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SEVIS & Social Security Information      

Be sure to register your United States address in SEVIS as soon as you arrive in the U.S. You should do this BEFORE applying for your Social Security Card.  Registration in SEVIS must happen within twenty (20) days of your arrival into the United States but the sooner that you register, the sooner you can go to the local Social Security office to apply for a Social Security number. Failure to register in SEVIS will result in cancellation of your visa, making it illegal for you to work in the United States. Please follow your visa sponsor’s recommendation on how to register in SEVIS.

Apply for your Social Security Card ten (10) days after enrolling in SEVIS. Please note - if you do not follow this procedure, it can take longer than necessary to get your Social Security Card. You will need the following forms when applying:

Valid passport (not expired or expiring during your stay)
Form I-94 – Arrival/Departure Record, issued when you arrived in the U.S. 
Form DS-2019 – Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
Job Sponsor’s letter showing you participate in the Exchange Visitor Program
Completed application
Please note all copies must be originals or certified by the issuing agency.  The regional Social Security Administration office address is:

2875 Sabre Street, Suite 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Office Hours are Monday-Friday from 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., excluding Federal Holidays. Hampton Roads Transit is the local public transportation.  You can catch the bus from Route 20 to First Colonial Road/Laskin Road and transfer to Route 29 to Lynnhaven Mall.  Schedules can be found online at or call 757-222-6100.  

Once you receive your Social Security Card or Card Application Acknowledgement Letter, you should give a copy of this to your employer.  Depending on employer policy you may have already begun to receive your paycheck.  You are required to have Federal Income Tax and Virginia State Tax withheld from your pay. The taxes you should not pay are as follows:
 - Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid 
Please provide your employer with this information to ensure proper taxes are withheld.  If you have any questions about this process, please contact your J-1 visa sponsor (found on your DS-2019 form). 

Frequently Asked Questions
Q - Who do I call for an emergency or if I need help?
A - For an emergency services in the Unites States call 911.  If you questions or need help, contact your VISA Sponsor.  Remember all VISA Sponsors have a 24 hours/day, 7 days/week emergency number.

Q - I'm not sure who my VISA Sponsor is, how do I find out?
A - You can find your VISA Sponsor name on your DS2019.

Q - What is the breakdown for U.S. Currency?
A - The basic unit of U.S. currency is U.S. Dollar. Coins are:
     1 cent = penny
     5 cents = nickel
     10 cents = dime
     25 cents = quarter
     50 cents = half dollar

     Dollars are printed in the values of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100                                    

Q - Am I permitted to work without a Social Security Card?
A - When you apply for a card, you will be given a receipt to show your employer saying you are allowed to work until your Social Security card arrives. Apply for your Social Security Card ten (10) days after you have registered with SEVIS.  It usually takes up to three to four weeks for your card and number to arrive.
NOTE: Not having a Social Security number is not a reason employers can hold your paycheck. By law, Employers may pay employees for all hours worked.

Q - How can I find a second job?
A - The best way to locate second jobs is through newspapers and attendance at community events. You will also see job listings (if available) on business signage as well as at Supermarket bulletin boards. Several businesses in Virginia Beach hire international students, but make sure that you have the necessary skills before applying for a position. Keep in mind you need be certain a second job does not interfere with your original job offer as the employer is tied to your visa and can have your visa revoked for not follow theu with teh job offer commitment.  You'll find most employers easy to work with, but share your intent.

Q - Where can I find clothes for work?
A - Many students find inexpensive work clothing at Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart and thrift stores. 

Q - Where will I find internet access?
A – At the Visitors Center, Public Library, or First Baptist Church during International Internet Café hours of operation.
First Baptist Church
401 35th Street, Virginia Beach VA
Phone: 757-428-6562

Virginia Beach Visitors Center
2100 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach VA 
Phone: 757-437-4919

Oceanfront Area Library
700 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach VA 
Phone: 757-385-2640
Monday - Thursday 10am - 7pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 5pm
Closed Sunday

For additional assistance, please stop by the Visitor’s Center on 2100 Parks Avenue where you’ll find friendly staff and lots of resources to help with any questions. 

Useful websites

Virginia Beach Hotel Motel Association

Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hampton Roads Transit – local public transportation

Hostelling International

Beach Events--Integrated Management Group

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