evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of the academic training in achieving the stated goals and objectives in order to ensure the quality of the academic training program." 

For this purpose, the student on AT is responsible for submitting a mid-point evaluation as well as a final evaluation of his/her AT experience. These forms are completed by the student who works with his/her academic advisor as well as his/her supervisor at the AT experience site.

Dates for the submission of these forms will be agreed upon between the student and the advisor and these dates will be recorded in the Advisor's Support Letter. It will be the student's responsibility to submit these forms in a timely manner. Failure to submit these forms may lead to DS-2019 cancellation. Once documents are completed please email to ISSS at


  • Academic training is employer specific, position specific, and date specific. Students must consult with an ISSS advisor prior to any changes in their academic training.
  • Employment may be paid or unpaid, and part-time or full-time. Self-employment will not be considered for academic training.
  • For post-completion academic training, employment must begin no later than 30 days after completion of studies. Academic training must be granted at least 30 days prior to the initial program end date.
  • Students and their dependents must maintain and provide FIU ISSS with proof of adequate medical insurance throughout the duration of the academic training in order to maintain their status.
  • Exchange visitors on academic training also continue to be responsible for notifying their RO/ARO with any change in address, telephone number, or email address, within 10 calendar days of the change. Likewise, RO/AROs continue to be responsible for updating SEVIS with address changes, within 10 business days of receiving the student's notice.
  • The EV College Advisor must also "evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of the academic training in achieving the stated goals and objectives" of the academic training, they grant and submit to ISSS.