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 completing SEVIS Step 1 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, your validation will be complete in 24 hours and you can then apply for Social Security.

  2. If you are completing SEVIS Step 1 on Friday,  Saturday or Sunday, your validation will be complete by Monday at midnight.  Once your validation is complete, you may apply for Social Security.

  3. Bring your passport, J1 visa and DS-2019 form with you, along with your employer's address.

  4. On your Social Security Application, list your employer's address, as your housing address may not yet be registered with U.S. Postal Service.  

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


  1. I-9 FORM: You will need to show your employer your passport, I-94 card and DS-2019 form

  2. W-4 FORM: Check “Single” marital status on line 3. Put "1" on line 5. Do not claim “Exempt” withholding status on line 7.

  3. 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.


  1. 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. Before starting working or training at a new or 2nd job, get permission from ERDT.

  3. Check your email at least once a week for emails from, and reply within 1 week.

  4. If you move to different housing, submit a Housing Request within 1 week.

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 or text (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.

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.