Skip to Content

Pre-Arrival Information

Expand All Content
  • The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by DHS utilizing an internet-based system called SEVIS or "Student and Exchange Visitor Information System". For information about the I-901 SEVIS Fee, and who is required to pay it, see

    You may pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at You will need information from your DS-2019 to complete the process. The free must be paid in U.S. dollars and may be paid online by credit card or by postal mail with a money order.

    In order to apply for your J visa, you msut present evidence of your I-901 SEVIS Fee payment at your visa interview. Therefore, upon completion of the payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee, you should print out two copies of the receipt; one for applying for your J visa, and one for entry into the U.S. 

  • After receiving the Form DS-2019 you must schedule an appointment to receive the J-1 visa stamp in your passport prior to arriving in the U.S.

    1. Pay the $350 I-901 SEVIS Fee
    2. Schedule an appointment for you J visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
      • Pay the $160 DS-160 online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee
      • Check visa appointment wait times to ensure there is adequate time to arrive to U.S. before the program start date stated on the DS-2019.

    Bring the following documents to your visa appointment:

    1. DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange  Visitor Status
    2. Valid Passport (with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the anticipated arrival date)
    3. Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Confirmation Page
    4. I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
    5. Proof of Financial Support
    6. Texas State sponsoring department Invitation Letter
    7. Evidence of English ability sufficient for exchange program
    8. Be prepared to prove nonimmigrant intent. Evidence of residence abroad an intent to depart the U.S. after completion of Exchange Visitor Program.
    9. One 2 inch by 2 inch passport style photo
    10. If accompanied by J-2 Dependent(s) bring their DS-2019, Passport, and passport photo.
  • J-1 Visa Interview

    The consular officer will evaluate the documents and interview the Exchange Visitor to determine whether the he or she is eligible for a J-1 visa and whether or not the individual would be subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement of I.N.A. ยง 212(e) by participating in the program. If found eligible, the consular officer will issue a J-1 visa and affix the visa to the applicant's passport.

    Applicants must demonstrate nonimmigrant intent to the consular officer by showing they have binding ties to a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning, and that they are coming to the U.S. for a temporary period. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly.


    Exchange Visitor Program: Interview and Documents

    How to Apply to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visitor Program

    ISSS - Prepare For Your Visa Interview Tips

  • Exchange Visitors and dependents should complete the J-1 Orientation Process upon arriving in the U.S. See more information here: J-1 Orientation.