Your First Day

Every participant’s first day will be different; however, if anything is confusing, feel free to ask questions of your supervisor at your host organization. You can also contact CIEE.

On your first day, bring the following documents with you:

During your first day, you should also complete these forms:

  • I-9 form: This form confirms your employment eligibility. The form will ask for a Social Security number; if you have not been issued one yet, your host organization can add it at a later date.
  • W-4 form: For paid positions, your host organization will automatically deduct money from your paycheck to pay for federal taxes. The W-4 tells your host organization how much to deduct.

How to fill out the W-4:

Since researchers and professors are considered non-resident aliens, the standard instructions on how to fill out a W-4 form do not apply. Please follow these instructions instead:

  • The “Personal Allowances Worksheet” at the top of the W-4 is for U.S. residents only. You do not need to use it.
  • On line 1, enter your personal information (including your U.S. address).
  • On line 2, enter your Social Security Number (SNN). If you have not been issued a SSN but have applied for one, write ‘Applied For’.
  • On line 3, which pertains to marital status, choose “single” regardless of your actual marital status.
  • On line 4, leave blank.
  • On line 5, claim only one withholding allowance (enter “1”).
  • On line 6, write “Nonresident Alien” or “NRA” above the dotted line.
  • On line 7, leave blank. J-1 visitors cannot claim to be exempt.
  • On lines 8-10, leave blank.
  • Sign and date the form.

Please note: Most U.S. states also tax income, meaning you may have to fill out an additional state tax form. The state tax form may look different from the federal tax form, but asks for the same information and should be filled out the same way.

If you have questions about the federal or state W-4, or the I-9 form, please check with your supervisor or the human resources department at your host organization. If your host organization asks you to fill out any other tax forms, such as the 1099 form, please contact CIEE immediately.