Although it is possible to schedule your preparations differently, we suggest you follow the order below for obtaining your entry visa to the U.S.:
- Receipt of information packet from UI including DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate for J-1 Status
- Pay the SEVIS Fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland. This $180 fee is separate from the visa processing fee. You will need your DS-2019 before you pay the SEVIS Fee. See SEVIS Fee below for more information.
- Make an appointment to obtain a J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. See visa appointment and application below.
- Fill in visa processing forms, including payment for visa stamp, and attend visa interview.
- Make travel plans
To pay this fee, it requires a SEVIS ID number which is found in the upper right hand corner of the form DS-2019. This MUST be paid before you attend the visa interview. Be sure to print out your receipt and take it with you to the visa appointment, verifying you have paid this fee.
You can pay with a check by mail or with a credit card online. DHS (Department of Homeland Security) also will accept fee payment from a third party, either in the United States or abroad.
Visa Appointment and Application
We strongly urge you to visit the website of your nearest U.S. consulate or embassy to obtain the most updated information. Information about locations of the closest visa issuing location, as well as instructions, and forms can be located online at:
• U.S. Embassies and Consulates Worldwide
• Visa Application forms and instructions
• Visa Wait Times
Security Advisory Opinion
Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government instituted a number of measures to tighten security with regard to the issuance of visas. First, all visa applicants’ names will be checked during the application process. Information resulting from the name-check, or if the field of study listed on Form DS-2019 involves a dual use technology (i.e. technologies that have both civilian and military applications), a Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) may be required.
The SAO is forwarded to Washington D.C. and can take one or more months to complete. Our office does not have the authority to request an SAO be expedited. Only if your visa application has been pending for more than 30 days can our office inquire about the case.