J-1 Exchange Visitors

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Obtaining J-1 Visa

ois---j1.jpgProspective exchange visitors must pay a $180 fee before they can obtain a J-1 visa. The fee is referred to as the SEVIS fee and is used to help cover the cost of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is paid directly to the Department of Homeland Security either online via the internet, or by mail. Applicants must pay the fee at least 3 business days before their scheduled visa interview.

The J-1 applicant will report to the U.S. consulate or embassy with jurisdiction over his/her place of residence with the original Form DS-2019 issued by UMMC, evidence that the $180 SEVIS has been paid, and other documentation or evidence required by the consulate. 

The consular officer overseeing the interview will verify that the applicant:

  • has paid the $180 SEVIS fee;
  • is in possession of a properly completed Form DS-2019 signed by the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer;
  • has sufficient funding for the period he/she will participate in the program;
  • is sufficiently proficient in the English language to enable him/her to undertake the specific program;
  • has an intention to return to the home country after completing the exchange program;
  • is or is not subject to the two-year home country residence requirement.
If the consular officer is satisfied with the documentation presented by the J-1 applicant and the information provided by the applicant during the interview, the Form DS-2019 will be stamped and approved, and returned to him/her.  A J-1 visa stamp will then be affixed to the applicant’s passport.