It is very important that you have read and clearly understood the financial aspect of the Exchange Visitor Program. All teachers participating in the IER program are required to act in a financially responsible manner while in the United States. These include understanding any and all fees, costs, taxes, insurance, payroll deductions, living expenses and others that they (IER participants) may incur. Others, means, it could include any additional expenses involving family members who may join you in the U.S. under the J-2 Dependent Visa.

Listed below are the summary of Fees and Expenses that a teacher may incur. Some fees are applied to a certain country, while for others, it is not. The summary cost is for a single J1 participant. Expect the cost to double when family members are included. Use this as a reference to manage your finances. (All fees are subject to change)

*Application Fee $200 is required for applicants who have secure a job placement directly with host school. This fee will be applied to DS Processing once accept to the program and will only be refundable when qualification is not met the IER program requirement. This fee is NOT refundable if applicants decide to withdraw the application.

SEVIS Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Mandatory Fee $220
US EMBASSY Application fee for US exchange visa $160
EDUCATOR LICENSE Teaching license application fee varies by state $113-320
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
PROGRAM FEE Annual program participation beyond three years per person per year $1650
DS FORM REPRINT/MAIL Reprint DS due to lost or damage $100
J2 SPONSORSHIP Annual IER dependent sponsorship per person per year $350
J2 INSURANCE IER J2 health insurance per person per year $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 teacher. Host school are not obliged to help with moving expenses. The USCIS requires that each candidate must have on hand a minimum of $3000 in order to establish a residence. However, keep in mind that this amount is a minimum requirement and is probably not adequate. Depending on the duty calendar for each district or any unexpected delay of receiving license or social security number, there could be as much as a six-week or longer delay receiving your first pay.

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

**Teacher salary varies in different States, cities and towns. Generally, salary depends on the years of experience and educational attainment. The school board and district 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 entire 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: