Incidental Employment

Incidental Employment and Occasional Lectures, Talks, Consultations

As a J-1 Scholar (professor, researcher, short-term scholar or specialist) your employment and activities in the United States are limited to the position described and the location listed on your DS-2019 form. Any additional employment, salary, lecturing and/or any consulting must be related to your current work and is restricted.  Employment or participation outside of your position noted on your DS-2019 requires written permission from OISSS.

As a J-1 scholar your options for incidental employment are limited. Please remember that employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Before you begin any kind of employment, you must first consult your RO or ARO, whose written approval is necessary in advance of your engaging in the incidental employment activity.


A request for permission to accept incidental employment as well as to accept an honorarium for a talk or lecture will be considered if the activity is directly related to the objectives of your Exchange Visitor program; if it is incidental to your primary program activities; and if it will not delay the completion of your Exchange Visitor program.

To obtain authorization to accept incidental employment or to obtain authorization to accept an honorarium and/or reimbursement, you must present the following to the OISSS:

  1. A letter of offer/invitation from the prospective employer/hosting organization describing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment/activity, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, a description of the work/activity in which you engage, and the physical address where the employment/activity will take place.
  2. A letter from your department head or supervisor that recommends the work/activity and explains how it is directly related to your principal activity and how it would enhance your Exchange Visitor program
Authorization to Work

Your authorization to engage in the incidental employment/activity will be in the form of letter from your J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). You should give a copy of this letter to your “incidental” employer/inviting organization and keep the original for your permanent records.