working environment

J-1 federal regulations for exchange visitors in the Professor, Research Scholar, and Short-Term Scholar categories (section 4 on Form DS-2019) allow for participation in occasional lectures and short-term consultations at other US institutions (also known as Incidental Employment). No other types of concurrent US employment are permitted for J-1 scholars.

Incidental employment requires approval from Scholar Services and must:

  • be directly related to the objectives of the exchange visitor’s program;
  • be incidental to the exchange visitor’s primary program activities, 
  • not delay the completion date of the visitor’s program, and;
  • be documented in SEVIS.

If wages or other remuneration are received by the exchange visitor for such activities, the exchange visitor must act as an independent contractor.

Permission is necessary even if you will only be reimbursed for expenses!

Request authorization for lectures or consultations

If you have received an offer from a US institution that meets the guidelines above, please request authorization at least five business days in advance of the engagement. To submit the request, you will need to have:

  • An email or letter from the offering institution containing:
    • a request for permission to undertake the lecturing or consulting, and;
    • the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture or consult, including duration (not to exceed end date of your current DS-2019), number of hours, field or subject, amount of compensation, and description of activity.
  • An email or letter from your NYU faculty sponsor/supervisor that recommends such activity and explains how it would enhance your exchange visitor program.

Scholar Services will review the request and, if approved, issue a J-1 work authorization letter via email within five working days. The maximum authorization period will not exceed three months.