Academic training is work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study. It may involve sequential or simultaneous activities, either paid or unpaid, with several employers, U.S. or foreign, provided the application and approval procedures are followed for each employer and activity, and the time limits are not exceeded. The following criteria must be met:
- The student must be in the U.S. primarily to study rather than engage in academic training.
- Academic training must be done with a specific employer or training site, and be directly related to the major field of study listed on the Form DS-2019.
- The student must be in good academic standing.
- The student must receive written approval in advance from the RO/ARO for the duration and type of academic training.
Academic training is permitted at any stage of a student’s program, while the student is enrolled in school or after completion of the program. Students interested in obtaining approval for Academic Training should talk with an RO/ARO before making any preparations, but the general requirements include the following:
- A letter or recommendation from the student’s dean or academic advisor specifying the goals and objectives of the training, a description of the training involved, its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, the number of hours per week, the dates of the training, how the training relates to the student’s major filed of study, and why the training is an integral or critical part of the academic program
- A determination on the part of the RO/ARO of the amount of time already used for previous Academic Training, a review of the letter, and a written determination of whether the Academic Training is warranted and the criteria and time limitations of the regulations are satisfied
- An updating and reprinting of the DS-2019 by the RO/ARO