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J-1 Scholar Employment Overview

Scholarship, Fellowship or Assistantship

This is employment that is required in return for receiving a scholarship, fellowship or an assistantship. Such work usually occurs on campus with the school as the employer. In certain circumstances, however, the work can be done elsewhere for a different employer. For example: exchange visitors may work in a government or private research laboratory if the exchange visitor’s major professor (e.g. department chair) has a joint appointment at one of those locations, and the employment is supervised and counts toward the exchange visitor’s degree.


The Exchange Visitor Program regulations allow for on-campus jobs that are related or unrelated to study, which stipulate that the work can be done "on the premises" of the school. This means that the school does not have to be the employer. For example: exchange visitors may work for a commercial company, such as a food service, operating on the campus.


Exchange visitors may be authorized for off-campus employment when necessary due to "serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances" that have arisen since the exchange visitor’s sponsorship on the J-1 visa. Such employment will be authorized in writing by a Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) at the school, indicating the name and address of the employer and the dates of employment.

Employment of J-2 Dependents

J-2 dependents may apply to the office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of temporary residence for permission to accept employment, provided the income from such employment will be used to support the family’s customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if this income is needed to support the J-1 principal alien.

Application for employment authorization is made on Form I-765 filed with USCIS and accompanied by the appropriate fee. Along with the Form I-765 one should submit a letter stating why the employment is desired, the source and amount of support for the principal participant, and specifically, that the income derived from employment will not be used for the support of the J-1 exchange visitor. Financial need is not a criterion for employment authorization of a J-2 dependent. However, USCIS sometimes requires a budget or statement of estimated expenses to determine that you have adequate income.

If permission for employment is granted, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued and is valid for any kind of full-time or part-time employment authorization.

In order to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for J-2 work permission, you can make an appointment with UC International Services. Bring the following materials with you:

1.  A letter stating why the employment is desired and that it is not necessary for the support of the J-1 principal;

2.  Copy of J-1's passport (include photo page and date of expiration), J-1 visa, and I-94 card (front and back);

3.  Copy of J-2's passport (include photo page and date of expiration), J-2 visa, and I-94 card (front and back);

4.  Copy of all DS-2019’s (front and back) issued to the J-1 and J-2;

5.  Check for $380.00 made out to “The Department of Homeland Security”;

6.  2 photos of J-2 dependent. The photos must take the following format: color photos with a white background taken no earlier than 30 days before submission to the USCIS. Photos should be un-mounted, printed on thin paper, glossy and un-re-touched. The photos should be passport style photos.

Your head should be bare unless you are wearing a headdress as required by a religious order to which you belong. The photo should be 2 x 2 inches, with the distance from the top of the head to just below the chin measuring 1 to 1 3/8 inches. Lightly print your name and your I-94 card# on the back of each photo with a pencil. For your convenience, you can obtain the required photos in two locations on campus. They are:

Department: Photographic Services
Location: 3300 Edwards Center Two
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 556-3001
Price: $7.50 set of two
Department: Medical Photography
Location: Rm. G44 HPB (Health Professions Bldg)
Hours: 1:30 – 4:30 MWF By Appointment
Phone: 558-6111
Price:$12.05 set of 2 prints;
$7.25 for ea. Addt’l set of 2

NOTE: They do not cut the photos down to size, so you must do so prior to your appointment.

7.  Completed I-765 Form;


This process could take up to 90 days. Please plan appropriately.

The EAD will be issued for one year unless the J-1 visa holder’s DS-2019 expires in less than one year. In that case, the EAD will be issued for the amount of time remaining on the DS-2019. If extension of stay is required in conjunction with extension of work authorization, the extension of stay notification must be filed prior to the extension of employment authorization. It is important to file the Form I-765 for continuation of employment authorization in a timely manner in order to preserve the J-2's right to work.

Additional information is available from UC International Services and we are always willing to answer questions, give assistance and advice on federal regulations or help in any way possible during your stay at the University of Cincinnati.

I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Form