J-1 Employment

International students holding J-1 status who wish to work must check in with ISSO before accepting any type of employment, available only to those maintaining legal J-1 status and good academic standing at UCSF. ISSO approval is required in advance and in writing. Approval may be valid for up to 12 months but is automatically withdrawn if the student’s program is terminated. The employment must be pursuant to the terms of a scholarship, fellowship or assistantship, and must occur on the premises of UCSF. Employment may be off-campus only if the student is in serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring exchange visitor status. The employment cannot total more than 20 hours per week except during official school breaks and during the student's annual vacation, and students must continue a full course of study except for official school breaks and the student's annual vacation. 

There are several types of J-1 employment programs. The following is intended as general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice. Contact ISSO for further information about the application process.

On-campus Employment
Students in good standing are eligible for on-campus employment which is limited to 20 hours per week except for official school breaks and annual vacations. Students who already have fellowships or assistantships considered to be equivalent to 20 hours per week are not eligible for additional on-campus employment.

Off-campus Employment for Unforeseen Economic Circumstances
Students who experience serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances that have arisen since acquiring J-1 status may be eligible for this program. Students must be able to provide evidence of such circumstances which will be evaluated by ISSO. Off-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week.

Academic Training
Academic training is work or training related to the student’s field of study. It is recommended by the J-1 student’s program sponsor generally upon completion of a degree program for a position that is related to the student’s academic field. This status can be used by new postdoctoral scholars, research associates, fellows, or specialists to begin a period of employment or to accept a short-term offer of employment. For postdoctoral students, the period of employment is limited to 36 months, inclusive of any prior period of academic training, or the duration of the student’s full course of study in the U.S., whichever is less. A new Form DS-2019 is issued for every 18-month period of academic training for postdoctoral students.
Most postdoctoral training may consist of paid research at one location with one faculty adviser. However, it may involve sequential or simultaneous activities, which may be paid or unpaid, with the approval of the faculty advisor and authorized in writing by ISSO. All academic training is counted as full time, even if employment is on a part-time basis.

Academic training may take place during the student's studies or may commence no later than 30 days following the completion of the student's studies if the (1) student is in the United States primarily to study rather than engage in academic training; (2) academic training is directly related to the student's major field of study at the post-secondary accredited educational institution listed on the Form DS-2019; and (3) student is in good academic standing. Advance written approval is required from ISSO based on a letter of recommendation from the student’s academic adviser which is submitted to ISSO along with other documentation. Please contact the ISSO for further details concerning the application process.