Outside Employment


J-1 research scholars, professors, and short-term scholars may be authorized to participate
in occasional lectures and short-term consultations that are incidental to the J-1 scholar’s primary
program activities. The authorization must be obtained from IFSS in writing prior to engaging in the

The term occasional embodies the concept of single events rather than an ongoing activity. This also
includes authorization to be reimbursed for travel expenses or receiving an honorarium. Additionally, if
the J-1 scholar will receive wages or other compensation for the short-term lecture/consultation, the
scholar must act as an independent contractor.

Eligibility Criteria

Such lectures and consultations must meet the following criteria:

  • Be directly related to the objectives of your J-1 program at UCSC
  • Be incidental (=secondary) to your primary program activities
  • Not delay the completion date of your J-1 program at UCSC, and
  • Be documented in SEVIS prior to the start of the lecture/consultation.

Documentation Needed

A letter from the inviting institution describing the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture or
consult, including:

  • Employer/institution’s name and address;
  • Dates of short-term lecture/consultation (e.g., from ____ to ____);
  • Field or subject of short-term lecture/consultation (e.g., physics);
  • Detailed description of the short-term activity;
  • Number of hours you will engage in the activity;
  • Compensation/amount of payment; and
  • Must indicate that you are being hired as a short-term independent contractor (not an

A letter from your department supervisor at UCSC, including:

  • Confirming that the proposed activity is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed
    incidental, and will not delay completion of your program at UCSC
  • Explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your exchange visitor program at UCSC
  • Recommending approval of the activity

Please see the sample letter below.

How to Apply for Incidental Employment Authorization

  1. Email ischolar@ucsc.edu and attach both letters.
  2. IFSS will review your documentation and determine if you are eligible for incidental employment. If
    approved, IFSS will update your site of activity and funding in SEVIS and issue a letter authorizing the
  3. You will present the letter as proof that you are allowed to receive pay for your activity. Keep a copy of
    the authorization letter for your records. The letter will serve as authorization of this activity.

Sample J-1 Scholar Incidental Employment Letter from UCSC Department

For supervising faculty members to put on letterhead to recommend incidental employment and
explain how the activity would enhance the scholar’s J-1 program. Please provide the letter
to the J-1 scholar to be submitted to IFSS with their incidental employment request.

* Copy and paste this sample text below into a word processor, fill in the information, then print it on your
letterhead paper.


To whom it may concern:

This letter pertains to the J-1 scholar [scholar’s name]. 
I recommend that the scholar participates in the conference/lecture/consultation/other (specify),
taking place at [name of host organization] from [from date] to [to date].  Participation in this
activity will directly enhance [name of scholar]’s exchange visitor’s program in the following

[provide detailed description of how this activity will enhance the scholar’s program]
I confirm that the activity is directly related to the J scholar’s program objective, is incidental to
their primary program activities at UCSC, and will not delay the completion date of the scholar’s
J-1 program.



Last modified: Jan 25, 2024