Personal Finances

Problems / Law

We are here to help! If you are having any problems with your employment such as:

  • You are not receiving the correct pay,
  • You are being forced to work long hours,
  • You are living in an unapproved location,
  • You do not get enough hours of work,
  • You are having problems of any kind with your employer,

Please contact your sponsor. If your sponsor is not available please contact U.S. State Department J1 Visa Emergency Hotline at 866-283-9090.

For more information on Rules of the J-1 Visa Program please visit the BridgeUSA website


  • Keep your money in a safe place.
  • Use an ATM card for purchases instead of carrying cash on you.
  • Avoid getting your money stolen or loosing your money.
  • Wire your money to your home country.
  • Use Internet banking for a quick overview of your account balance.
  • Keep your passport and other valuables safe in a safe deposit box.

What You Need to Open an Account

  • Passport with J1 visa and DS-2019 and I-94 attached.
  • Social Security number OR receipt of your application for Social Security card.
  • You will need to fill out an application at the bank.
  • Contact your sponsor for approved banking locations.

Social Security

Social Security Administration GraphicYou will need the following items/information to apply for your Social Security card:

  • Passport with J-1 Visa and Admission Stamp
  • Form I-94 - Arrival/Departure Record
  • Form DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility
  • Form SS-5 - Completed Social Security Application (available at Social Security office)
  • Job Sponsor's letter showing your participation in the program
  • Address where you have access to receive your Social Security card
  • NOTE: All documents must be originals or certified by the issuing agency

Social Security Office
2875 Village Road Suite 1000
Portage, WI 53901

The Social Security office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 am until 4 pm and 9 am to noon on Wednesdays.