Employment Issues for J Scholars-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Employment Issues for J-1 Scholars

Work eligibility other than employment listed on the DS-2019 (if any) is extremely limited. Visiting faculty or researchers in J-1 status who are considering any employment (for example, a speech for which an honorarium will be paid, consulting, or on-campus employment not already listed on the DS-2019), should speak to an Office of International Education (OIE) advisor in advance of the planned engagement or employment to determine if the employment is allowable.

On-campus employment

On-campus employment is allowed only in the department or field listed on the DS-2019 document and only if the DS-2019 notes that the program sponsor (CMU) is providing financial support. Scholars who had not initially planned to be employed at CMU and find some opportunity to be employed on campus have very limited options. In many cases, employment cannot be added later to the J program activities. Scholars may discuss special situations with an OIE advisor.

Incidental employment

Short-term employment is referred to as "incidental employment" and may be allowed in a limited way in very specific circumstances at the discretion of an OIE advisor. According to federal regulations, the employment must meet the following four criteria:

  • Be short-term or occasional (a lecture, for example)
  • Be directly related to the objectives of the exchange program
  • Be incidental to the primary program activities
  • Not delay the completion date of the scholar's program

To request OIE permission to accept incidental employment, the CMU department supervisor must approve the employment and write a letter to the OIE outlining the:

  • Dates of intended employment
  • Type of activity
  • Location of employment (city and state)

If OIE agrees to authorize the incidental employment, a letter will be provided to the scholar that will authorize the specific employment opportunity.

Last updated:  January 10, 2017