Exchange Visitor Visa (J)
Exchange Visitor Visas ("J" category)
Exchange visitors must present a valid Form DS-2019 issued by the sponsoring agency or institution in the U.S. This category includes U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitors, visiting scholars, researchers, fellows, medical residents, au pairs, and high school exchange students. J visas cannot be issued to students who are not enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). It is the responsibility of the U.S. educational institution to enter the student's personal data into SEVIS. If we are unable to locate your information in the SEVIS system, issuance of your student visa and visas for your accompanying family members will be delayed. Note that the name on your DS-2019 must exactly match the name on your passport.
All new exchange visitors with a Form DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004 must pay a one-time SEVIS fee. Returning exchange visitors do not need to pay the SEVIS fee. This is a fee developed to help cover the cost of the SEVIS program. The SEVIS fee is $180 for long-term exchange visitors and $35 for short-term exchange visitors, such as au pairs, summer work/travel participants, and camp counselors. The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three days prior to the visa interview.
Please visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement site for more information. Please be aware that United States Department of Homeland Security regulations state that holders of F, M, or J nonimmigrant visas will not be admitted to the United States until a date thirty days or less prior to the beginning of their program date, or start date, as given on the Form I-20 (for F or M visas) or DS-2019 (for J visas). Please consider that date carefully when making travel plans to the United States.
Exchange visitor visa applicants and their accompanying family members must fill out the electronic visa application form DS-160 at least two business days ahead the scheduled visa interview date. Family members (J2) do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.
Applicants for work/travel programs should bring their transcripts to the visa interview in a sealed envelope.
Expedited visa appointment service is available to students applying for their F, J or M visas for academic degree programs. When you call to schedule your visa appointment, please indicate the school and the type of program for which you are applying, and request an afternoon appointment. The next available visa appointment will be scheduled for you.
Legal Rights and Protections for Certain Employment or Education-based
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (WWTVPRA) of 2008 was signed into law on December 23, 2008, by the President. The Act makes several changes related to the legal rights of certain employment or education-based non immigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. Additionally, this law outlines the information to be provided to certain non immigrants about their rights, protections and available resources. When working or studying in the United States temporarily, we want to ensure each nonimmigrant is aware of his/her rights, as well as protections and resources available, To learn more, review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet, Online version (PDF 252KB) or Printer double-sided version (PDF 291KB).