Can a J-1 postdoc start a remote job abroad?

Law Asked by Jen on September 7, 2020

I am a postdoc in a US university on a J-1 visa.
I have found a tenure-track faculty position in Europe, and would like to start there soon.

However, it’s not clear if I will be able to travel in time, and given that the coming semester will be taught remotely, I want to start while staying here.

Is it legal for a J-1 postdoc to have another job (with a non-US university)?

That is, I am hoping to be a part-time postdoc for several months and then move.
(I will be agreeing with my host on a reduced salary as I will be part time teaching in the other job).

Would it affect my spouse’s J-2 work permit?

One Answer

It seems unlikely. This page from Dept. of State discusses adjustments such as change of category, transfer, and among the things noted is that unauthorized employment is grounds for termination. The regulation governing employment says that

(a) An exchange visitor may receive compensation from the sponsor or the sponsor's appropriate designee, such as the host organization, when employment activities are part of the exchange visitor's program.

(b) An exchange visitor who engages in unauthorized employment shall be deemed to be in violation of his or her program status and is subject to termination as a participant in an exchange visitor program.

That would preclude taking another job, other than the current postdoc.

Answered by user6726 on September 7, 2020

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