Pay & Tax Documents

During your first day or two at camp, you will meet with your camp director or someone in the camp office to fill out important pay and tax documents, including your I-9, a federal W-4, and, in some cases, a state W-4. Be sure to take the following documents with you:

  • Passport with J-1 visa
  • DS-2019 form
  • Social Security application

For more information about your I-9 and W-4s, please see below.

I-9 Form

An I-9 confirms your employment eligibility in the U.S. When completing your I-9, you only have to fill out Section 1. Provide your full name, camp address, date of birth, and Social Security number. If you do not have your Social Security number yet, provide it to your camp once you do. You must also mark the box indicating that you are a non-resident alien authorized to work in the U.S. Then fill in your DS-2019 end date. Finish by signing and dating the form.

Federal W-4

A federal W-4 is a tax document that determines the amount of federal tax that will be deducted from your paycheck. Your camp director or someone in the camp office will help you fill the form out correctly.

While on the Camp Exchange USA program you are classified as a non-resident alien, which means that the standard instructions on the form do not apply. Use the following instructions when completing the W-4 Form:

  • Personal Allowances Worksheet: Ignore this section.
  • Box 1: Enter your personal information, including the address of your camp.
  • Box 2: Enter your Social Security number (SSN). If you have applied for but not yet received this number, write “applied for.” Provide your SSN to your camp once you receive it.
  • Box 3: Check or write “single,” regardless of actual marital status.
  • Box 4: Leave blank.
  • Box 5: Enter “1.” There are no exceptions to this.
  • Box 6: Write “NR” to indicate your non-resident alien status.
  • Box 7: Leave blank. Non-resident aliens cannot claim “exempt.”
  • Boxes 8-10: Leave blank.
  • Sign and date the form.

State W-4

As with the federal W-4, the state W-4 is a tax form. However, the state W-4 determines the amount of state tax to be deducted from your paycheck. Although it may look different from the federal W-4, it asks for the same information and should be completed as above.

Important Notes About Taxes

As a foreign exchange visitor working in the U.S. on a J-1 visa, you are required to pay some but not all the taxes paid by U.S. citizens.

You will pay:

  • Federal income tax
  • State income tax
  • Local or city income tax (if applicable)

You will not pay:

  • Social Security & Medicare tax (FICA)
  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA)

After you receive your first paycheck, review it to ensure there are no errors. If you have questions about your paycheck, speak with your camp director or someone in the camp office.

Remember: At the end of the year, you should file a federal and state tax return. Why? Because you may be refunded some or all of the taxes you paid!