Step 1: Validate SEVIS within 24 hours of arrival

Please read, then complete the form below.  Once you complete the form correctly, ERDT will validate SEVIS for you.  


  1. If you are validating on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, your validation will be complete within 24 hours.  If you are validating Friday,  Saturday or Sunday, your validation will be complete by Monday at midnight.  Once your validation is complete, you may apply for Social Security.

  2. Have your Social Security card mailed to your employer, as your housing address may not yet be registered with U.S. Postal Service.  

  3. If you have any problems at Social Security, ask the official who you spoke with to write down the problem, his/her name, his/her phone extension and email address.  Then, email ERDT with this information at  Important!  Without a phone extension or email, ERDT cannot help you.

  4. After you have applied for Social Security, they will give you a letter.  Show this letter to your employer.  This letter allows you to begin work immediately.  For more information, see this website: or contact ERDT.

I-9 FORM: Your employer will ask you to fill this out.  You will need to show your employer your passport, I-94 card and DS-2019 form.

W-4 FORM: Your employer will ask you to fill this out.  Check “Single” marital status on line 3.  Put "1" on line 5. Do not claim “Exempt” withholding status on line 7.

TAXES:  Be sure that your employer knows that Medicare, Social Security, or Federal Unemployment tax (FUTA or FICA) should not be deducted from your check.  Only income taxes should be deducted.

LOST DOCUMENTS: If you lose your passport, J1 visa, or DS-2019 form, contact ERDT immediately.

ERDT EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER:  If you have an emergency, call (424) 259-1192 at any hour.  For non-emergencies, please call that number from 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Standard Time, or you can text that number or email

MOVING TO A DIFFERENT TOWN: After you have worked at your assigned job for 3 weeks, you are allowed to quit your job if you do not like it.  However, ERDT rules prohibit you from moving to a big city for work.  If you move to a big city, ERDT will end your visa.  This is not a bad thing, but you cannot work any longer, and will need to return home within 30 days.

AVOIDING PROGRAM TERMINATION: Don't get terminated!  If you are terminated, your name will be put on a list of illegal aliens to be found, detained and deported by U.S. Immigration.  A permanent mark is put on your immigration record, which could affect your ability to get a U.S. visa for the rest of your life!   ERDT terminates an average of 5 students every summer.  There are 6 main reasons that ERDT would terminate you in SEVIS:

  1. If you do not arrive at your job by the start date on your visa, and work at the job on your job offer for at least 3 weeks;
  2. If you start working or training at a new or 2nd job without getting permission from ERDT.  
  3. If you do not respond to emails from within one week.  Saying "I did not have internet" is not an excuse.
  4. If you move to different housing and do not inform ERDT within 1 week;
  5. If you don't maintain your medical insurance for your entire time in the U.S. (including the grace period)

GETTING ENOUGH HOURS TO COVER YOUR EXPENSES:  On your job offer, your employer wrote the average hours you can expect to work over the summer.  Your hours will probably be lower than this during the first week or two, as you receive training and are added to the working schedule.  Because your first paycheck won't come until a couple of weeks from your first day of work, it isn't unusual for students to use most of the $1000 they brought with them on the program to pay for expenses within these first few weeks.  You are welcome to begin looking for a 2nd job at any time, just be sure to follow the simple procedure listed on our website.  

Name *
What date did you enter the U.S.? *
What date did you enter the U.S.?
Your address must have a number and a street. Example: 123 Cherry Street. If you are traveling overnight, enter the address where you will stay when you arrive.
If you are living in a single house with no separate apartments, please write "house." Otherwise you must list an apartment number.
U.S. Phone Number *
U.S. Phone Number
Do not enter a foreign phone number. You can purchase a U.S. SIM card to use in your phone at most shops and airports.