Applying for a J-1 Visa

How do I apply for the J-1 Student Exchange Visa?

In your acceptance packet, you’ll find a DS-2019 form. The Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program and you will need it to apply for the J-1 exchange student visa. Applying for your visa should be a priority since we cannot predict how long the application process will take.


SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a Web-based information system that keeps track of foreign students and other exchange program participants while they are in the United States. You are required to pay the $180 SEVIS fee before your visa interview.  Pay the SEVIS fee online and immediately print your receipt as proof of payment for the visa interview:

STEP 2: DS-160 on line Visa application

You begin the Visa application process by completing the DS-160 on-line Visa application and paying the application fee of $160. After you have completed the DS-160, print the DS-160 barcode page and keep it for your records.

STEP 3: Contact Your U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Make an appointment for a visa interview by contacting the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This website also provides you with country-specific instructions regarding scheduling your visa interview and paying the visa application processing fee.

Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate worldwide is available on the State Department’s website and on most embassy websites.

STEP 4: The Interview

You must assemble all the required documentation for your interview:

• Payment receipt of the SEVIS I-901 fee

• A SEVIS-generated Form DS-2019. SUNY New Paltz will provide you with this document in your acceptance packet.

• The printed barcode page of your online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160.

• A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months after the end date of your exchange program in the U.S.

One (1) 2x2 photograph

• Financial support documents which prove that you or your family have enough money for you to enroll in the Exchange Program

For the most up to date information about scheduling an appointment for an interview, paying the application processing fee, reviewing embassy specific instructions, and much more visit and click on the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you.