Before you begin the visa application process, you must have the following documents:
You must apply for your visa well in advance of your arrival, as it can, in some instances take several weeks, and occasionally longer, to obtain the student visa.
To apply for a U.S. visa, you will need to present the following documents at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you:
An application fee and an interview will also be required.
All new J-1 Students using DS-2019 must pay a $180 SEVIS fee prior to applying for a U.S. visa. J-2 dependents do not have to pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee.
The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three days prior to submitting the application for a U.S. visa. Canadian citizens, who are exempt from the visa requirement, must pay the SEVIS fee at least three days prior to applying for admission to the U.S. at a U.S. port of entry.
You may pay this fee with a credit card through an internet connection or by mail in the form of a check or money order to DHS. Third party payment is permitted. ISSO recommends that you pay this fee online. To pay the fee online, go to www.fmjfee.com. Complete the form supplying the necessary information. Be certain that your name appears exactly as it appears on the DS-2019 form.
The SEVIS ID# is the number which begins with N000 located in the upper right hand corner of the DS-2019 form.
The Exchange Visitor Category can be found on the DS-2019 form in section 4.
On the second screen you will provide the payment information. If you pay by credit card, you will immediately receive a receipt of the payment. Print out the receipt (the print button is at the bottom of the receipt page.) If you are paying by mail, you will print out the I-901 form and send it to the address indicated with a check or money order in U.S. dollars for $180.
The receipt is proof you have paid the fee. You will need to present the fee receipt with your application for a visa.
(Canadians will need to present the fee receipt at the U.S. port of entry.)