• Dallas ISD Human Capital Managment Visa Department


  • Dallas ISD J1 Exchange Visitor Teacher Program 


    Overview 

    Teachers from different countries can become part of the Dallas ISD J1 Teacher Visitor Program and experience what it is to teach and live in the US. If you become a part of the Dallas ISD J1 Teacher Visitor Program, you will experience typical activities that will submerge you in the lifestyle and culture of the United States of America.

     

    Program Details 

    The J1 Teacher Visitor Program is a cultural exchange program created by the Department of State to foster peace and diplomacy across nations. Exchange teachers gain professional educational experience by teaching in the United States as part of a cross-cultural exchange. As a Teacher of Record in elementary classrooms, J-1 Teachers offer a unique perspective to American students and schools.

    Dallas ISD is designated by the United States Department of State as a J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Teacher Sponsor. Dallas ISD J1 Exchange Visitor Teacher Program places qualified international teachers in Dallas ISD schools with open vacancies in bilingual elementary (English/Spanish) teaching positions and Special Education teaching positions.

    In addition to your normal teaching responsibilities, an important part of your program will also be to share your culture with your students and the host community. Virtual classroom exchanges between your host classroom and school children in your home country is just an example of cultural activities that you can perform.

    Exchange Visitor Teachers are required to teach full-time (minimum of 40 hours per week) during the school year. Teachers will be hired to work at a Dallas ISD primary school. A competitive salary will be offered for the duration of the Exchange Visitor Teacher’s employment. Teachers under the Exchange Visitor Program are permitted to teach in the United States for up to three years. A one-year extension can be granted two times.

    The Dallas Independent School District will not be affiliated with any third-party organizations. Dallas ISD will be the sole party responsible for the organization, administration, execution and performance of the J1 Exchange Visitor Program. Dallas ISD will not have any other affiliates, partners, or offices associated with the overall administration of the program. 


     

    Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement:

    212 (e) Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement:

    When a J-1 Exchange Visitor agrees to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program and their program falls under the conditions explained below, they will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement. The exchange visitor will be required to return to their home country for two years at the end of their exchange visitor program.

    This requirement under immigration law is based on Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    An exchange visitor is subject to the twoyear home-country physical presence requirement under the following conditions:

    • The exchange visitor J1 Visa program is funded in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the U.S. government or the government of their nationality or last residence.
    • An Exchange Visitor is a national or permanent resident of a country that has deemed their field of specialized knowledge or skill necessary to the development of the country.

    Whether the exchange visitor is subject to this rule will be determined by the consular officer at the visa interview and will be indicated on the J Visa. If the J-1 brings a J-2 dependent, they are also subject to the 212(e) requirements.

     


    Repeat Participation:

    Foreign nationals who have successfully completed teacher exchange programs are eligible to participate in additional teacher exchange programs, provided that they have resided outside the United States for at least two years following the successful completion of their most recent teacher exchange program and continue to meet the eligibility requirements for the J1 program.

     

    Program Requirements

    In order to be a part of the Dallas ISD J-1 Teacher Visitor Program, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Have a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in Education.
    • Be qualified to teach in a primary or secondary school in your country of nationality or legal residence
    • Have a minimum of two years of teaching experience
    • Be working as a teacher in your home country or country of legal residence at the time of the application, or,
      • if not working as a teacher: 
        • have recently (within 12 months of application) completed an advanced degree in education and
        • have two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years
    • Satisfy Texas Education Agency teaching standards
    • Official government-issued documents verifying candidates are of good reputation and character.
      • Samples: Historial de Antecedentes, Verificación de Antecedentes,  
    • Poses advanced proficiency in the English language as determined by Dallas ISD J-1 Visa Program
      • Demonstrate proficiency of the English language by passing the TOEFL ibt test with the following scores:
        • Speaking: 22 / Listening: 22 / Reading: 22 / Writing: 21
    • Agrees to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time teacher of record in a Dallas ISD primary school 
    • Submit a letter from the teacher’s home country head/principal of a school, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cross-cultural activity component. The letter submitted as part of the foreign teacher's application package must be signed by the head of the school or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the school within the foreign country's school system; the official signing the letter must list both email and telephone contact information. The letter may be submitted in English or in the original language of the home country with an English translation. The translation must be done by a certified translator.
    • Confirm financial ability and sufficient funds to cover relocation expenses to the United States and living expenses for at least 2 months after arrival. 

     

    Teacher Responsibilities 

    Dallas ISD Exchange Visitor Teacher will be responsible for the following:

    • Teach as a full-time, paid faculty member at a Dallas ISD elementary bilingual campus or special education teaching positions
    • Share language, culture, and knowledge with students, colleagues, and the school community
    • Fulfill professional development requirements
    • Complete the cross-cultural requirement (See Frequently Asked Questions)
    • Fulfill all obligations as outlined in the Terms and Conditions of the teaching contract (provided when hired)
    • Sign the J1 Statement of Understanding
    • Perform other assigned tasks as designated by supervisors and school administration

     


     

    Program Costs:

    You will be responsible for the following costs and expenses:

    CONCEPT

    AMOUNT

    PAYABLE TO

    Consular / Visa application DS-160 fee

    $160.00

    US Embassy or Consulate

    I-901 SEVIS fee

    $220.00

    The US Department of Homeland Security

    Dallas ISD J1 Teacher Visitor Program fee

    $0.00

     

    Visiting International Teacher Certificate

    $78.00

    Texas Education Agency

    Texas background check / fingerprinting fee

    $50.00

    Company doing the background check

    Foreign credential evaluations

    Ranges: 

    $95.00 - $350.00

    Foreign Credential Evaluator provider

    Insurance Costs

    Ranges:

    $90.00 - $406.00+

    See individual daily costs for World Trips in the Information Packet.

    Chosen Insurance company or

    Deducted from payroll if using an insurance provider of Dallas ISD

    Translation Costs

    $100.00 and up

    It varies based on the number of pages and translation companies’ fees.

    Translation Company provider

    Travel expenses to and from the United States

    Ranges will depend on airline prices and ground transportation.

    Examples:

    Mexico City to Dallas:

    $274.00 - $500.00

    Bogota to Dallas:

    $388.00 - $586.00+

    El Salvador:

    $246.00 - $448.00+

    Airlines / ground transportation, etc.

    Costs and fees associated with dependents, including insurance premiums

    J2 Visa application: $160.00

    Insurance premiums vary according to company.

    US embassy or Consulate / Insurance company

    Costs Third-party fees

    $0.00

    Dallas ISD does not work with third-party organizations.

    Typical expenses such as housing, bills, transportation, food, etc. in the United States (see chart below)

     




    TYPICAL EXPENSES ESTIMATES (monthly)

    These estimates are just approximations.

    Personal expense money

    for the initial costs upon arriving in the United States prior to receipt of the first paycheck

    For food

    Single: $400 - 600 

    Teacher + :$400 - 900

    For Housing

    One/two-bedroom apartment: $1,000 - 2,000  

    Renter Insurance: $25.00 - 40.00

    For Extended Stay Hotels

    $557 - $571 weekly

     

    For local transportation cost

    Car: $400 - 500 

    Car insurance/gas: $150 - 300

    Auto registration: $80 (yearly)

    DART Monthly Passes:  $96.00 (per person)

    Mobile phone

    Internet

    $50.00 - 120.00

    $60.00 - 70.00

    Estimate for work-related deductions

    Exchange Visitor Teachers may have the following deductions made from their paychecks: 

    -Federal Withholding** 

    -Medicare - 1.45% 

    -TRS Retirement - 7.7% (mandatory retirement contribution) 

    -TRS Care - .65% (mandatory contribution to retiree health care) 

    -Other voluntary benefits 


    **Some teachers are exempt from federal withholdings due to a tax treaty between the United States and their country of citizenship. For more information, please visit the IRS U.S. Tax Treaties Publication 901 website.

     


     

    Cultural Activities

    As an exchange visitor teacher in Dallas ISD, you will interact daily with your American supervisors,  colleagues and students at your host school. It is also important that you participate in a variety of cultural activities during your free time, so you can fully explore all this experience has to offer.

    Cultural activities include events and experiences that expose you to the diverse life and culture of the United States. Some examples of cultural activities include but are not limited to:

    • Attending an “after-work” event with your colleagues
    • Volunteering in the local community
    • Visiting a museum or historical site
    • Gathering with American friends for meals, games, or movies, etc.
    • Touring a US city or visiting a tourist site in your host community
    • Visiting a national park
    • And endless more opportunities

    J-1 Application Process:

    • J-1 candidates read the J-1 guidelines.
    • J-1 candidates apply using the J-1 visa application.
    • Dallas ISD reviews your application and documents.
    • Chosen candidates will be contacted for an interview.
    • After the interview, chosen candidates will be informed to apply to the general Dallas ISD application system (TMS).
    • Chosen candidates will be issued a DS-2019 Form from Dallas ISD to start their J-1 visa process.

    Possible Timeline:

    • October - February:
      • Dallas ISD opens application process for J-1 candidates
    • February - April:
      • Responsible Officer and Alternate Responsible Officers initiate the review of documents and interview process for teacher candidates.
      • Chosen candidates will receive the DS-2019 Form for J1 teachers and the J2 Form for Dependents (If applicable)
    • April - June:
      • o   J-1 teachers make an appointment with the US embassy/consulate in their country to schedule an interview for their J-1 visa to be approved
    • July - September: 
      • J-1 Visa Teachers receive the orientation session once they arrive in the US.

    How to Apply

    Dallas ISD J1 Teacher Visitor Exchange Program is currently seeking enthusiastic J-1 International Teachers for the 2022-2023 school year. We are excited to offer this opportunity to educators. Join our team by applying in the link below. Selected applicants will be guided and provided additional instructions to complete the application process.

    Link to J-1 application: 2023-2024 Teacher Districtwide Application.  

    During the application you will find the following questions:

    Will you now or in the future require the Dallas ISD to petition or sponsor you for an employment visa?

    Requiere (en este momento) o requerirá (en el futuro) apoyo por el distrito escolar de Dallas para tramitar su visa de trabajo?

     

    Please ensure to Answer the following:

    Yes / Sí

                                                  

    On the following question, your answer should be:

    Visa Category (if not applicable please select N/A)

    Tipo de visa (si no es pertinente selección N/A)

    Answer: 

    J1

     

    Once you arrive at the section of attachments, please ensure to submit each of the following requirements with its respective title:

    Please make sure you upload all your documents by January 15, 2023.

     

    English Proficiency

    • TOEFL iBT scores or
    • IELTS scores or
    • TESOL Certification

    Completed Foreign Transcript Evaluation Report

    • Course by course

    Teaching Título/Diploma (Teaching Degree)

    • English official translation of teaching título/Diploma

       Official School Letter

    • Add a part where School Administrator supports the Exchange Cultural activity
    • English official translation of school letter

    Background Check from your country of residence

    • English official translation of Background Check

    Financial Responsibility Letter

    • English official translation of Financial Responsibility Letter

     

    In the event, you are missing document(s) please continue uploading the item(s) that are available at the time of completing this task. You will always be able to return to your application at a later time to continue adding additional documents. Once you submit your application, our Visa team representatives will review your information for the next steps.

     

    How to obtain the J1 Visa:

    Qualified applicants that are recommended for hire will be issued a Form DS-2019 from Dallas ISD J1 Visa Teacher Visitor Program. The form will be mailed via FedEx to the address provided on the application. Once an applicant receives the form, an interview at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy should be scheduled. Applicants must pay the SEVIS fee prior to their visa interview. It is preferred that an applicant makes an appointment in his or her home country. Please schedule an interview as soon as possible to ensure you receive your visa in a timely manner and can plan for the temporary move to Dallas, Texas.

    Visa issuance decisions are made by consular or immigration officers at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. An applicant who receives an offer for employment and Form DS-2019 from Dallas ISD J1 Visa Teacher Visitor Program cannot be guaranteed that a visa will be granted. Applicants should not book flights nor make plans to move to the United States until passing a visa interview and receiving a J-1 visa in their passport.

    Information about the J2 (Dependent Visa):

    A dependent must be a spouse or child of the Exchange Visitor Teacher. The age limit for children dependents is 21. Applicants wishing to bring a dependent will be required to submit an English translation of a marriage license or birth certificate.

    Exchange Visitor Teachers (J1) can come to the United States to begin their program without dependents. Dependents are able to arrive in the United States at a later date. You can add a dependent after arriving in the United States or bring them with you. In either case, you need to inform Dallas ISD J1 Exchange Visitor Program Responsible Officer and Alternate Responsible Officers.

    Any accompanying spouse or child is required to have health insurance. The J1 Exchange Visitor Teacher is responsible for paying for the dependent’s health insurance.

    A J-2 visa holder is eligible to apply for employment authorization through U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) upon arrival in the United States. However, a J-2 visa holder cannot work until they receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). 

    The wait time for an EAD application to be approved is typically three to four months. Once approved, J-2 visa holders can obtain a social security card. The EAD will have an expiration date. In order to continue working, dependents must renew and receive their new EAD card before this date.  

    J-2 visa holders are eligible to attend school in the United States.

    J-2 visa holders remain in legal status in the United States as long as the Exchange Visitor Teacher (J-1) has valid status. Once the teacher’s program ends, the J-2 dependent no longer has legal status in the United States.

     


     

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     

    How do I qualify for the program?

    To qualify, all teachers must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Education or Teaching, a minimum of two years of teaching experience, must be qualified/certified to teach in your home country, and must be currently teaching. If not currently teaching, you must meet all the above requirements AND have an advanced degree (earned in the last 12 months) and two years of experience in the last eight years.     

    How long does it take to obtain a J-1 visa?

    Wait times for visa interviews and processing vary depending on the country of application and upon the circumstances of the applicant. Please visit www.travel.state.gov to find out about visa wait times in your country. Please apply as soon as possible. It is important to remember that Exchange Visitor Teachers beginning a new program may not enter the United States more than 30 days before and or 30 days after the program start date found on form DS-2019.

     

    Can I bring my family members?

    Yes! Dallas ISD Exchange Visitor Program offers J-2 visa program sponsorship for spouses and dependents under 21 years of age. It is recommended that your family joins you in the US approximately 4-6 weeks after beginning your program and identifying housing.

     

    Can my spouse work?

    Spouses can apply for work authorization through the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). The process to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) may take up to 2-4 months.

     

    How long can I participate in the program?

    Teachers can participate for 1-3 years. After 3 years, participants can apply for a one-year extension for up to 2 additional years, but the extension is not guaranteed.

     

    How do I get certified in the US?

    The first step to becoming certified in Texas is to complete an Out-of-Country credential evaluation with the Texas Education Agency. Below is the link to the Texas Education Agency website to obtain more information on how to become a certified teacher in Texas:

    https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Certification/Initial_Certification/  

     

    What salary will I earn?

    You will be offered the salary of a teacher with zero experience, which currently is $60,000.00. Once you present the years of service form approved by TEA, the district will adapt salary accordingly to district regulations.

     

    What is the Cross-cultural component requirement?

    A cross-cultural activity is defined as an activity designed to promote exposure and interchange between Exchange Visitors and Americans so as to increase their mutual understanding of each other’s society, culture, and institutions.

     

    During each academic year, the Exchange Visitor Teacher is required to complete at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the following 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. Sponsors of exchange teachers placed at international schools must require their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-cultural activity per academic year outside the host school in nearby schools or communities where international opportunities may be more limited than those found in their host school.
    • 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.

    Teachers will be required to submit annual reports describing the cross-cultural activities performed by the Exchange Visitor sponsor.

     


    Recommendations:

    It is recommended that participants arrive at least two to three weeks prior to the start of the school year to obtain a social security number to finish the hiring process with Dallas ISD, for orientations and securing housing.

     


    J1 Visa Information Packet