Prerequisites and Applying for J-1 Visa
Step 1. After the exchange visitor has been officially accepted as an exchange visitor in the Exchange Visitor Program and has received Form DS-2019 from the University, she/he must make an appointment as soon as possible at a United States consulate in their home country to apply for the J-1 visa. The visa cannot be processed without this form. After contacting the consulate, the visitor should make a list of documents required for the interview. Form DS-2019 indicates that the University has created a record for the exchange visitor in SEVIS, the national database for international students and scholars. The assigned SEVIS identification number is indicated on the form. The visitor needs to make sure that all the information on the form is correct. If the exchange visitor has informed the University that dependents (wife, husband, and/or children) will be accompanying her/him to the United States, each dependent will receive their own “dependent” Form DS-2019 which is needed to apply for their J-2 visas in order to enter the United States in J-2 status. If the exchange visitor’s family name is different from her/his dependents, the exchange visitor must be prepared to show documents that prove the relationship.
Step 2. Confirm that the exchange visitor’s passport is valid. A valid passport is required for the consulate interview.
Step 3. Pay the SEVIS fee and print the receipt. Go to website http://www.fmjfee.com and follow instructions. Applicants for the J-1 visa will need the receipt at the consulate interview.
Step 4. Complete all required United States Department of State application forms. These forms can be completed online and include Form DS-156, Form DS-157 if applicable, and Form DS-158. These forms should be available at the interview.
Step 5. Prepare for the interview appointment and make a checklist of what documents will be needed for the interview. Have both the originals and photocopies. In addition to the items which follow, you may be required to submit additional documents as required by the local consulate. Contact the consulate directly or access the consulate’s web site for additional information. For the interview, have the following documents available:
|Form DS-2019 provided by University|
|Completed visa application (Form DS-156, Form DS-158 and, if applicable, Form DS-157 which is required for all male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45|
|Letter confirming formal acceptance or affiliation with the University as a J-21 visa student or visiting professor, research scholar or short term scholar|
|Passport size photo|
|Receipt for visa application fee|
|Receipt for SEVIS fee|
|Financial evidence that shows that exchange visitor has sufficient funds to cover living expenses while in the United States|
|Information that demonstrates exchange visitor’s intention to return to home country after finishing program of study in the case of a student or after completing assignments and activities as a visiting professor, research scholar or short term scholar|
Information for preparing for the actual consulate interview is available in the University publication titled, Holy Family University Exchange Visitor Program Pre-Departure Information: J-1 Visiting Scholars, Researchers, Students and Dependents.