Applying for your Visa
Gather Required Documentation
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
Passport valid for travel to the United States - Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019 – Your program sponsor will provide you a SEVIS-generated Form DS-2019 after the sponsor enters your information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database. All exchange visitors must be registered in SEVIS. Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend to live in the United States with you, will each receive a separate Form DS-2019.
Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002 – In addition to the Form DS 2019, participants in the J-1 Trainee and Intern categories require Form DS-7002 (based on Box 7 on Form DS-2019). Learn more about the Trainee and Intern programs.
Legal Rights and Protections
You must read the Legal Rights and Protections pamphlet to learn about your rights in the United States and protection available to you. Review this important pamphlet before applying for your visa.
Additional Documentation May Be Required
A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for an exchange visitor visa, and may request additional documents, such as evidence of:
The purpose of your travel;
Your intent to depart the United States after your travel;
Your ability to pay all travel costs.
Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your travel and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your travel, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your travel.
Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply.
Attend Your Visa Interview
A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive an exchange visitor visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is required. After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you. Review the visa processing times to learn more.