SEVIS and Social Security Number


SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, and you are required to register for it. Things to remember about SEVIS registration:

  • You cannot register for SEVIS until after you have landed in the U.S.
  • When you call to register, have your DS-2019 number, current address in the U.S., and host organization information ready.
  • If you are delayed and will arrive after the deadline, contact your CIEE representative for a replacement DS-2019 form.
  • If you change your address, you must supply your new information to CIEE within 5 days.
  • If you do not register, or report a change of contact information, your program may be terminated.
  • CIEE is here to help you follow the rules and regulations of your visa. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding SEVIS.


If you do not already have a Social Security number, you will have to apply for one in order to get paid, open a bank account, and pay taxes. (Participants who are not getting paid will also need to apply for a Social Security number.) It is legal for you to begin your program before a Social Security number has been issued, but you must have a receipt of application; this shows that you have applied.

To apply, visit the nearest Social Security office a few days after you register for SEVIS. Bring the following documents with you:

  • DS-2019
  • Passport and J-1 visa
  • I-94 number (optional, but recommended)

Time-saving tip: You can complete the application form (SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card) in advance to save time.