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Work Options for Students & Dependents on J-1 & J-2 Visas Marilyn Vogler, PhD Immigration Advisor Associate Director, IPS Spring 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Work Options for Students & Dependents on J-1 & J-2 Visas Marilyn Vogler, PhD Immigration Advisor Associate Director, IPS Spring 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Work Options for Students & Dependents on J-1 & J-2 Visas Marilyn Vogler, PhD Immigration Advisor Associate Director, IPS Spring 2009

2 Employment Authorization – Some Basics Unauthorized work can get both the visa holder and the employer in trouble. Authorized means the work documents are in hand. Visa holders must follow multiple sets of rules: Homeland Security, MTU, Career Center, Graduate School, Employer, & J-1 sponsor.

3 This Presentation I will discuss regulations applying to J-1 students and J-2 dependents. I will address only Homeland Security / USCIS rules – not Career Center, Graduate School, or External Sponsor rules. I will not discuss consulting and other regulations for J-1 Scholars.

4 Whose Paperwork It Is Matters … The sponsor that created your DS-2019 continues to do the necessary regarding your visa records. Contact your sponsor to: Update address changes Update employer / unemployment Update visa status changes Get travel signatures on your DS-2019 Request transfer of your SEVIS record if you move to another institution This sponsor may be Michigan Tech, but it may be someone else, e.g., Fulbright.

5 On-Campus Employment On-Campus means MTU cuts the check (MTU or sponsor money) Agency, e.g., Argonne, sets up contract through MTU to pay student for co-op or internship Does not require any authorization beyond student status & normal employment forms 20 hours / week when school is in session 40 hours / week during breaks and vacation

6 On-Campus Employment J-1 visa holders must get approval for on- campus employment from the Immigration Advisor prior to beginning work.

7 student_employment_update.htm student_employment_update.htm

8 Off-Campus Employment Requires authorization from or through International Programs & Services (IPS) Authorization is formal – shows up on the students immigration papers (DS- 2019) Can be full- or part-time Off-campus means someone else cuts the check Corporate, government, etc. employer Faculty with consulting business

9 Why work off-campus? Try out employment in your major Employer gets to know you – some only hire from co-op pool Experience other areas of the US Earn extra $$s Looks good on your resumé Follow family while you finish up No courses that you need are being offered Unforeseen Severe Economic Hardship Etc.

10 Types of Off-Campus Employment For J-1 Students Academic Training Unforeseen Severe Economic Hardship For J-2 Dependents Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

11 General Requirements – Academic Training Employment may be called co-op, internship, full-time, etc. Must be related to students program. Student may not change employers May be in any field. Must not be used to support the J-1. Generally issued for 1 year at a time, but may be renewed. Valid only as long as J-1 program is active General Requirements – EAD for J-2

12 Academic Training is a promised benefit for which you can apply. You can apply for jobs in your area of study and tell the employer that you ARE eligible to work in the USyou just have to complete the paperwork.

13 However, Economic Hardship authorization is not guaranteed or promised. Do not tell an off-campus employer you are authorized to work at a job that is outside your major area of study until you have your authorizing DS-2019 in hand.

14 General Requirements – Unforeseen Severe Economic Hardship Student must have been full-time student in US at least one full academic year Does not need to be related to students program 20 hours per week during academic year 40 hours per week when school is not in session: breaks, vacations, summer Requires unexpected hardship J-1, filed with IPS like CPT

15 General Requirements – Unforeseen Severe Economic Hardship To get student status you had to show the ability to pay for your education and support while in the United States. But … Financial need beyond the student's control Unforeseen at the time the student applied to the school he or she is currently attending All other potential employment opportunities have proven to be insufficient

16 General Requirements – Unforeseen Severe Economic Hardship Examples include Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student, Substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, Medical bills, Other substantial and unexpected expenses."

17 Questions?

18 Is there a bottom line? … YES You cannot, must not, MAY NOT work off-campus without authorization from the IPS Immigration Advisor Any employer that hires you without authorization on your paperwork is paying you illegally. Working illegally could jeopardize your future status in the US.

19 How do I know if Im authorized? Registering for co-op credits does NOT mean you have employment authorization. Sending off an I-765 application does NOT mean you have employment authorization. Work Authorization must be recorded on your DS-2019 (page 1), or on an EAD card, but … You can apply for jobs in your area of study and tell the employer that you ARE eligible to work in the USyou just have to complete the paperwork.

20 How Do I Get Work Authorization? Check the IPS website: Details vary, but in general … Initiate job hunt Gather necessary paperwork Contact IPS to make an appointment with the immigration advisor J-1 EAD form on the web (new)

21 About Academic Training Sponsor who issued DS-2019 approves – doesnt have to go to USCIS so theres no fee Available time differs with program Requires job offer in hand Requires letter of support from academic advisor Student will receive new DS-2019

22 More About Academic Training May requires processing through Career Center Completion of paperwork Registration for Co-op credit(s) fall and spring Can be done same day if Michigan Tech is your sponsor

23 Economic Hardship Authorization or EAD for J-2 Authorization is granted by USCIS. IPS assists with the application process. Approval takes 1-1/2 to 3 months. Having a job offer speeds up approval. It costs the student $340 to apply. Student must provide extensive documentation showing unexpected nature of the hardship.

24 Where to find information …


26 Roles in the Authorization Process Student Academic Advisor (or J-1 Sponsor) Career Center IPS Immigration Advisor

27 What the student needs to do: Meet with academic advisor to get her/his approval or completion date Search for a job at the Career Center, the job fair, on-line, etc. Remember, the job must be related to your major unless you have an Economic Hardship EAD, but …

28 Students tasks (continued) Complete the required paperwork for the Career Center and/or IPS – including signatures Academic Training / Economic Hardship – make an appointment to see the IPS Immigration Advisor

29 Academic Advisors Role S/he can help you decide Which job offer to take How to meet the Career Center report requirements How long you should work What semester(s) would be best Your academic advisors approval is required for co-op, but … Your advisors approval is not required for other off-campus employment.

30 Career Center Role Employment search assistance Employability skills training Resumes, cover letters, mock interviews, etc. Help with required paperwork Verify major-relatedness Collect student assignment materials Assign a grade (undergrad)

31 Your IPS Advisor will … Review all the documents & paperwork Check to see if youre eligible to work Issue the appropriate DS-2019 with work authorization noted Assist with preparation and mailing of applications (Economic Hardship/EAD) Helps track and follow-up on applications sent to USCIS

32 Questions?

33 While youre waiting for approval card … You may not start working until you receive DS-2019 or EAD. Check the date on your card when it arrives. You may not start working until the start date listed on the EAD card.

34 I received my EAD card! Email your IPS Immigration Advisor (thats me ) with the date that it arrived Send a copy to the IPS office

35 Staying in Touch – MTU Email Current practice is that your MTU email will remain active as long as you use/check it regularly. Please check it at least weekly for IPS updates. IF you have graduated, you may have your MTU email forwarded to another address: ard/index.html ard/index.html

36 After Academic Training Academic Training 30 days to leave, begin a new program, move to an H1-B etc. H1-B 10 days to leave or transfer to new employer Some students apply for and get a green card, permanent residency.

37 Questions?

38 Where to find information …

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