J-1 Teacher ProgramJ-1 Teacher Program

J-1 Teacher Program

About our Teacher program

About the program

The J-1 Teacher program allows you to teach full-time in accredited public and private U.S. primary and secondary schools for up to three years. The objective is for exchange teachers to sharpen their professional skills and participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities. They return home after completing the program.

Note: Our program cannot be used as a substitute for ordinary employment or work purposes and it cannot displace American workers.

General Expenses

Initial Sponsor Fees:

Processing & Academic Fee: $1500
SEVIS Fee: $220
Program and Insurance Fee: $95 per month, 3 months due upfront and remainder billed monthly
J-2 Processing Fee: $695 per J-2 dependent
J-2 Program and Insurance Fee: $140 per month, 3 months due upfront and remainder billed monthly

*J1X highly encourages exchange teachers to be established and settled before bringing dependents to the U.S.


Recurring Sponsor Fees:

Annual Academic Fee: $1500, due May 15th
Monthly Program and Insurance Fee: $95 per month, due the 1st of each month
Monthly J-2 Program and Insurance Fee: $140 per month, due the 1st of each month

*Exchange teachers (and their dependents) may opt to use their host school medical insurance to reduce their J-1/J-2 insurance to a repatriation and medical evacuation policy after 90 days.


Other J1X Fees:

Transfer Host School Fee: $695
Travel Validation: $75, valid for 12 months
Extension Beyond Maximum Duration Fee (Year-Three Teachers): Annual Academic Fee + $367 Department of State Fee

DS-160/Visa Service Fees:

Nonimmigrant (DS 160) Visa Application Processing Fee: $185

The DS-160 is an online visa application form for any persons seeking to travel temporarily to the United States. These fees are paid to the U.S. Consulate where the application is being submitted.

Recipriocity Fees: Nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries*/areas of authority may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. These fees are based on the principle of reciprocity:  when a foreign government imposes fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a reciprocal fee on citizens of that country*/area of authority for similar types of visas. 

A full list Department of State fees can be found here


Third-Party Agents:

Every third-party agent operates differently, and J1X continues to evaluate the agents we work with. That said, on average, an exchange participant can expect to pay $2000-$2500 towards placement fees to an agent who assists with identifying host schools. Some agents can provide additional services for Foreign Credential Evaluations, temporary housing accommodations, airfare, interview preparation, licensing, and more at an ad-hoc service charge.

While some third-party agencies can provide real benefits to exchange teachers, fees can quickly add up. In some cases, this can result in unexpected and exorbitant costs (sometimes exceeding $5000).

J1X highly encourages exchange teachers interested in working with a third-party agent to first review their fees, and the fine print before signing any agreement. Likewise, consider the services you’ll get from an agent before signing an agreement.

In the 2024-2025 Academic Year, J1X supported programs through:

Minga House Foundation

Teach Beyond


In-Program Expenses

Estimated Work-Related Deductions:

Exchange teachers can expect some work-related deductions during their exchange program. Here is a list of expected deductions:

Understanding Taxes: Exchange teachers can expect to pay between 20%–30% of their salary, on average, depending on their federal and state tax forms. To help exchange teachers better understand withholding tax amounts per state, use ADP’s State and Local Tax Guide.  Select your state, add FICA (Medicare & Social Security), Supplemental Wage rate together, and this will be the anticipated percentage per pay period.

Example: Alabama lists; FICA (Medicare) 1.45%; FICA (Social Security) 6.20% and Supplemental Wage Flat Rate Withholding Method 22%. This totals to 29.65% in tax withholding per pay period. 

Average Federal Taxes: 14%-22% per pay period (based on annual wages.)

Average State and Local Taxes: 5% – 12% per pay period (some states and major cities withhold a local tax, such as California.)

FUTA/FICA Taxes: 7%-10%

**Exchange teachers in their first two years may not be subject to FUTA/FICA taxes. Additional information can be found in the IRS Publication 519.


Opt-In Deductions/Benefits:

-Dental, Vision, and Medical Plans: ~$50-$100+ per pay period. Medical coverage may be available through your host school. While having host school insurance doesn’t allow you to cancel your J1X insurance all together, it does allow for exchange teachers to qualify for a reduced policy and reduced rates. Some schools and school districts provide free medical benefits for exchange teachers.

-Union Dues: Union dues vary by state; however, the average exchange teacher can estimate between ~$400 to ~$1000 for union dues. States such as California can be estimated at ~$1000 a year, whereas states such as Arkansas and Texas are lower, estimating around ~$400 a year. Learn more about Educator Unions here.

-Retirement Benefits: Estimate ~1%-3%, depending on chosen contributions. Host schools and host school districts may have and/or require exchange teachers to opt into a retirement plan. We encourage exchange teachers to connect with their contacts to learn more about these options and determine which plan is the best for them. You can read more about retirement plans related to teachers here: https://www.sec.gov/teachers-guide/planning-for-retirement.

Estimated Teaching Related Expenses

Criminal Background Check/Fingerprinting Requirements: ~$50-$75 (dependent on state-by-state requirements)

Foreign Credential Evaluations: ~$100+ (dependent on company and country of evaluation)**

Teacher Licensing/Certification: ~$75-$100 (dependent on subject(s) and state, details below)

Licensing Exams: ~$50 – $150 per test (dependent on subject, see details below) 

Translation Fees: ~$100+ (dependent on services)

** Learn more about Foreign Credential Evaluations at NACES (National Association for Credential Evaluation Services)


General Monthly Expenses:

While the cost of living will vary by city and state, the following is an estimate to help teachers better understand their financial obligations before participation. J1X recommends that you use a Budgeting Calculator to help assess your financial wellbeing before participating in this program.

Rent: ~$1500/month for a studio/1-bedroom unfurnished apartment

Utilities: ~$150/month (water, gas, electric, trash, sewer) *estimated for a 1-bedroom apartment

Internet: ~$50/month for a base internet plan through a local ISP

Telephone: ~$50/month for a base phone plan without a service contact.

Transportation*: ~$100+ or ~$200/month (public transportation or gasoline cost/maintenance)

Food/Groceries: ~$350 – $400/month (per person)

Childcare: ~$1000+/month for full-time daycare per dependent (varies by city)

Discretionary Spending**: ~$150–$200 per month

*Please note that in some locations, public transportation may not be an option. Additionally,  J1X advises caution when purchasing a vehicle. While buying a $ 5,000 used vehicle may be an appropriate option for some exchange visitors, leasing a $40,000 vehicle and then paying $500/month in car payments usually isn’t.

**Discretionary spending is a term used to describe non-essential expenses such as recreation, entertainment, luxury goods, and travel. J1X encourages exchange teachers to understand the differences between a necessary purchase vs. a discretionary purchase.

Teaching Licensure and Exams:

Exchange teachers are required to seek licensure in states related to the courses and subjects they are teaching. Licensure requirements are determined on a state by state requirement and based on educational background, experience and qualifications. In some cases, exchange teachers may be required to complete Licensing Exams. Here is a great resource that better explains Licensing Exams for exchange teachers. Costs for exams range by test including; 


The National Evaluation Series: ~$50 – $125 per test

Praxis: ~$64 – $150 per test


Here is a list of state’s and their licensing procedures and requirements: 

Alabama Alabama Licensure Montana Montana Licensure
Alaska Alaska Licensure Nebraska Nebraska Licensure
Arizona Arizona Licensure Nevada Nevada Licensure
Arkansas Arkansas Licensure New Hampshire New Hampshire Licensure
California California Licensure New Jersey New Jersey Licensure
Colorado Colorado Licensure New Mexico New Mexico Licensure
Connecticut Connecticut Licensure New York New York Licensure
Delaware Delaware Licensure North Carolina North Carolina Licensure
Florida Florida Licensure North Dakota North Dakota Licensure
Georgia Georgia Licensure Ohio Ohio Licensure
Hawaii Hawaii Licensure Oklahoma Oklahoma Licensure
Idaho Idaho Licensure Oregon Oregon Licensure
Illinois Illinois Licensure Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Licensure
Indiana Indiana Licensure Rhode Island Rhode Island Licensure
Iowa Iowa Licensure South Carolina South Carolina Licensure
Kansas Kansas Licensure South Dakota South Dakota Licensure
Kentucky Kentucky Licensure Tennessee Tennessee Licensure
Louisiana Louisiana Licensure Texas Texas Licensure
Maine Maine Licensure Utah Utah Licensure
Maryland Maryland Licensure Vermont Vermont Licensure
Massachusetts Massachusetts Licensure Virginia Virginia Licensure
Michigan Michigan Licensure Washington Washington Licensure
Minnesota Minnesota Licensure West Virginia West Virginia Licensure
Mississippi Mississippi Licensure Wisconsin Wisconsin Licensure
Missouri Missouri Licensure Wyoming Wyoming Licensure
District of Columbia District of Columbia Licensure

Contact us today to get more details about this exciting new program!