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J-1 Visa Program

Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley is a designated Exchange Visitor J1 visa sponsor under the Teacher Exchange Visa category. We do not work with third-party agencies to find placement for teachers.

Please note that Ecole Bilingue only sponsors eligible Exchange Visitors who are applying for a teaching position at our school — Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley.
What is the J-1  Exchange Visitor Program?
The Exchange Visitor Program (J-1) is a non-immigrant visa (under the Teacher category) for eligible foreign teachers who are approved to participate in the program to teach full time at accredited schools in the USA. "The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges.  All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences". For more information please visit the official website of the Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/teacher

To learn more about the J-1 Teacher Exchange Visitor Program, please read the Welcome Brochure below

J-1 Program Fees & Other Costs

J-1 Program Fees & Other Costs
Sponsor fees, US Embassy visa fees, SEVIS fees (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) are all covered by Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley for all our J1 visa holders.

All costs are listed in $ USD
  • SEVIS Fee - $220 (paid by Ecole Bilingue)
  • J1-Visa Application Fee - $160 (reimbursed by Ecole Bilingue) 

Estimated State & Federal taxes:

Wages in the United States of America are subject to Federal and State income taxes withholdings, and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Deductions. Depending on the country of citizenship of the J-1 Visa Holder, they may be eligible for certain tax treaty benefits. Please refer to the IRS regulations and guidance. J1 visa holders on their first J1 visa in the USA are generally exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes for the first two calendar years. J1 visa holders pay California state income tax.

Federal Tax Bracket (if applicable): 22% to 24% of earnings
State Tax Bracket: 6% to 8% of earnings
Social Security Tax: 6.2% of earnings
Medicare Tax: 1.45% of earnings
State Disability Insurance (SDI): 1.1% of earnings

Estimated Costs for Insurance, Retirement and Union Dues:
Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance: All full-time staff and teachers are eligible to have their monthly health and dental insurance premiums paid for by Ecole Bilingue at 100% for themselves and one (1) dependent child. Coverage for additional dependents, a spouse, or qualified domestic partner are available at the employee’s expense. Costs can range from $392 to $1,485 monthly to add additional family members. We can discuss these options with you.

Retirement: Ecole Bilingue contributes the equivalent of 5% of earnings towards retirement for benefited employees. There is no cost to employees for this benefit.

Union Dues: Faculty members pay the equivalent of 1.4% of earnings towards union dues/fees.

Estimated Living Expenses in Berkeley and the East Bay 
Monthly Estimate per person
J1 visa holders are responsible for all living expenses, such as housing, food, transportation, etc. The following expenses are estimates of monthly costs a J-1 Visa Holder can expect to pay while residing in Berkeley and in the surrounding East Bay area; these estimates are based on one person and may vary based on lifestyle choices:

RENT (Private one-bedroom rental)
* Rental deposit generally equal to one month’s rent
$2,000 and up
RENT (Shared rental) $900 to $1,400 
UTILITIES  $80 and up
GROCERIES $350 to $500
INTERNET $50 and up
CELL PHONE  $50 and up
CHILDCARE $1,500 to $2,500 per month**
TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT Varies based on your needs and budget

*The estimated cost of living increases with each added dependent.
** Ecole Bilingue offers child care programs for children aged 2 years and older at significant discounts to employees. We can discuss these options with you.

Insurance Requirements
Prior to leaving the home country and for the duration of the Exchange Visitor Program period as indicated in the DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate, a visiting teacher must have the following insurance coverage pursuant to 22 CFR Section 62.14:
    • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
    • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
    • Medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
    • $500 deductible or less per accident or illness

Cultural Component

Exchange teachers will be required to complete, within the United States, and during each academic year of program participation, at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the following two categories:
    • An activity for the teacher’s classroom, larger host school or host school district population, or the community at large designed to give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home country; and
    • An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools or students in another country, preferably in the exchange teacher’s home school, through virtual exchange or other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person exchange.

Exchange Visitor Program Hotline

To help safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all exchange visitors, there is an Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) Emergency Hotline – 1-866-283-9090 – a 24/7 toll-free telephone number that allows exchange visitors to directly contact the Department of State in emergency and urgent situations.  A Department representative is available 24 hours a day.

Read our J-1 Visa Brochure for more information.

All Are Welcome! (Anti-Discriminatory Policy)

Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley does not exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject any individual to discrimination on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or religion. This policy applies to all programs, services, and facilities, including applications, admissions, and employment.