It is very important that you have read and understand thoroughly the financial aspect of the Exchange Visitor Program. All teachers participate in IER program are required to act in a financially responsible manner while in the U.S. which includes understanding any and all fees, costs, taxes, insurance, payroll deductions and living expenses etc. they may incur. This includes any additional expenses involved with family members who may join you in the U.S. under J-2 dependent visa status.
These are summary of Fees and Expenses may incur. Some fees are applied to certain country, while others are not. The summary cost is for a single J1 participant. Expect the double cost for family members. Use this as reference to budget your financial.
Initial Expense before departing to the U.S.
- SEVIS Fee – $220 (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
- Embassy Fee – $160
- Medical Examination Fee – $110
- Educator License Fee – $113-320 (varied by state)
- Course Evaluation Fee – $140-$250
- Program Fee – $3000 for up to 3 years
- Fingerprinting Fee – $27-$60 (varied by state)
- Third Party Fee – IER oversea partner may charge a placement fee of $1000-$1500. Be sure to consult your local agency and be clear with the fees before signing the contract
- Housing deposit/application fee – You are required to secure a housing before your departure. Renting a housing in the U.S, generally requires a one-month security deposit depending on your rent in the area and if you will share with others or live alone ($250-$1000) and housing application ($35-$55).
- Flight ticket – $700-$2000 fare vary depending on when and where departure/arrival.
Fees/Tax/Deductions while participating EVP in the U.S.
We require IER teachers to bring at least $1000 for the first month living expense before you receive your salary. For those bring the family members immediately should bring $2000 or more.
1. Cost of living – These expense are an estimated cost for reference only. Exact cost can vary by location. For example, big city will cost more than small rural area and your life style
- Automobile – $350 – $650
- Housing – $400 – $1,000
- Utilities – $100 – $250
- Cell phone – $50 – $100
- Food – $150 – $250
- Clothing – $50 – $100
- Travel/ Entertainment – $100 – $200
2. Visa Sponsorship Fee – will be paid for by the host school
3. Payroll Deductions – Unless you are paid by your home government or home school, you will receive your pay directly from your host school in the U.S. As a regular employee of the school you will be required to pay certain taxes which are generally withheld from your pay. The exact amount of tax you will have withheld varies because of a number of factors: individual states have different tax rates; your specific tax rate may also vary depending on how much you earn and how many dependents you have.
As a rough guide you should expect to pay the following in federal and state taxes:
- Federal Payroll Tax – 10-15% (will vary by how much you earn)
- FICA (Social Security/Medicare – 7.65%
- State Payroll Tax – 6% (will vary by state)
There are many websites you can research to more accurately understand your tax obligation for example:
Tax Exemption Status:
Some countries have tax treaties with the United States whereby some or all of your income is exempt from certain taxes for up to 2 years for first-time exchange visitor teachers. (Be sure to understand what your tax obligations would be after your exemption period expires). We have provided links to the following sites which may help with your research:
NOTE: IER cannot legally provide you with tax advice or endorse services from tax accountants. The information provided here is to assist you in your research only. It is your responsibility to understand your US tax obligation.
Other deductions through payroll
- Teacher retirement contribution – 6 to 12% of gross wage vary by state. You can claim a refund on the portion you contribute through teacher retirement system/board once you have returned back to your home country and no longer teaching in the U.S.
- Retiree Healthcare – vary by state. 1% in New Mexico
- Healthcare Insurance – $0- $350 vary by plans/schools/state. If you want to enroll health insurance provided by school, be sure to verify if the plan has met the mandatory J1 insurance coverage. Most health care insurance provide by school do not have repatriation and evacuation policy. You can purchase these two policies elsewhere or through IER J1 health insurance policy. Refer to Mandatory J1 health insurance policy below
- Optional life, vision, dental insurance – vary by plan and participant
Consult school payroll office for detail plans for you and or your family.
4. Mandatory J1 Health Insurance Policy – As a participant in the Exchange Visitor Program you are required to have health insurance which meets EVP requirements. Any J-2 dependents with you in the U.S. are also required to have adequate health insurance. Please click here to learn more about the federally mandated health insurance policy requirements for all exchange visitors and the options available to you.
Health insurance rates may vary by location, age, type of coverage selected, and number of family members requiring coverage and could range from $80 – $150 per person per month. Before accepting a position and arriving in the U.S. you should consult with your host school and become fully aware of your health insurance provider and the total cost of your health insurance.
- IER J1 Health Insurance Plan/Per Month – $140
- Transfer Site of Activity Fee – $750
- J2 Dependent Processing Fee annually $350/Person
- Ds-2019 Reprint Fee – $100
- Travel Validation – $$100 (Mail in the U.S exclude Alaska); $200 (Mail outside of the US including Alaska)
- Program Extension Fee (Beyond three years) – $1500