Not all J-1 Exchange Visitors (EV) require onboarding. Remember that as a J-1 EV, you came to Emory for the purpose of exchange, but you may be paid and employed by Emory for the purpose of evidencing the necessary finances to participate in Emory’s EV program. As a general rule, if you are employed, you will be onboarded by your department, and they will follow the same procedures typically required of any employee.

Arriving at Emory and attending orientation

You must first report to your assigned department to check in with your supervisor and Human Resources representative. Emory provides new employees with an online orientation. This online service provides new faculty and staff to begin the orientation process immediately after the hiring offer is made.

You must check in with ISSS and attend an ISSS orientation session within your first week after arriving at Emory. The Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) requires that all arriving J-1 EVs be validated, which means you have arrived at Emory and are beginning your EV program. Furthermore, regulations governing the EV program mandate that you attend an orientation.  Therefore, it is essential that you attend the ISSS orientation, which is separate from the Human Resource orientation. ISSS orientation sessions are held every Tuesday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 9 a.m. in the ISSS office, suite 130, North Decatur Building. It is not necessary to sign up in advance.


If you are employed by Emory, you will need to complete form I-9. Appropriate documentation for the I-9 for J-1 employees is typically the DS-2019, valid passport, and I-94 departure record. If you and your department have questions about the I-9 process or documents required to complete the form, please have your HR representative contact Sherry Stodghill in Human Resources Data Services at 404-727-6066 or smcken2@emory.edu.


All employees are screened through E-Verify, an online identity/immigration status verification system. Human Resources will notify you if there is difficulty in obtaining E-Verify approval.

Tax issues

Upon arrival at Emory or upon change of status, all non-immigrant visa holders should contact Mary Chenault in the Office of the Controller (404-727-7889). Mary Chenault is Emory's non-immigrant tax specialist and will work to ensure that you are not over-taxed. You should provide your name, country of citizenship, non-immigrant status, and contact information, and she will provide information of your appropriate tax withholdings and any tax treaties that may apply.

Social Security Numbers

If you have never applied for a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) before, you must apply for a SSN. This would be the case if you arrived in the U.S. for the first time. You should not go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office to apply for a number until you have been in the U.S. at least 10 business days. All non-immigrants who qualify for an SSN are screened through a database called SAVE. SAVE needs at least 10 business days to fully update after you enter the U.S. If you attempt to obtain an SSN earlier, you risk being moved to second-level processing, delaying the issuance of the SSN card by 30 days or more. Locate an SSA office >>

Driver’s license

You may want to obtain a U.S. driver’s license at a Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Customer Support Center (CSC). You must first apply for your SSN or obtain a letter from the SSA that you are not entitled to a SSN. Bring your original DS-2019, passport, and I-94 documentation to properly document your status. Learn more >>

Emory Card

If you are employed by Emory University, you will be issued your Emory Card at orientation.