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Employment Authorization

J-1 students must obtain authorization prior to beginning any type of employment, including on campus jobs and assistantships. ISSS can authorize employment for all J-1’s with a Vanderbilt DS-2019.  Students with DS-2019’s issued by a sponsor other than Vanderbilt, such as IIE, should contact their J-1 Responsible Officer for assistance.

Click on the links above for information on various types of employment authorization.


“Volunteering” is not only a matter of whether you receive payment. If an activity is performed for charitable/humanitarian reasons for a public agency without expectation of future employment, does not involve compensation or remuneration of any kind, and is always performed by unpaid volunteers, it may not require work authorization. However, please speak with your assigned ISSS adviser if you are thinking about volunteering while you are in J-1 student status to determine whether you need work authorization