United States law requires you to obtain written authorization before starting any type of compensated employment or uncompensated (unpaid) internship for credit. Beginning work without authorization from your J-1 program Responsible Officer is a serious violation of your J-1 status.
As a student in J-1 status, you may be eligible to work legally in the United States with written permission from your J-1 program Responsible Officer. Below is a brief summary of the different types of work for which you may qualify. Please consult an ISSS advisor for more information.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF COMPENSATED EMPLOYMENT?
USCIS defines compensated employment as work performed in exchange for a benefit. USCIS would consider employment authorization necessary if your work fits any of the following circumstances:
- Receiving a salary, hourly wage, fees, books, supplies, transportation, or any other benefit in exchange for work performed.
- If the individual normally holding your position receives payment.
(1) ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT (at American University)
- If your DS-2019 was issued by American University, AU's International Student & Scholar Services requires that you must be in J-1 status, have a valid American University DS-2019, be enrolled full-time, and be in good academic standing in order to be eligible to work on campus.
- If your DS-2019 was issued by another organization, they may have additional criteria to determine eligibility for on campus work. Please consult your J-1 program Responsible Officer. Please note that American University cannot authorize you for any type of employment.
(2) OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT: Academic Training