Exchange Visas ( J )

The J exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants include students at all academic levels; trainees obtaining on-the-job training with firms, institutions, and agencies; teachers of primary, secondary, and specialized schools; professors coming to teach or do research at institutions of higher learning; research scholars; professional trainees in the medical and allied fields; and international visitors coming for the purpose of travel, observation, consultation, research, training, sharing, or demonstrating specialized knowledge or skills, or participating in organized people-to-people programs.

J1 and J2 visitors may be issued visas at any time before the beginning of their programs. The Embassy recommends that J applicants apply for their visas as early as possible to leave ample time for the necessary visa processing. However, exchange visitors may not enter the United States earlier than 30 days before the initial program start date. Applicants continuing on an exchange visitors program are not subject to this restriction.

Required Documentation:

  1. Valid Passport
  2. The DS-160 application form confirmation page
  3. Original Bank Receipt for Application Fee
  4. Completed DS-2019 Form: Name on form must exactly match the name in your passport and has been entered into the SEVIS system by the U.S. academic institution. More information on SEVIS.  
  5. SEVIS Fee Receipt: Most J, F, and M applicants must now pay a SEVIS fee. Please bring an electronic receipt or I-797 receipt to your interview. Information on how to pay the SEVIS fee.

Optional Documentation

Optional documentation can vary depending on the applicant’s personal situation. Below is a list of documents that may be helpful to the interviewing officer.

  1. Passports containing all previous U.S. visas or BCCs, even if expired
  2. Birth certificate (original or certified copy)
  3. Voter Registration Card (IFE/INE) if 18 or over
  4. Proof of Finances (bank statements, Cedula Fiscal, tax documents)
  5. Proof of Education (school diploma, Cedula Profesional)
  6. Proof of Employment (pay slips, company credential, letter from Human Resources Department)