It is very important that you have read and clearly understood the financial aspect of the Exchange Visitor Program. All exchange teachers participating in IER’s program are required to act in a financially responsible manner while in the United States. This includes understanding all the fees, costs, taxes, insurance, payroll deductions, living expenses, and other charges that you may incur as an exchange teacher in a foreign country. It also includes understanding any additional expenses involving family members who may join you in the U.S. under a J-2 Dependent Visa.

Listed below are the summary of Fees and Expenses that you may incur. Some fees are applicable to certain countries of origin, and not for others. This summary of costs and fees is for a single J1 participant. You can expect these costs to double when family members are included. Please use this summary as a reference to manage your finances. (All governmental fees are subject to change).

*An Application Fee of $200 is required for applicants who have secured a job placement directly with host school. This fee will be applied to DS Processing once accepted to the program and will only be refundable if qualifications do not meet the IER program requirements. This fee is NOT refundable if applicant decides to withdraw the application.

SEVIS Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Mandatory Fee $220
US EMBASSY Application fee for US exchange visa $185
EDUCATOR LICENSE Teaching license application fees varies by state including exams. $314 and up
CREDENTIAL EQUIVALENCY REPORT A detail course by course evaluation report required for teaching license varies by NACEs members. $180-300
FINGERPRINT US Background clearance check for teaching license varies by state $27-65
PROGRAM FEE IER program fee covers up to three years – may invoice host school for payroll deduction $3150
J1 GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE IER J1 group health insurance per year – may invoice host school for payroll deduction $1680
FLIGHT TICKET Varies by departing and arrival $700 or up
DS PROCESS Process DS form $200
MEDICAL EXAM Some countries may require medical exam before departure $110
SCHOOL TRANSFER Refer to transfer policy for approval $750
SCHOOL TRANSFER WITH PLACEMENT REQUEST Refer to transfer policy for approval $1500
PROGRAM EXTENSION APPLICATION Application to extend the program beyond three years $367

Annual program participation beyond three years per person

One Year

Two Year



DS FORM REPRINT/MAIL Reprint DS due to lost or damage $100
J2 VISA SPONSORSHIP Annual IER dependent sponsorship per person per year $350
J2 PROGRAM AND INSURANCE Annual J2 fee including mandatory J2 insurance $1680
TRAVEL VALIDATION Require IER to sign and validate your status for travel outside of the U.S $100
THIRD PARTY Third party service fee $1000 or up

Moving Costs:

The expenses involved in moving to the U.S are the personal responsibility of exchange teachers. Host schools are not obligated to help with moving expenses. The USCIS requires that each candidate must have a minimum of $3000 on hand when arriving in the U.S., in order to establish a residence. However, please keep in mind that this amount is the minimum requirement and is probably not adequate. Depending on the calendar for each school district, or any unexpected delays in receiving a license or social security number, there could be as much as a six-week or longer delay receiving your first paycheck.

Security Deposit for Housing/Utilities (may require for lack of credit history in the U.S. and may be refundable when lease ended) $500 and up
Rent- shared apartment or teacher housing $200-$600
Rent – live alone or house $800 and up
Internet – depending on bandwidth $70-$150
Electricity $50-$200
Water $50-$100
Food $250 and up
Cell Phone $80
Child Care – per child $800 and up
Transportation – car loan or lease, gasoline-$3.70/gallon $400 or up
Car Insurance $50-$100
Taxable income between $9,225 – $37,450 for single filing 15%
Taxable income between $37,450- $90,750 for single filing 25%
Standard deduction per dependent $1000
Social Security and Medicare Withholding


J1 Teachers are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes for the first year and first semester of the second year of their program. Deductions begin in January of your second year of teaching.

Social Security tax – employee portion 6.2%
Medicare tax – employee portion 1.45%
State Payroll Tax -will vary by state 6%
Teacher Retirement – can request refund on your contribution once no longer teaching at that state. 6%-12%
Retiree Health Care – varies by state 1%
School Health Insurance Plan – general provide for a broader coverage for routine health checkup, dental, vision. $0-750/mo
Teachers Union Dues Varies
J1 Teacher’s Paycheck Deductions Sample

IMPORTANT: Teacher salaries vary between different states, cities and towns. Generally, your salary will depend on your years of experience and educational attainment. The school board and/or district will determine the teacher salary.

Other Important Information:

These sites provide more information about cost of living, tax calculations.

Tax Exemption Status:

Some countries have tax treaties with the United States whereby a portion or your income is exempt from certain taxes for up to 2 years for first-time exchange visitor teachers. Please make 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: