Office of Admissions
J-1/J-2 Employment and Taxes
Employment for J1/J2 Exchange Visitors
Exchange visitors can only work in the US if authorized under the regulations governing their particular Exchange Visitor category. Each Exchange Visitor category has specific rules regarding employment. Employment without authorization is considered a violation of Exchange Visitor Program status.
Professors, researchers, and short-term scholars are permitted to work as described on the Form DS-2019, and may accept additional employment only as authorized in writing by the Responsible Officer in accordance with the regulations. Additional employment may be limited to occasional lectures or short-term consultations directly related to the objectives of the Exchange Visitor's program. If wages or other remuneration are received by the J1 visitor for these activities, he or she must act as an independent contractor.
Dependents may be employed during the primary J1 visa stay. The J2 application for work authorization is a matter between the J2 and the Department of Homeland Security. The RO is not required to sign any document and no SEVIS entry is required for J2 work authorization. A dependent with J2 status may apply for employment authorization from DHS in the form of an Employment Authorization Document. Most often the EAD is issued in one-year increments, though it may be issued for the entire period covered by the DS-2019 (up to four years), and may not exceed the period of stay designated to the primary J1 visa holder. Once granted, the employment authorization for a J2 is unrestricted, and the individual may work for any employer.
Tax Information for J1/J2 Exchange Visitors
J1/J2 Exchange Visitors who have income through employment, stipends, scholarships, honorariums and contract labor are required to report this income to the US government for each year of stay in this country. The University of Houston-Victoria does not assume responsibility to file taxes to the US Internal Revenue Service for J1/J2 Exchange Visitors. This is the sole responsibility of the visa holder(s). Failure to pay taxes due on income may result in a federal offense, depending on the amount of money earned. The Internal Revenue Service offers free advice and answers to international tax questions. Contact the IRS National Office Hotline at (202) 874-1460 for assistance. This is not a toll-free number. In addition to the IRS hotline, tax information (some free, and some with fees required) regarding taxation of foreign nationals may be found at the following web sites:
- www.glaciertax.com - This is an independent tax preparation guide for non-immigrant visa holders. You may purchase an Individual Access Code to prepare a federal tax return. This will allow you to answers questions and provide income information to help calculate any taxes or refunds due.
- www.irs.ustreas.gov/ - This is the site for the Internal Revenue Service. You may obtain the necessary forms to file your tax report.
- IRS Frequently Asked Tax Questions and Answers
- IRS Foreign Income Information
- US Social Security Administration - This site has information on US social security taxes and benefits.
- Thomson Reuters (formerly Windstar Technologies) - this site offers comprehensive tax and immigration software for universities and individuals.
- Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer - This site gives the background and experience of the tax law firm and includes articles on the cross border tax issues written by firm attorneys
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