As a J-1 student intern at Georgia Tech, you are responsible for knowing and complying with the J-1 student intern immigration regulations. The immigration regulations are administered by the Department of State and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is important for you to understand the immigration regulations. The Department of State does not consider ignorance of the law a legitimate reason for failing to obey it. This information is designed to assist you with your awareness of and compliance with the rules that regulate those in J-1 and J-2 (dependents) status.
To maintain lawful J status, J student interns are required to:
- Keep a valid, unexpired DS-2019 and passport (passport must be valid at least 6 months into the future).
- Maintain continuious health insurance for the duration of your time in the U.S.
- Participate only in the activity listed on your DS-2019 and DS-7002. You may not enroll in GT classes during your time at Georgia Tech.
- Update your physical address (SEVIS Inside and SEVIS Outside Address) using the J Student Intern Address Update e-form in iStart when there is a change in U.S. or home country address.
- Have a valid travel signature on your DS-2019 before leaving and re-entering the U.S.
- Complete an Income Tax Return as per IRS regulation by April 15th of every year. Visit OIE's tax website for more information.
- Notify ISSS of any change to or addition of J-2 dependents.
Student Intern Eligibility Requirements include:
- Must be currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States
- U.S. internship must fulfill the educational objectives for current degree program at the home institution
- Must have English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in the internship.
- Verified through a sponsor-conducted interview, by a recognized English language test, or by signed documentation from an English language school.
- Must be primarily in the United States to engage in a student internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer
- Must be accepted into a student internship program at the postsecondary accredited academic institution listed on the Form DS-2019
- Must be "in good academic standing" at the home institution outside the United States
- Must return to the academic program outside the United States and obtain a degree from such academic institution after completion of the student internship program
- Must have sufficient finances to support himself or herself and any accompanying dependents for their entire stay in the United States, including housing and living expenses (not subject to student funding source restrictions)
- The internship must be full-time; minimum of 32 hours per week.
- Student interns may participate for "up to 12 months for each degree/major." Extensions beyond 12 months are not possible.
As a J Exchange Visitor in the United States, you must purchase and maintain health insurance that meets or exceeds U.S. Department of State standards for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program. Government regulations stipulate that if you willfully fail to carry health insurance for yourself and your dependents for the duration of your J Exchange Visitor program, your J-1 sponsor must report the violation to the U.S. Department of State through a termination your J SEVIS record.
Risks of not having health insurance:
It is dangerous to be in the United States without adequate health insurance. In many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, and sometimes even for visitors, individuals and families. This is NOT the case in the United States, individuals are responsible for these costs themselves. Having adequate insurance affords you access to better and more timely health care and provides the only protection against the enormous costs of health care that are a reality in the U.S.
Health Insurance Options:
As a part of the OIE check-in, each J-1 scholar or student intern will certify an insurance compliance statement and provide evidence of the health insurance plan using iStart.
J Exchange Visitors must upload one of the following:
- Evidence of an insurance policy purchased prior to arriving to the U.S. that the Scholar has verified meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of State minimum standards.
- Evidence of enrollment in an appropriate insurance plan offered to you as a benefit of employment with Georgia Tech & a Medical Evacuation & Repatriation plan purchased separately
- Evidence of enrollment in one of the insurance plans offered by Georgia Tech or the University System of Georgia to international students and scholars.
Validation in SEVIS, which is a notification to the U.S. Department of State, will not occur until after completing the OIE check-in and uploading evidence of adequate health insurance. After OIE reviews and approves the Check-in e-form, the DS-2019 will be validated and the Exchange Visitor will be scheduled for a mandatory OIE Orientation.
Health Insurance Standards:
As an Exchange Visitor in the United States, under a rule effective since September 1, 1994, you must carry health insurance that meets or exceeds U.S. Department of State standards for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program. Government regulations stipulate that scholars who willfully fail to carry health insurance for shall be reported to the Department of State through a termination of the J program. The Department of State has basic MINIMUM requirements for the amounts of coverage a J-1 or J-2 Exchange Visitor must have for the duration of their J program.
Exchange Visitor Program standards:
University System of Georgia Board of Regents SHIP Standards:
In addition to the federal insurance requirements, the University System on Georgia Board of Regents also has a student/scholar health insurance policy (SHIP) which ensures F and J students and scholars participating in programs at USG system institutions have access to adequate insurance. The USG SHIP policy includes:
- Both accident and sickness coverage
- Minimum benefit $250,000 per policy year
- Provision for repatriation of remains of not less than $25,000*
- Medical evacuation to one’s home country and family reunification of not less than $50,000*
- A deductible of $500 or less and/or co-pay per individual, per year
- In-patient and outpatient, mental and nervous disorder benefits
- Prescription Drug Coverage
- Pay benefits worldwide
Be aware that there are many insurance companies who promote they are US Department of State compliant. While these insurance plans may be in compliance with the minimum U.S. Department of State standards, often the insurance coverage excludes common medical needs such as pregnancy, pre-existing conditions, well-care, or injuries that occur due to common activities. In addition, insurance policies may include limits per accident or injury. Only insurance that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of State requirements, will ensure compliance for J Exchange Visitors.
How Medical Insurance Works in the U.S.
When you pay health coverage, the money you pay (your premium) is combined with the premiums of others to for a pool of money. That money is then used to pay the medical bills of those participants who need health care. Your coverage remains valid only as long as you continue to pay your insurance premiums.
Once you purchase insurance, the company will provide you with an insurance identification card for use as proof of your coverage when you are seeking health care from a hospital or doctor. The company will also provide written instructions for reporting and documenting medical expenses (filing a claim). The company will evaluate any claim that you file, and make the appropriate payment for coverage under your particular policy. In some cases the company pays the hospital or doctor directly; in others the company reimburses the policy- holder after he or she has paid the bills.
Georgia Tech employees
Ask your department HR administrator if health insurance is a part of your employee benefits package. If so, you will learn about the insurance options by attending a benefits orientation at the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible after your arrival. Work with your sponsoring department HR administrator to schedule the HR new employee orientation or visit the OHR website. Be aware that there are insurance policies offered through the OHR benefits that DO NOT meet the U.S. Department of State minimum standards. It is the responsibility of the J Exchange Visitor to ensure you enroll in a plan that offers coverage that meets the U.S. Department of State minimum standards.
If you are eligible for GT employee benefits, you must complete the OHR enrollment process, ensure you have temporary coverage if the insurance plan will not begin with the start of your J program AND purchase a separate Medical Evacuation and Repatriation plan in order to be in compliance with Department of State regulations.
Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance is available through the University System of Georgia through PGH Global. Please visit the PGH Global site to enroll online for this stand-alone coverage. Additionally, you can review other travel insurance options with other insurance providers at the NAFSA Association for International Educators Marketplace. Evidence of Medical Evacuation & Repatriation coverage, in addition to your GT OHR Employee Health Policy, is required to complete the J Scholar OIE check-in process and ensure your DS-2019 is activated in SEVIS.
Non-Georgia Tech employees or Georgia Tech employees who are not eligible for insurance benefits
Review health insurance options the health insurance section of the Pre-arrival Guide. Complete the Pre-arrival Verification e-form and identify if you will buy insurance that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of State insurance standards prior to your arrival to the U.S. or complete a purchase of one of the two insurance plans offered to Georgia Tech international students and scholars upon your arrival to the U.S.
Upon arrival to the U.S., you have the ability to enroll in one of two plans offered to J scholars at Georgia Tech:
1) BCBS Student Blue health insurance plan (offered through Georgia Tech)-
- Visit the BCBS Student Blue website for detailed plan information.
- Before arriving to the U.S. complete the Pre-arrival Verification e-form OR if you have already arrived in the U.S., complete the BCBS Insurance Notification e-form using iStart.
- BCBS will send you an email with the enrollment paperwork and payment instructions (BCBS will send an email 2-4 business days from the date you submitted one of e-forms above in iStart).
- You must complete payment with BCBS by mail and will receive confirmation of enrollment within 2-4 business days from the date BCBS receives and processes your payment.
- You will be required to upload evidence of enrollment to complete the OIE check-in for new scholars.
2) PGH Global health insurance plan (offered through the University System of Georgia)-
- Before arriving to the U.S. complete the Pre-arrival Verification e-form OR if you are already in the U.S. visit the website below to enroll.
- Click the "Get a Quote" link to review plan benefits and complete enrollment on-line via the PGH Global website.
- PGH Global will process your enrollment and send confirmation within 2-7 business days from the date of payment being made.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a federal statute that aims to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. The GA Tech Student Blue Health Plan is ACA compliant. Individuals who are considered residents for U.S. tax purposes are expected to be enrolled in an ACA compliant insurance plan. The IRS may impose a penalty tax on U.S. tax residents who fail to be enrolled in an ACA compliant insurance plan.
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and health plans offered through this program, please see the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website at www.hhs.gov/healthcare/.
Blue Cross Blue Shield has recommended the following websites for Georgia Tech students and visiting scholars to explore to help explain the ACA.
A government issued passport permits an individual to leave and re-enter his/her own country and normally contains an expiration date. In order to enter the U.S, J students, scholars, or student interns must present a passport that valid at least 6 months into the future. If the passport will expire before the end of the period of stay, it's your responsibility to contact the Consulate or Embassy of your country to have the passport extended or renewed.
Renewing your passport:
Contact the closest consulate or embassy in the U.S. For a list of embassies and consulates in the U.S visit the U.S. State Department's website.
Ask the consulate representative what forms and fees are required.
Once the new passport is received, upload a copy in iStart using the Immigration Document Upload e-form.
The visa is for permission to apply for admission to the United Sates for a specific purpose and period of time. The spouse and children of a student on a J-1 visa will be assigned J-2 visas. The visa does not determine the length of time J students, scholars, or student interns can remain in the U.S. It is the DS-2019 that reflects the length of stay. Since it is an entry permit, the visa can expire while the individual student or scholar resides in the U.S., but it must be valid at time of entry at a U.S. immigration port of entry.
Renewing your U.S. visa for re-entry:
It is not possible to renew a J-1 visa while you are in the U.S. If you are traveling abroad and your visa has expired, you will need to renew your visa while abroad unless you are eligible for automatic visa revalidation.
For information on renewing your passport at a consulate/embassy abroad, visit OIE's Visa Renewal website.
Once the new visa is obtained, upload a copy in iStart using the Immigration Document Upload e-form.
Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)
I-94 arrival/departure records are issued at the time of entry into the U.S. All J students, scholars, and student interns should possess a I-94 record that contains the following:
An "Admit Until Date" of D/S. D/S stands for duration of status and signifies that a J student may remain in the U.S for the length of their program of study as long as they are maintaining lawful status. There is a 30-day grace period after completing your program as a J student, scholar, or student intern.
A "Class of Admission" of J-1
Correct date of entry into the U.S
Correct biographical information
An 11 digit I-94 number
Paper I-94s versus Electronic I-94s
Paper I-94s: Until April 30, 2013, the I-94 was a paper document. Individuals who arrived in the U.S. before April 30, 2013 and who have not traveled abroad, will still have a paper I-94 which should be stapled in their passport.
Electronic I-94s: On April 30, 2013, the US government published a new regulation eliminating paper I-94s arrival/departure records and moved to an electronic system. These records can be accessed online, and foreign visitors will no longer need to fill out the paper I-94 form when arriving to the US. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officials will gather the visitor's arrival and departure information by accessing the electronic travel records.
To access your electronic I-94 record, please visit CBP's I-94 Number Retrieval website.
Having problems accessing your I-94, click here for help.
The DS-2019 is the immigration document issued by the J program sponsor to the student, scholar, or student intern. An individual is deemed eligible for a J Exchange Visitor Program and a form DS-2019 when:
1) The academic or research program the individual is participating has an exchange objective. This includes students enrolled under a bi-lateral student exchange agreement, students who will transfer from a Georgia Tech instructional site abroad to the Atlanta instructional site, students who are sponsored by a US Exchange Organization (such as Fulbright, LASPAU, BSMP, etc...), and individuals participating in research or faculty exchanges or a student internship.
2) The individual will be funded by their home country/government and the funding sponsor requests the J visa.
The DS-2019 is a contract between the sponsor, the individual and the U.S. Department of State. The DS-2019 is required to be shown to the U.S. Department of State Consular Official at the visa interview and to the Customs and Border Protection Officer at the port of entry to the U.S. Please ensure the information printed on the DS-2019 is accurate at all times. Refer to Item # 3 of the DS-2019 for the J program dates. The start date determines the date you are expected to begin your J program activities and the expiration date identifies the date authorized to complete your J program at Georgia Tech. If you need additional time after the expiration date to complete your J program activities, you are responsible for ensuring the OIE has received an extension request prior to the expiration of your form. Be advised, each J Exchange Visitor has a 30 day grace period after the expiration date listed on the DS-2019 allowing time to remain in the U.S. to participate in personal activities (not the J program activities described briefly on the DS-2019 form). The form DS-2019 Item # 4 outlines the category of the J visa. The back of the form DS-2019 also provides pertinent information about the Exchange Visitor Program. You should read and adhere to the information therein.
DS-7002 (for J student interns only)
The DS-7002 is an official document that notes the details of a J student intern's program.
When to Carry your Immigration Documents
You should carry your original immigration documents (DS-2019, passport, I-94) with you when you travel outside the Atlanta area or when visiting any government office, such as the Social Security Administration or to get your driver's license.
However, OIE recommends that you carry copies of your documents with you when you are inside the Atlanta area and keep your original documents in a safe place that is easily accessible. This way, you are less likely to lose them but are able to present them if needed. It is your choice if you would like to carry your original documents or copies with you during the course of a normal day.
When you enter the U.S. for the first time or when you travel and return while on a Georgia Tech I-20 or DS-2019, you will be required to show the following documents:
I-20 or DS-2019
- I-20: Issued to F-1 students from Georgia Tech afer they have been admitted to the university, paid their deposit, and uploaded required financial documents.
Page 1 of the I-20 has a SEVIS identification number in the top, right corner (N000_ _ _ _ _ _ _), the name of your program, your academic level, the validity dates of the I-20 (known as the Program Start Date and the Program End Date), as well as financial information for yourself and your course of study.
Page 3 includes any special authorizations of your F-1 status (OPT, CPT, Reduced Course Load) and lines for ISSS to sign so that you may travel and re-enter the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for one year and multiple entries for continuing students, but for F-1 students on post-completion OPT, travel signatures are good for only 6 months.
Note: A travel signature is not required the first time you enter the U.S.
Throughout your time at Georgia Tech, you will likely receive updated copies of your I-20 as your program changes. You should keep each copy in a safe place where it is accessible because you will be required to submit past I-20s when applying for future immigration benefits.
- DS-2019: Issued to J-1 students, scholars, and interns. Most of these may be issued by Georgia Tech, but may have been issued by a government agency or a student exchange organization.
The identification number is at the top, right corner (N000_ _ _ _ _ _ _). You will also find information about your J-1 program, your dates of eligibility and a signature line verifying that you are eligible to travel and re-enter the United States.
Note: A travel signature is not required the first time you enter the U.S.
To request a travel signature, please log in to iStart and complete the Travel Signature e-form. OIE encourages all students, scholars, and student interns to submit a travel signature request when a plane ticket is bought to avoid last minute emergencies.
Your passport is issued by your country of citizenship for the purpose of identification, and to allow you to enter and leave that country; you will not be able to travel without it. Your passport should always be valid for at least 6 months when entering the U.S. You will not be able to get a visa with a passport that is within 6 months of expiration.
Valid U.S. Visa
International students, scholars, and student interns are required to have a visa stamp in their passport to enter the U.S. Your visa stamp indicates the immigration status in which you may enter the U.S.; it is important to check that your visa has the correct visa classification as different classifications have different benefits and restrictions. For information about applying for your visa, please see OIE's Applying for an F-1/J-1 visa page.
U.S. visas are entrance documents to the United States and you may stay in the U.S. after your F-1 or J-1 visa has expired. However, if you travel outside the U.S. after it is expired, you will be required to renew your visa before returning to the U.S. U.S. visas must be issued outside the U.S. so it is not possible to renew your visa inside the U.S. When making travel plans after your visa has expired, please allow enough time to receive a new visa. For information about renewing your visa as a continuing student or scholar, please see OIE's website.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are not required to obtain F or J visas. You will use your immigration documents issued by OIE to enter, but do not require a visa.
- There may be an exception in the requirement of having a valid U.S. visa if you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent Caribbean Islands for less than 30 days. For more information, please visit ICE’s website covering ‘Reentry for F-1 Nonimmigrants Traveling Outside the United States for Five Months or Less’ for more information.
Copy of I-109 SEVIS Fee Receipt
You are required to pay the SEVIS fee when a new SEVIS record is created. This means that if a previous SEVIS record was terminated or completed and you receive a new SEVIS record, you will be required to pay this fee again.
When international visitors arrive to the U.S., they are issued an I-94 arrival/departure record. In April 2013, Customs and Border Protection began issuing electronic I-94 records. Visitors who have entered the U.S. after April 2013 can find their electronic I-94 record at CBP's I-94 Number Retrieval website. Visitors who entered the U.S. prior to April 2013 should still have a paper I-94 card.
Other Tips for Traveling Outside the U.S.
- The Department of Homeland Security recommends that students carry a copy of their most recent transcript and proof of financial support when they return.
- You should consult the embassy or consulate of the country or countries to which you will be visiting to see if you need a visitor (or transit) visa for that country.
- Frequently Asked Questions on Reentering to the US are on the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) Website: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel/faq_f.htm.
A spouse and/or children (under the age of 21) are eligible to apply for a J-2 visa to accompany you while you are participating in your J-1 Exchange Program in the United States. A spouse, child or other family or friend who would like to visit the J-1 exchange visitor for a short period of time and necessarily remain in the U.S. for the duration of the J Exchange Program should apply for a B1/B2 tourist visa.
When deciding to bring your dependents to the U.S. in a J-2 status, please consider the following:
- A J-2 status is only required when a dependent will come to the U.S. to reside with you for a significant period of the Exchange Program/a period longer than is available as a B tourist. If a dependent will visit for a short period then it may be suitable or even more beneficial to apply for a B tourist visa.
- All J-2 dependents must be covered with health insurance that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of State & University System of Georgia SHIP minimum standards, similar to the J-1. B tourists are encouraged to purchase a travel insurance policy and may be required to provide evidence in the B visa interview although it is not a federal and state legal requirement as it is for J-1 and J-2 visa holders.
- When the J-1 is subject to the 212(e) Home Country Physical Residence requirement, all J-2 dependents will also be subject to the home country residence requirement.
- J-1 Exchange Visitors with a Research Scholar or Professor category will be subject to the 24 month bar preventing repeat participation. This bar on back to back participation in the Research Scholar or Professor category will also apply to all J-2 dependents. This could impact a spouse who is interested in participating in their own J-1 Exchange Program during their time in the U.S. as the 24 month bar would prevent change from a J-2 dependent of a Research Scholar or Professor to a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.
It is best that prospective J Exchange Visitors identify in the Initial DS-2019 request form submitted by the sponsoring department that dependent DS-2019(s) are requested. It is also possible for a J Exchange Visitor to submit a Dependent J-2 request e-form in iStart at any time after arriving to the U.S. The J-1 Exchange Visitior will enter biographical information about the J-2 dependent and provide proof of funds sufficient to cover the costs of supporting dependent(s) in the U.S.
You will be required to show a minimum of $700/month for a spouse and $400/month for each child.
Financial documents submitted must meet OIE's Financial Document Requirements.
Filing taxes in the US can be confusing. While the U.S. government has complex tax laws, the purpose of this information is to help identify Georgia Tech International Students/Scholars if they must file tax forms, what to file, when to file by and what resources we offer to answer tax filing questions and complete and file federal and state tax returns. Please read the entire page as it will help you to complete the appropriate tax documents that are a part of maintaining your visa status within the US.
Guide to Who-Files-What
The U.S. federal and state governments tax income, taxable scholarships and other types of monetary gain. Tax is generally withheld before a payment is made and individuals are expected to file tax reports by a specified deadline after the end of the tax year as a mechanism to reconcile all tax withheld against what the federal and state government identifies should have been withheld. At the end of the year, if the tax payments that were made were not enough to cover the total income tax due, you must pay the federal and/or state revenue department. Conversely, if you paid too much over the course of the tax year (more than what you owe in tax), then the federal and/or state revenue department will send back your excess payment in the form of a tax refund.
No Income? File Form 8843
Were you present in the United States for any period during the year 2017 (January 1-December 31)? Are you a non-resident for tax purposes? A yes answer to both questions means you must file a tax form 8843, even if you did not work. All nonresident aliens present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status must file Form 8843 "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition" -- even if they received NO income during a tax year. Depending on various factors, you also may need to file both a federal and state tax return. This year, all tax forms and returns must be mailed by Tuesday April 17th, 2018 to the IRS and each individual state you earned income during the tax year.
Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:
- Present in the U.S. for any day during 2017
- A nonresident alien (an individual who has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.)
- Present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status
If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the Form 8843 must be filed for the tax year. The OIE encourages students who are non-residents for tax purposes to complete the form 8843 using the information below.
Click Here for Helpful Tips to complete Form 8843
Federal & State Taxes
International Student and Scholar Services has purchased access licenses for international students to use Sprintax software to assist Georgia Tech students and scholars to file Federal and State tax returns. There are a limited number of codes available, so request one and use it as soon as possible. Students who request a code near the tax deadline (April 17th) are a) not guaranteed a code and b) not guaranteed to receive their code in time to complete their tax return in time for the tax deadline.
Sprintax will determine your tax residency. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes and earned taxable income, then use Sprintax to help you through the process of completing your Federal and State tax return documents. If the software identifies you are a resident taxpayer then please follow instructions available on IRS.gov for individual resident taxpayer filing.
Georgia Tech non-resident taxpayers who earned income should use the Sprintax software to complete your Federal and State tax returns. The OIE has paid Sprintax to cover the cost of the federal tax return for Georgia Tech non-resident students and scholars. You will be responsible for paying Sprintax to complete State tax filing, at a discounted rate for each state return you are required to file.
The OIE will continue to assist Georgia Tech students and scholars to provide the paperwork and support to assist with filing for an ITIN and for a return of Social Security taxes (FICA) withheld in error. Individuals can also choose pay a discounted rate to Sprintax to complete the ITIN or Social Security taxes (FICA) withholding in error tax forms.
Filing Taxes after April 17, 2018: Individuals are still required to file the applicable tax forms even after the deadline. You can continue to request a Sprintax Access Code (if codes are still available) using the instructions below, or refer to the information above to file the Form 8843.
** Georgia Tech will continue to use Glacier for employer payroll compliance and record keeping. Sprintax tax preparation software is for individual non-resident taxpayers to complete tax returns.
How to Request a Sprintax Access Code:
1. If you need to file an annual tax return, please complete the Sprintax Access Request e-form which will be available in iStart under the "SSN and Taxes" menu. This e-form will be available on February 12, 2018.
2. If you do not need to file an annual tax return because you had no taxable income, you do not need to access Sprintax and can use the information above to complete the form 8843.
3. Still have Sprintax access questions? Email your name, GT ID, and question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use the following when completing Sprintax:
Academic Program Director Name: Marisa Atencio
Academic Program Address:
Georgia Institute of Technology
631 Cherry St, Savant Bldg 211
Atlanta, GA 30332-0284
Please Note: If you are non-resident for tax purposes, and you had no U.S. earned income or scholarships in U.S., you must file IRS Form 8843. Spouses and dependents in F-2 and J-2 status who are non-residents for tax purposes must also file Form 8843. Use the Helpful Tips video above to help you complete the form. All you will need to do is mail the form 8843. There will be no tax forms required for the State of Georgia.
- Guide to Tax Forms and Vocabulary
- Instructions to file the form 8843 and form 8316 to request a refund of SSN taxes (FICA) withheld in error
- How to Request an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) During the Tax Season
- Information and Resources from the Office of Human Resources
- Global HR International Student and Scholar FAQs
Filing a Resident Tax Return? Use the following handout to learn How to Claim a Tax Treaty Benefit When Filing a Resident Tax Return. (pdf)
The Georgia 500 form has changed recently. Students are strongly recommended to use Sprintax to prepare and file your Georgia State taxes. Reminder: Sprintax will charge $25.95 for preparation of a state return for each state in which you worked.
NOTE: Filing income tax forms is the personal responsibility of each international student and scholar. ISSS has designed this website as a service to help you meet your tax filing obligations but please be aware that you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of your income tax returns.
Avoid Tax Scams
We want you to be aware of tax scams, especially to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There is an increase in aggressive phone scams during tax season. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website on Tax Identify Theft for ways to identify a tax scam, and helpful tips for keeping yourself safe.
What is a Social Security Number?
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a permanent nine-digit identification number administered by the Social Security Administration, an agency of the U.S. federal government. SSNs are required for anyone employed in the U.S. because it tracks income for employers and the IRS, but is not required for anything else.
Who is eligible to receive a Social Security Number?
- F-1 students who are employed are eligible for a Social Security Number. F-2s are not eligible for a Social Security Number.
- J visa holders are eligible for a Social Security Number whether employed or not. If a J visa holder is not employed, OIE would encourage you to think carefully about whether you would like to apply for an SSN because of some dangers of having one (see below).
Who is required to have a Social Security Number?
All individuals working in the U.S. are required to have a Social Security Number. Many jobs do not require you to have a Social Security Number to begin working, but you should submit SSN information to your employer as soon as possible.
Why is everyone asking for my Social Security Number?
International visitors are not required to have a Social Security Number to enter the U.S., open a bank account, sign a lease, or get a Georgia driver's license. However, it is likely that you will be asked for an SSN when trying to do these things. This is because SSNs are used to check your financial credit history (i.e. do you pay bills on time?).
If you are asked for an SSN by a cell phone carrier, bank, landlord, etc. you should explain that you are not eligible for one. Since you do not have a financial credit history, you may be asked to pay a higher deposit for certain services.
I am employed and/or eligible for a Social Security Number. How do I get one?
International visitors who are eligible for a Social Security Number can apply 10 working days after your SEVIS record has been registered by ISSS. Your record will be registered after you complete check-in with OIE. If you arrived recently and are not sure if your SEVIS record has been registered, please email email@example.com to confirm.
Note: If working at Georgia Tech, you may begin working and get paid without a Social Security Number. However, you should apply for an SSN as soon as possible and report information to Global HR after you receive it.
For a list of required documentation and information of the closest Social Security Office, please see OIE's Social Security Handout.
Requesting a Social Security support letter from OIE
To request a Social Security support letter from OIE, please log into iStart and submit the e-form request found under SSN and Taxes. You will be required to upload your job offer letter into the e-form. A support letter will be generated for you within five business days and you'll receive an email that it's ready to be picked up at OIE's front desk.
Protecting your Social Security Number
If you get a Social Security Number, you should protect it in order to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. While you likely will be asked for your SSN when leasing an apartment, setting up a bill or service (cell phone, utilities), or opening a bank account, you should protect your Social Security Number and do not give it out freely. You should not carry your Social Security card around with you. You should keep your card (and your number) in a safe place and do not give it out to anyone who does not have a legitimate reason to ask for it.
If someone is able to get your Social Security Number, they can open bank accounts or buy things under your name! You can quickly become a victim of identity theft if someone gets your number and they can cause problems far into the future. Do not give your number over the phone or via email, particularly if you did not initiate contact.
If someone is asking you for your Social Security Number and you do not know if you should give it to them, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and an international student advisor will help to advise on what you should do.
An Exchange Visitor is eligible to apply for an extension of stay if:
- You are working toward the objective shown on your most recent Forms DS-2019 and DS-7002.
- You are maintaining your status as a J-1 Exchange Visitor.
- You can demonstrate adequate funding for the period of the proposed extension ($1500/month)
- You can demonstrate you have complied with health insurance requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors.
- Please note that the maximum length permitted for J-1 Student Interns is 12 months.
If you are sponsored by the Georgia Institute of Technology, then you will receive an email reminder 60 days and again 30 days prior to the expiration of your DS-2019. You should work with your sponsoring department HR administrator to discuss your interest in extending your program as they will be responsible for completing the J-1 extension request via iStart. You will need to provide your HR administrator copies of your DS-2019, passport, I-94 card, evidence of health insurance and evidence of financial support for the duration of the requested extension. If you have questions please email or call the Office of International Education to speak with a Responsible Officer or schedule an appointment.
Some, but not all, exchange visitors are subject to this requirement. Through this provision, the Department of State helps ensure that your home country benefits from your educational and cultural exchange activity upon your return from the U.S.
If you are subject to this requirement this means that:
- You will not be able to change from J-1 status while in the U.S.
- You will not be eligible for an H1-B visa, L visa, or immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate until you have physically resided in your country of residency for two years.
For the terms of the requirement, please review item 1a on the back of your DS-2019 form. If you have any questions about the two year home residency requirement, including whether or not you are subject to it, please ask the U.S. Consular officer when you apply for your visa, or ask our office during new J Student Intern Orientation.
The J-1 Student Intern program requires that students receive a final evaluation to complete their internship phase at Georgia Tech. This evaluation will be submitted through iStart by the HR Administrator and GT Supervisor.
The student intern can also submit their own evaluation by logging into iStart to complete the J Student Intern Evaluation: Student Submission e-form.
You should work with your sponsoring department HR administrator to submit the Student Intern Evaluation. Once complete, OIE will write an official GT Evaluation, at which time your sponsoring department will provide to you.
Student interns here for 6 months or less only need a final evaluation. If the intern is here for more than 6 months you will need to perform a 6 month and 12 month final evaluation.
After completing your Internship program, you will have a 30-day grace period. This period is to allow participants to settle their affairs and to prepare to return to their home countries. Program participants may no longer continue and/or complete exchange activities, nor may they work.
Student Interns must return home for at least 60 days before returning to pursue a degree at GT.
Stay Connected to Tech! Did you have a great experience? Tell us about your graduation or career development by emailing email@example.com!