J-1 Exchange Visitors

Main Content

Bringing Exchange Visitors to UMMC

The official document that an exchange visitor uses to obtain a J-1 visa for entry into the United States is the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, commonly referred to as Form DS-2019. The Form DS-2019 is generated via the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a national computerized database of information that is used to maintain data on international students (F-1, J-1 classifications) and scholars (J-1 classification), and their dependents (F-2, J-2 classifications).

UMMC departments that wish to sponsor a prospective J-1 exchange visitor should follow these steps:

  • The sponsoring department must complete an Application for J-1 Exchange Visitor and forward a J-1 Exchange Visitor Information Form to the prospective exchange visitor for completion. Both of the completed forms should be returned to the Office of International Services by the sponsoring department together with the documentation listed on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Checklist.
  • Before deciding on a prospective exchange visitor’s program start date, the sponsoring department should consider the length of time it will take the applicant to schedule and complete a visa interview, and obtain a J-1 visa. It is recommended that a timeline be discussed with the exchange visitor before determining a proposed program start date. Since timelines for scheduling visa interviews and issuing visas at U.S. consulates can vary widely, it is suggested that departments submit paperwork to IS a minimum of three months in advance of the exchange visitor’s proposed program start date.
  • Based on the information provided, if IS determines that the applicant is qualified for J-1 status, a Form DS-2019 will be generated for the J-1 exchange visitor and his/her accompanying dependents. A pre-arrival letter will be included with the Form DS-2019 covering information such as the exchange visitor’s specific category, the purpose of the program, period of stay, and health insurance requirement. Additional information concerning the visa application procedure, payment of the SEVIS fee, applying for a Social Security Card (if applicable), and how health insurance works in the U.S. will also be included.
  • The contact person in the sponsoring department will be notified that the Form DS-2019 is ready to be picked up for mailing.
  • The sponsoring department will mail the Form DS-2019 and accompanying documents directly to the prospective exchange visitor.