Employment is highly regulated and strictly enforced for J-1 visa holders.  Individuals who are discovered working illegally will be required to leave the United States.


  If you have questions regarding employment,
visit ISS BEFORE you begin working. 

A Responsible Officer in ISS can authorize professors and research scholars to engage in occasional lectures, seminars, or consultations at locations not listed on the Form DS-2019, if the activities are related to the objective of the exchange visitor's program participation.

J-2 visa holders cannot work without prior permission from  US Immigration Services and  must show evidence of financial need for only themselves. Applications can take up to three months to be processed.  

 Social Security Number

What is a Social Security Number (SSN)?

How do I get a SSN?

  • International students and scholars must have a job in the US to be eligible to apply for a SSN.

Documents for a SSN application?

  • You need the SSN Application.
  • Your passport,  I-94 (entry record) and form I-20 or DS-2019.
  • A letter from your employer stating you are employed.
  • A letter from ISS stating that you are maintaining status and are eligible to work.

When you apply for the SSN, you will receive a receipt.  You will give the receipt to your employer, which will allow you to work until your SSN arrives (3-4weeks).

Please make an appointment with ISS if you have any questions about employment.

Missoula Social Security Office Information:

Address: 3701 American Way
Missoula, MT 59808
Phone Number: 1-866-931-9029


Monday- 9-4pm
Tuesday- 9-4pm
Wednesday- 9-12pm
Thursday- 9-4pm
Friday- 9-4pm
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: Closed