There are two categories of employment available to J-1 students. One is student employment and the other is academic training. Please click on the link to the left for more information on J-1 Student Employment.
Academic Training (AT) offers employment to supplement your academic program in the United States. It is available before completion of your program of study as well as afterwards. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, it lets you work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods; and, under certain circumstances, you may interrupt study to work full-time, for example while you are writing a thesis.
To qualify for Academic Training, you must first obtain approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible Officer (R.O.) or Alternate Responsible Officer (A.R.O.) in the Office of Visa and Immigration Services. We will evaluate the proposed employment in terms of your program of study and your individual circumstances. If appropriate, we will issue you a letter authorizing the employment for a specific period of time.
Social Security Number. To put you on the payroll, your employer will need your Social Security number, which you can obtain by applying for a Social Security card. Please click here to access more information about applying for a social security number.
Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification." When you begin work, you and your employer must complete Form I-9, which requires you to document your identity and work authorization according to directions on the back of the Form. Of the various items acceptable as documentation, you may find that the most convenient combination is your passport (or other photo-bearing identification if you are Canadian), electronic Form I-94 print-out (if you entered the U.S. by air or sea; your electronic Form I-94 can be accessed and printed here) or I-94 Departure Record card (if you entered the U.S. by land), the pink copy of Form DS-2019, and your J-1 Responsible Officer's written work authorization. Your employer, who keeps Form I-9, will make copies of the documents you submit, and return the originals to you. Form I-9 must be updated any time that you receive a renewal of your permission for "Academic Training."
Social Security taxes. In general, as a J-1 student you will be exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) taxes for your first five years in the United States, as long as you continue to declare non-resident status for tax purposes (see Internal Revenue Service Publication 519, "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens." )
Federal, state and local taxes. Unless you qualify under a tax treaty between the United States and your home government, your earnings as a J-1 student will be subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes, and employers are required by law to withhold those taxes from your paychecks. Currently, the State of New Hampshire has no income tax, so there is no state tax levied against your earnings. By April 15, you must file an exempt statement and a federal income tax return covering the prior calendar year to determine whether you owe more taxes or have a refund coming. Please contact the Payroll Office to determine if you qualify for a tax treaty.
As a J-1 student you are eligible for a variety of work opportunities in the United States, but employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Remember that before you start any kind of employment, you must first consult with the Office of Visa and Immigration Services, and receive written approval in advance.
Last Updated: 5/1/13