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 https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901
You may pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at www.fmjfee.com/. 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.
- Pay the $350 I-901 SEVIS Fee
- 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:
- DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
- Valid Passport (with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the anticipated arrival date)
- Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Confirmation Page
- I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
- Proof of Financial Support
- Texas State sponsoring department Invitation Letter
- Evidence of English ability sufficient for exchange program
- Be prepared to prove nonimmigrant intent. Evidence of residence abroad an intent to depart the U.S. after completion of Exchange Visitor Program.
- One 2 inch by 2 inch passport style photo
- 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. § 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 Visitors and dependents should complete the J-1 Orientation Process upon arriving in the U.S. See more information here: J-1 Orientation.