J – Visa:
The exchange visitor (J) nonimmigrant visa category is provided for persons who are approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S., under provisions of U.S. immigration law. This means that before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a J visa, you must first apply, meet the requirements, and be accepted for one of the Exchange Visitor Program categories through a designated sponsoring organization. If you are accepted as a participant in an exchange program, the sponsor will provide you with information and documents necessary to apply for the J visa to enter the U.S.
Exchange visitor applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for an exchange visitor (J) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet requirements, including the following:
- That they plan to remain in the U.S. for a temporary, specific, limited period;
- Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the U.S.;
- Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.
When applying, each visa applicant must submit to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate these forms and documentation, as explained below:
- DS 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. A SEVIS-generated Form, DS-2019, is provided to you by your program sponsor, after the sponsor enters your information in the SEVIS system. All exchange visitors, including their spouses and dependents must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
- A Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002. All exchange visitor (J visa) trainee or intern visa applicants (based on Box 7 on form) must also present Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002 when applying for a visa. If your Form DS-2019 is issued prior to July 19, 2007 a Form DS-7002 is not required.
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
- A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application;
- One (1) 2×2 photograph.
- Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee – You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.
- Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, if applicable, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee. Please review the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
- NOTE: U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are not required to pay any applicable reciprocity fees.
Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Important Notice: Before making inquiries about status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives will need to wait at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.