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J-1 Student Employment

To be eligible for employment J-1 students must submit proof of full-time registration and good academic standing. Prior to beginning employment, obtain advance approval in writing from your J-1 Responsible/Alternate Responsible Officer (RO/ARO).

  • If the University of Kentucky has issued your DS-2019, the AROs assigned to you are in 216 Bradley Hall.
  • If your J-1 sponsor is an agency, you should contact the RO/ARO who signed your DS-2019.

If authorized, you may work on campus a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during official school breaks and vacation periods, including summer vacations.

Social Security Number
Once you are employed, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) with the local Social Security Administration. Review Social Security Instructions for J-1 Students.
Note of Caution: J-1 students are eligible for a variety of work opportunities in the United States, but employment without proper authorization is a serious status violation. Before beginning any employment, you must first consult with your advisor in 216 Bradley Hall for written approval.

NOTE: After completing a program of study, you may not be employed unless you have been granted employment authorization for Academic Training by the Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) who issued your DS-2019.

On-Campus Employment
Submit to 216 Bradley Hall:

  • Unofficial transcript from myUK
  • Copy of the job offer letter
  • J-1 Student Employment Authorization Form, download pdf below.

Off-Campus Employment for Unforeseen Economic Need
Authorization is given only when it is deemed necessary because of serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances which have arisen after acquiring J-1 status. Submit the following to 216 Bradley Hall:

  • J-1 Student Employment Authorization Form, download pdf below.
  • Letter from you explaining the unforeseen circumstances causing the financial need
  • Unofficial transcript from myUK
  • Copy of the job offer letter

Academic Training Employment ­
Academic Training is paid or unpaid work, training or experience related to the major field of study while you are pursuing a program of study or after completion of your program. The total training period may not exceed the amount of time spent in the full course of study: maximum of 18 months for bachelor's degree and master's degree: 36 months for doctoral students. For computation of Academic Training, part-time is counted as full-time.

Employment is employer specific, so any change in employment requires a new recommendation from the Advisor/DGS and a new authorization from your advisor in 216 Bradley Hall.

NOTE: Students who are subject to the Two-Year Home Country Residency Requirement (212(e)), see below, and have received a waiver recommendation from the Department of State (DOS) are no longer eligible for an extended DS-2019; however, Academic Training can be given for the period of time indicated in "Box 3" of the current DS-2019.

Submit the following to 216 Bradley Hall:

  • Academic Training Application, download the form below.
  • Unofficial transcript from myUK
  • Copy of your job offer letter

If you are eligible, a letter of employment authorization with the specific employer and a DS-2019 will be issued to you. Employment may not begin prior to this authorization.

While on Academic Training, a change of status, new address or departure from the United States must be reported to SEVIS.  To report your address, please enter your address in myUK.  If your account is longer active, you may report your address to the Database Management Specialist, Michael Hagel at