Where Can I Find Information About Visas? http://www.unitedstatesvisas.gov/visapolicy/faq.html http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
What is 212(e) The Two Year Physical Presence Requirement? Some EV participants and family members are considered subject to 212(e) and must return to their home country for a minimum of two years after completing their J1 program before they are eligible to change or adjust their status. The 212(e) is applied when the J1 EV program is:
- funded by U.S. or the home country
- the skill that the Exchange Visitor is using for the J1 program/activity is listed in the Exchange Visitor Skills List or
- the purpose in coming to the US was to receive graduate medical education or training.
Being subject to 212(e) prevents a J1 EV from being eligible for an immigrant or H1B visa until the J1 has fulfilled the 2 year presence requirement or been granted a waiver of 212(e). For more details regarding the 212(e) and the waiver process please refer to http://travel.state.gov. Waiver requests are processed through the Waivers Review Branch of the US Department of State.
Am I eligible to work while I am in the U.S. in J1 status? J1 Exchange Visitors are only eligible to work for the sponsor of their J1 program and may be eligible to take part in limited incidental employment if the employment is deemed by the Scholar Advisor to contribute to the purpose of the Exchange Activity.
Can my J2 spouse or children work while they are in the U.S. with the J1 principal? Because the purpose of the Educational and Cultural Exchange Program is to facilitate exchange, the U.S. Department of State allows J2 dependents to apply for work authorization by filing an I-765 form with evidence establishing that the income from the dependent's employment is not needed to sustain the J1 and their family. The J2 income may support the family's customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if the J2 income is needed to support the J1.
What is the procedure to transfer my J1 program to another J1 sponsor? A J1 may be eligible to transfer their J1 program to another J1 program sponsor only if they have not used the maximum allowable period and if their primary activity will not change with the new J1 sponsor. Communicate with the Scholar Advisor if you would live to discuss the options to transfer to another sponsor. The Scholar Advisor will need to contact the new J1 sponsor to determine eligibility and other details involved with transferring the J1 record in the SEVIS database.
Am I eligible to obtain a Social Security Number? Individuals who earn income through authorized employment while in the U.S. on a J1 Exchange Program are required to apply for a Social Security Number. Once the EV meets with the Scholar Advisor their SEVIS record will be validated making them eligible to apply for a Social Security Number. While an employer must have the SSN number in order to report all income and Social Security benefits paid to the employee it is not required for an employee to be receive payment A temporary number will be created by the University until the actual SSN is issued. Scholars will need to show the Social Security card to the department and to the payroll office. J1 visitors who receive funding from a source other than UAHuntsville employment are not eligible to apply for a Social Security number.
As a J1, am I responsible for paying taxes on income I receive in the U.S.? In most cases income earned in the U.S. is considered taxable. In some cases, the U.S. has established a tax treaty for citizens of designated countries that make certain types and amounts of income exempt from being taxed by the Federal government. All income is reportable and taxable to the state government. The U.S. tax year starts on January 1 and ends on December 31 each year. All employers in the U.S. are required to issue a statement of income earned to employees by January 31st of the following tax year. The W-2 statement of income is required to file both federal and state income tax forms.
Are J1 visitors required to file tax forms? J visitors who do not work in the U.S. are required to complete the IRS form 8843 for each year they are present in the U.S. for any part of the calendar year. Individuals who receive income from a U.S. source during the J program are also required to file Federal and State tax returns. J scholars and students may be eligible for Federal tax treaty benefits that make them exempt from paying federal taxes on income related to their J program. All J scholars are eligible to receive free on campus tax assistance provided through the Beta Alpha Psi VITA (IRS tax volunteer program). Trained volunteers assist with both resident and non-resident tax filing for both students and J scholars. The Scholar Advisor can also offer assistance to J visitors with tax questions and resources.
How do I obtain a University ID (Charger ID) and access to the UAH Fitness Center? All J1 visitors are able to obtain a Charger ID card indicating their visitor status at UAHuntsville. When a J1 visitor checks in with the Scholar Advisor they will receive guidance about obtaining an ID card. The ID card will allow the J1 visitor to access the University library, put money toward meals in the campus dining Hall, and access the Fitness Center. In addition, J scholars who live on campus are given the additional benefit of free access to the UAH Fitness Center. More information will be provided during J orientation with the Scholar Advisor.
- Know the expiration date on the form DS-2019 and your expected departure date. Regulations may permit an extension of some types of J1 program categories. All requests for an extension should be communicated with the Scholar Advisor at least 30 days prior to the end date on the Form DS-2019.
- When traveling outside the United States, J1 exchange visitors must first obtain a “travel signature” on the Form DS-2019 from the Scholar Advisor to facilitate re-entry.
- Exchange visitors should only accept authorized employment.
- Exchange visitors must comply with the Department of State's health insurance requirements for J-1 visa holders and their families. Willful disregard of this requirement will result in termination of the J-1 program.
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