There are several steps to applying for a J-1 visa.  The steps may vary depending on the U.S. Consulate or Embassy where you apply.  Look for instructions available on the  U.S. embassy/consulate website where you will apply.  In general, the following steps are required to obtain a J visa.

Prepare for your Interview

  • Collect your documents
    • Valid passport
    •  DS-160 form confirmation page
    • Visa application fee payment receipt, if required to pay before the interview
    • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 Fee receipt
    • Photo that follows the Photograph Requirements
    • Original DS-2019 signed by the ARO and yourself.
    • Admission letter or information showing admission to a UTSA program
    • Financial support documents
    • Any additional documents listed on the U.S. embassy/consulate where you will apply

Schedule an Interview

  • Pay the visa application fee.  Check the U.S. embassy/consulate website where you will apply for instructions on how and whether to pay this fee before the visa interview.   Instructions will vary by embassy or consulate.
  • Generally you will schedule the appointment at the  U.S. embassy/consulate in your home country.

Attend your Interview

During your interview

  • The visa officer will determine your eligibility for the J-1 visa.  Some of the things you need to prepare for are:
    • Be able to provide evidence of non-immigrant intent.  For example: demonstrating you have ties to your home country and will return home after your J-1 program is complete.
    • Be able to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover living expenses, tuition and health insurance for you and your dependents throughout the length of your program.

After your interview

  • Further administrative processing may be required.  If that is the case, the visa officer will inform you.
  • If your visa is approved, you will be informed of when your passport with the visa stamp will be returned to you.  You may review  the visa processing times website to learn about typical visa processing times for the location you applied for your visa.

J-2 Dependents

  • Go through the same or similar visa application process (except they should not pay the SEVIS fee) to obtain a J-2 visa.  Review the instructions at the  U.S. embassy/consulate where they will apply.
  • Should bring their own documents and copies of the J-1 documents if they apply for their visa separately.
  • Should also bring proof of the relationship between themselves and the J-1 such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate.