Social Security / SEVIS

As soon as you arrive to USA, one of the important things you do is applying for Social Security Card. Every J1 program participant who come to USA on a J-1 status is required to have the SSN. Without it, paychecks won’t be issued; also it is equally important to file for tax returns at the end of the year.

It takes about 2 – 4 weeks for your card and number to arrive. When you apply for a card, you will be given a letter to show your employer that you have successfully applied for social Security card and it will state the date when your card is ready for pick up. Be aware that some employers will not give you your paycheck until you get your Social Security number.

These are few documents you will need to present to apply for your Social Security card:

  • Unexpired passport with valid J-1 or H-2B visa;
  • Form I-94 – Arrival/Departure Record. Please print the form prior to Social Security registration from
  • Form DS-2019 – Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status;
  • Completed application (

Once you start working and present your Social Security card, you will get your paychecks weekly or every other week depending on the employer. You are required to have Federal Income Tax and StateTax (some States doesn’t have State tax) withheld from your pay.

The taxes you should not pay, as J1 participant, are as follows:

  • Social Security
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid


Sevis registration is one of the services E-Point offers, so feel free to ask related questions, we will be happy to assist every Work & Travel participant.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), administered by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is an Internet-based system that maintains data on foreign students and exchange visitors before and during their stay in the United States. Failure to have participation validated will result in an automatic invalidated SEVIS record.

IMPORTANT !!! Government regulations for the Summer Work and Travel Program mandate that students must check-in with their sponsor within 10 days of arrival in the USA.

Failure to check-in within 10 days will result in program termination.

Termination means student’s status in SEVIS will be inactive, student cannot legally work in USA, will not have medical insurance, and will need to return home immediately; will have difficulty obtaining any type of visa in the future.