Employment Authorization & Social Security Number

Social Security Number

For information about Social Security Numbers, please click  here.

J-1 Student Employment Eligibility

J-1 students are allowed to engage in employment related to their major if they meet the following conditions. The student:

  • has primarily come to the U.S. to study, not to work
  • will engage in employment directly related to their major field of study
  • has completed all coursework required for the degree OR will work only during vacation periods or only part-time (20 hours/week) if still attending class
  • will maintain health insurance coverage while working
  • will obtain written Academic Training permission from their Responsible Officer (RO)

Three Categories of J-1 Employment

1. Academic Training (AT) 

Definition: AT is defined as work experience directly related to your academic program at Georgia State.

Application Timeline

Students must submit the completed AT application at least two (2) weeks prior to their program end date or their current AT end date.

Duration of Academic Training

Note that these time limits are cumulative, meaning that any AT conducted prior to the completion of study will be deducted from the allowable time and only months remaining may be used following the completion of a degree.

Non-Degree seeking students:

AT may be authorized for the same amount of time spent studying (up to 12 months) after the completion of the J-1 program.

Degree-seeking students:

AT cannot be authorized for a period longer than the total period of study.  The maximum duration of AT is 18 months, unless your period of study was less than 18 months.

Ph.D. students

If you are offered an established Post-Doctoral position you may be authorized for 18 months of AT and may request a second 18-month period for a total of 36 months of post-doctoral training, which is the maximum amount.


In general, AT may only be conducted part-time during the school year, and full-time during Summer and Winter vacation periods. Exceptions include:

  • graduate students who have completed all coursework for the degree and plan to conduct AT that will assist them in the development of their thesis/dissertation
  • undergraduate students who conduct internships that are required of their program or for which they will receive credit

Application Procedures:

1.  Obtain an original letter from your employer, on the employer’s letterhead, that includes ALL of the following details:

  • Job title
  • Name of supervisor
  • Location of employment
  • Proposed start and end dates of employment
  • Number of hours per week
  • Salary (If the work is unpaid, then you will also need to submit financial documents showing that you or your sponsor can cover the cost of living expenses for the period of extension for Academic Training)

2.  Give a copy of your employer’s letter to your major professor or academic advisor, and ask him or her to complete the J-1 Academic Training Request Form.

3. Attach the original employer offer letter to the completed J-1 Academic Training Request Form, and submit to the ISSS Office by the application deadline.

For Exchange Students only:

  • You must apply for AT at least two (2) weeks prior to the end date of your DS-2019. You will be ineligible to apply for AT if you fail to apply prior to your DS-2019 end date. ISSS recommends you apply at least 1 week prior to the expiration of your DS-2019 to allow processing of your request. Remember that you may only be authorized a period of AT equivalent to the period of your exchange program at Georgia State.
  • You must also submit a letter from your home university confirming that the proposed job is related to your field of studies, and recommending that you be allowed to accept this opportunity.

4. After you have completed your Academic Training, you must submit a the online J-1 Academic Training Evaluation.

 2. On-campus Employment

Employment is limited to 20 hours per week (including assistantships) during the school year, full-time during summer and vacation periods. You must obtain a social security number before you will be able to complete the human resources paperwork needed to be working at Georgia State University. Students with graduate assistantships, do not need to obtain authorization from ISSS. Students with non-graduate assistantship positions (student assistants), must obtain employment authorization PRIOR to beginning work on-campus. To apply, you must submit to ISSS an original employment letter on official letterhead with the following information:

  • Employer Name
  • Employer Address
  • Number of hours per week
  • Beginning and end dates of employment
  • Signature of supervisor

3. Off-campus Employment – Unforeseen Economic Hardship

This authorization is given to students who find themselves in unforeseen economic hardship due to serious, urgent and unforeseen economic circumstances. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week during the school year, full-time during summer and vacation periods. The type of job does not need to be related to your field of study.

To apply you will need to meet with a J-1 advisor and submit a brief typed statement explaining the circumstances that led you to seek employment based on economic necessity. Additionally you must submit an ORGININAL letter on the employer’s official letterhead that includes the following information: employer’s name and address, hours per week, beginning and end dates of employment, and brief job description. Failure to include all necessary information may result in delay or denial of request. Off-campus employment based on unforeseen economic circumstances is approved on a case-by-case basis by ISSS.