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 FAQs for J-1 Exchange Visitors

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Below you will find information about obtaining social security cards and driver's licenses, banking, how to find employment, and more. You may also visit the Center for Global Engagement for additional information.

    The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) Office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located in the Student Activities Building (SAB), suite #221. The phone number is (352) 588-8442.

    Yes. The Intercultural Student Association (ISA) is gearing up for the year with some fun adventures for anyone interested in international and cultural issues. Events the ISA organizes or co-sponsors include: the International Signature Week in November (including the Feast for the World – International Food Night), Regional spotlights highlighting different regions of the world and speakers on international topics as part of the lineup for the week; signature weeks during the year showcasing various minority groups and themes which are co-sponsored by the club; trips to various tourist attractions such as the Busch Gardens or Disney theme parks.

    No, anyone interested in international and intercultural issues can join the ISA. The more members we have, the stronger a club we are and the more the international students' voices are heard.

    Your I-20 or DS 2019 can be signed at the Center for Global Engagement, SAB Suite 221.

    Yes, according to DHS regulations, you are allowed to work on campus during the school year, but for no more than 20 hours per week. During the summer you can work ON-CAMPUS up to 40 hours per week as is permitted by HR and the campus department.

    Please note, work authorization is only limited to on-campus employment for international students according to the DHS regulations. The number of on-campus jobs is limited, and each year, there are more applicants for each campus job than there are jobs available.

    Those interested in working on-campus need to apply early and be persistent. Students must check online at: to inquire about student employment opportunities.

    Yes, you will need to come to the Center for Global Engagement where we will discuss with you the documents needed in order to obtain a Social Security card. Because of the Social Security Administration rules, you must already have a job offer in order to apply for and obtain a card. You would take two letters (one on-campus job offer letter and one letter from CGE detailing the on-campus offer that you’ve received) with you to the Social Security Administration office along with your passport and your immigration documentation.

    Please visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website to learn more about the process for getting your Driver’s license. You will need to bring several items with you when you go to obtain your Driver’s License. Please review the list of acceptable documentation applicants must provide to recieve a driver's license.

    International students in Florida will need to bring 2 proofs of residence showing the current US address. Many times, a student can bring a statement of accounts from Saint Leo University, ONLY if the address listed is the US address, and a bank, or cell phone statement print-out with the US address.

    If you do not have a social security number, prior to going to the DMV, you will need to get a letter from the Social Security administration indicating that you do not have a Social Security number.

    All international students are required by law to have health insurance during their studies in the US. They must enroll in a US-based health insurance plan. University Campus undergraduate students are required to enroll in the insurance offered through Saint Leo, or waive out based on existing health insurance for the student. This requirement assures that students will have health coverage in the case of an accident or sickness during their studies at Saint Leo.

    Please visit the Health and Dental Insurance page for more information. Also, you may visit our Health Center to obtain the health forms required at Saint Leo and for more information regarding health insurance and required immunizations.

    The state of Florida recently passed Statute 1006.69, which mandates vaccinations against Meningococcal Meningitis and Hepatitis B for every student residing in on-campus housing at any postsecondary educational institution.

    Additional information about Saint Leo's Health Center, as well as, health insurance and immunization requirements can be found on our Health Center page.

    You will work with the International Enrollment Office at Saint Leo. That office, in conjunction with the CGE, will help process the paperwork to get your I-20 or DS 2019.

    Please visit our International Student Admissions page to obtain documents you will need to submit in order to receive an I-20 or your DS 2019.

    The following information will give you a basic understanding of your responsibilities and tell you how to get more information. Do not construe the information presented here as individual tax advice. Federal income tax obligations of students of F, J, or M status:

    Everyone in the United States, regardless of immigration status, is responsible each year for submitting a complete and accurate income tax statement to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department. Americans call the process "filing a tax return." Foreign students, regardless of whether they work or earn income while in the United States, must file an appropriate return each year.

    In many countries, the government assesses and collects from individuals the tax they owe. In the United States, however, it is each individual's personal responsibility to meet his or her tax obligation; the government will not do it for you, but it will penalize you if you do not do it yourself.

    The Center for Global Engagement staff is neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Students with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law. During the spring semester, the CGE sends an email to the international population with links to the tax forms and also a link to Sprintax which is an online international tax preparation service.

    Please visit the following websites for additional information about your tax responsibilities: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens and Sprintax.

    Yes, through a series of articulation agreements, Saint Leo University students have the opportunity to spend a semester studying in places like Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, various cities within the UK, Greece, Morocco, Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Visit our Study Abroad Office page to learn more!

    If I study abroad, will the financial aid I receive at Saint Leo transfer?
    If you are planning to study at a Saint Leo approved program, all your financial aid, except federal workstudy, will transfer. Saint Leo will bill you what Saint Leo is billed minus any aid that you receive. The cost of your airplane ticket and any personal expenses are additional costs that you will incur outside of the study abroad. Please remember that to have your financial aid package transfer; you must be approved by the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) and by your Academic Advisor for study abroad.

    Visit the Study Abroad Office site, or our study abroad page. Come see us at the Center for Global Engagement (Student Activities Building, Office #221); send an email to, or call (352) 588-8442.

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