J-1 Visa Application Process

This information is for individuals who plan to enter the U.S. for the first time to participate in an exchange program of study, research or teaching under a J-1 visa sponsorship by Dartmouth College

Application Process

  • Contact OVIS to complete the prerequisite steps to request a DS-2019 form, which will allow you to apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
  • Schedule an interview for your J-1 exchange visitor visa when you have received your Form DS-2019 from OVIS. It is important to apply for your J visa stamp as far in advance as possible. Many consulates recommend appointments be made no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can accommodate earlier arrangements for interviews.
  • Complete Form DS-160 and pay the visa application fee (not the same as the SEVIS fee) plus any reciprocity fees, by following instructions from your U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Pay the SEVIS fee.
    • Complete the online form and pay by credit card. Be sure to type your name exactly as it appears on your passport & DS-2019 form.
    • Print the receipt. You will need it at your visa interview (Canadians must carry the receipt upon entry to the United States).
    • If you are transferring from another U.S. institution, requesting a J-1 extension, or applying for a J-2 dependent visa, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

The Consular Interview

Prepare and bring to your visa interview the following:

  • Passport valid for at least six months into the future
  • Form DS-2019
  • Invitation, appointment, or employment offer letter from Dartmouth College
  • Completed visa application DS-160 (Canadian citizens do not need to provide this)
  • Two 2" x 2" photographs in the prescribed format. The U.S. State Department has more information about this requirement.
  • DS-160 (visa application) receipt
  • I-901 (SEVIS fee) receipt
  • If you are self-funded, financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and/or tuition during the period you intend to be at Dartmouth College.
  • Any evidence that demonstrates non-immigrant intent. This is evidence that you will return to your home country after finishing your exchange program in the U.S. and may include proof of property ownership, evidence of employment in your home country, family ties, open bank accounts, or other ties to your community.

The Department of State has more information on bringing family members to the U.S., returning to continue your studies, renewing your visa, or applying for a J-1 visa.