J-1 Visa Application – The US education system is a host to some of the most acclaimed scholars and universities. It is therefore not a surprise why they’re regarded as the best in the world. One way they manage to maintain this reputation is by always offering opportunities to outstanding talents to come to the US for educational purposes. Throughout the year there are numerous exchange programs across different universities and study areas.
Therefore if you’re looking for some invaluable training or internship experience the US is the place where you’re going to find the ideal one. However, there are some eligibility criteria that you must meet and formal procedures to follow. In addition, to be permitted to enter the country for the purpose of attending short to mid-term training or internship programs you need a J-1 visa. In the following, you will learn about both.
The J-1 visa is a type of non-immigration visa issued to foreign individuals who want to enter the US for the purpose of completing a short-term training or internship program. Commonly this type of visa is referred to as an Exchange Visitor visa. Therefore these notions might be used interchangeably.
Am I Eligible For a J-1 Visa Application?
Checking your eligibility should always precede a visa application. By doing this you save your time and your money too. In order for you to be eligible for a J-1 visa, you must be given a place to a training or internship program in the US. However, you have to make sure that the program is accredited by the State Department and listed under the Exchange Visitor Program. Given that they can then sponsor your J-1 visa.
How To Apply For a J-1 Visa?
In contrast to a standard visa application, applying for a J-1 visa can appear a little more difficult. In fact you will have this impression because there are some procedures that must be completed by your sponsor in the US.
Therefore to have a smooth and stress-free J-1 visa application, just follow these steps:
Get your Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (also known as DS-2019) – You cannot apply at the US embassy without this document at your disposal. You and your sponsor will get this document from US authorities via email following your sponsor’s request.
Complete the online application – You can do this online on the official website of the local US embassy. There is a specific application page where you will have to complete the DS-160 Application Form and upload a pass photo. After you complete it, print it out and attach it to other documents.
Pay the application fee – Which is currently $160 and non-refundable.
Schedule an appointment at the US embassy – Similarly, you can do the official website of the embassy. Typically, there is a list of available dates and you’re free to choose among them.
Meet J-1 visa requirements – Your J-1 visa application file must contain these documents:
- Valid Passport
- Pass photo (if you didn’t upload it online)
- DS-160 Form (printed and properly filled)
- Receipt of fee payment
- Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019 Form)
- Training/ Internship Placement Plan (Form DS-702)
Additional documents – Keep in mind that the US embassy has the right to require from you additional documents. This can include evidence for the purpose of your travel to the US, your plan to return home following the end of your training, and your financial resources.
Attend the interview
After you’ve met J-1 visa requirements and completed your application it’s finally time to submit it at the US embassy in your home country. Don’t forget to show up on time for your J-1 visa interview otherwise, they will proceed with other candidates. On the appointment day, you must bring your completed application file and attend a short interview. In addition to the documents listed above your application must include a copy of the confirmation email of your appointment. Following your application at the embassy, you can then wait for them to process your request. The time they need for such a thing may vary depending on the workload of the embassy. In general, you can expect an answer a few days after your application. Nevertheless, don’t book your flight or accommodation in the US before you get your J-1 visa.