J-1 Scholar Application Instructions

Before you begin the visa application process, you must have the following documents:

1. Form DS-2019 (Sent to you in the mail from  after you have accepted an offer of employment.)

Your DS-2019 is required when applying for an J-1 scholar visa at an American Embassy or Consulate and for entry into the United States. This DS-2019 has been produced by Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is an acknowledgement that your record is in the SEVIS system.  The form includes your SEVIS ID number, which is the number in the upper right hand corner above the bar code (usually starts with an N). 

2. SEVIS Fee Receipt 

All new scholars coming in J-1 status must pay a $180 SEVIS fee prior to applying for your visa. 

Applying for your Scholar Visa

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 scholar 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:

  • Your Form DS-2019
  • The SEVIS Fee receipt
  • A copy of your financial support documents
  • A valid passport
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Completed visa applications forms (Visa application forms are available on individual consular Web sites.)
  • An application fee and an interview will also be required. 

Paying the SEVIS Fee

All new J-1 Scholars 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.

When should you pay the 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.

How do you pay the SEVIS fee?

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. 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.