You’ve got questions?

Browse through these FAQs to find answers to commonly raised questions.

Who is eligible for the studentSIMS service?

All Visa types including J-1/2, F-1/2, M-1, HB and all US-inbound work/study travelers are eligible.

I got my SIM card and immediately activated because I leave for the US tomorrow. It doesn’t work! Help!

You will be able to start using service as soon as you arrive in the United States. The phone service, while active, will NOT work until you first arrive in the United States.

I’ve just arrived and the SIM you sent me doesn’t work. Help!

If when you get to the US and turn on your phone the LCD displays something like 'Insert a SIM' or 'Unregistered SIM' or 'SIM not recognized' your phone is most likely SIM locked. At this point you can go into the nearest cell phone shop and see if they can unlock, buy a prepaid phone, but an unlocked phone on eBay or Amazon or we can issue a full refund - just email.

I can call but I can’t get email or internet access.

If you can call and text but cannot access data: Check the APN setting in your phone. The APN setting should be set to (and don't forget the '-' in T-Mobile).

I’m trying to call a friend back home but the system won’t let me. What gives?

If you paid for the unlimited International calling but receive an error message, it's probably your dialing sequence. When in the USA and making an international call dial +44, +353, +61, +82, or +33 (whatever your country code is) and then omit the leading 0 (zero) of the number. That should fix it. If after trying this you think the service was not provisioned properly - email and we'll investigate.

I need to pay with a different card. How do I do that?

If you are paying monthly and want to update your payment profile with a different credit/debit card, please register for an account by clicking on this link. You will need the email address you activated your order with as well as your phone number in this format: xxx-xxx-xxxx. You may then log in to your account using this link and choose the update payment option.

You can currently only register an account that is associated with one order. If you would like to update your payment information for an additional order, please use this link.

I paid for 3 months of service but now I need to extend for a month. How do I do that?

If you paid in full or for only 1-month but want to extend service you will need to place another activation order here with your same 21-digit SIM number (we'll know to move your number to the new order) on or before the scheduled deactivation date.

I think I’ve run out of 4G. Can I get a bigger allowance?

If you want to increase your 4G LTE allowance, email us. Meanwhile remember you can avoid using up your 4G allowance on audio streaming by using any of a number of approved apps. For more information on this, go to following link.

I’ve lost my phone! Help!

If you lose your phone (and 2% of you will lose your phone, most likely in a taxi) email and we will suspend the service. We can also block the IMEI of the device so it cannot be used, at least with a carrier in North America. In the same email provide an address where we can send your replacement SIM. When you purchase a new phone (eBay is a good source and there is no sales tax) let us know and we will suspend the number upon request.

I can’t get a signal where I’m located. I want my money back.

If after a few days the coverage does not seem great or optimal or you're unhappy for any reason just email for a full refund.

What is the Regulatory Programs Recovery Fee?

This is a regulatory programs recovery fee we collect on behalf of T-Mobile to recover their compliance costs as well as charges imposed on T-Mobile by other carriers for delivery of calls between networks and by 3rd parties for certain network facilities and services. This fee is never pro-rated and is applied to every line of service that has been active for any portion of the billing cycle.

I called T-Mobile and they said they didn’t know who I was!

Your service is NOT with T-Mobile. While the network provider is T-Mobile, your phone number and service are actually being rented from studentSIMS. This is why the service is discounted so significantly. If you have any questions, concerns, service upgrades/downgrades or date changes (extensions or early departures), please email.

I need to return home early. Can I cancel?

J1SIM users are free to cancel their subscription at any time, for any reason, with no penalty charges however mid-month service cancellations are not prorated. To cancel just email:

I bought a new SIM from a T-Mobile shop in the UK. Will it work?

No. Non-US SIM cards, regardless of brand, are not compatible with the J1SIM program.

When I pay monthly, do I have to go back online every month to pay again?

No. The payment system will charge your card automatically every month. If, for some reason, a payment can’t be collected from the card you’ve registered, we’ll notify you and send you a link so you can register a different card.

I'm supposed to fly to the US today. Where's my new number?

You should get an email confirming activation and containing your new US number later today. But this is why we recommend you set your activation date 1-2 days prior to departure, so that you have time to circulate your new number.

I thought my phone was unlocked, but it's not. What should I do?

If you are already in the US, you may find it complicated and expensive to get a foreign network to unlock your phone. This is why we urge you to make sure your phone is unlocked before you travel. There are unlocking services online, which you can try. But in our experience, your best option is to buy a new or used phone.

How do I find out if my phone is locked or not?

The easiest way is to borrow a SIM card from a friend using another network. If it works on your phone, you’ll know it’s unlocked.

Can I try the $25 plan and then upgrade? How?

Assuming your home country is among the over 30 countries to which calls are included, simply email us at with your request to upgrade.

Does it cost me anything if someone calls me from the UK?

No. Your caller will pay usual long-distance rates. You pay nothing.

Will 2 Gb of data a month be enough for just ordinary web browsing?

That depends on your definition of “ordinary.” But we can give you some examples. Results will vary based on all sorts of things, like signal strength, phone memory, and more. But 2 Gb of data will normally provide you with 80-90 hours of web surfing, without audio or video streaming. Or 20 episodes of a 30-minute TV program. Or 9 hours of video chatting on Skype.

I'm in New York. How come you've given me a number for Las Vegas?

Area codes used to matter. But they don't any more. People move, taking their old cellphone numbers with them. So in searching for ways to minimize charges -- and make the J1SIM package as incredibly inexpensive as it is -- we selected numbers from states with the lowest base rates in the country. One of these is Nevada. There is virtually no impact on the user from this.

I am going to visit Canada or Mexico, will my J1 service work there?

J1 service will not work outside the United States. The service does not allow international roaming.

Porting with J1SIM?


Here is the procedure when porting over a phone number from another account or service provider: If you are not already with T-Mobile you will need a new SIM which you can order here at no charge: When the SIM arrives place an activation order here:

We will then need the following information from you which you can email to

  1. Your Activation Order number from J1SIM (or affiliate)
  2. Your Account number with current provider (not necessary if your with T-Mobile then we just perform a COR – Change of Responsibility).
  3. Your phone number to Port
  4. 4-Digit PIN (you get this from customer service of your current provider)

Contact your current provider and let them know you are porting number to another account and they will release the number (With T-Mobile this will be a Change of Responsibility). Otherwise once you receive the SIM the entire process will usually be completed within 1 business days and then you will receive a SMS/text msg letting you know the transfer is complete.


The phone numbers are being provided on a service lease basis and are the property of J1SIM, a private company and we are not able to Port-Out. However, while customers may NOT Port-Out a line directly from J1SIM, so long as the lease account is in good standing, is not used for malfeasance or negligent purposes and J1SIM is able, a Customer may initiate a COR (Change of Responsibility) with J1SIM to T-Mobile under the following circumstances –

  • The customer originally owned the line and ported in
  • The customer has paid for 12-months continuous service
  • The customer has had service less then 12 months and has agreed to purchase the line from J1SIM for $100

To complete a COR a customer must have either established a postpaid or prepaid account with T-Mobile and then provide the following information to J1SIM or its affiliates -

  1. Account number
  2. Temporary Account pin/ password

This process can be completed within 1 business day but can take 3 business days, from the time we receive the Account number and temporary PIN. For T-Mobile a customer may then initiate ‘port out’ procedures.

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