- International Programs
- Int'l Degree & Education Abroad
- Int'l Student Advising & Services
- Int'l Scholar & Faculty Services
Below are the directions to apply for a J-1 Exchage Visitor visa. Please contact our office for information applying for H1-B or other visa type.
Initial international Exchange Visitors will need to apply for a U.S. visa in order to enter the United States to begin their program. Continuing Exchange visitors may need to renew their U.S. Visa while traveling abroad during their program. Explained below are the procedures and considerations to remember.
Initial international Exchange Visitors who are outside the United States will need to apply for a J-1 US Visa in order to enter the United States to begin their program.
Procedure for Applying for an Initial Visa:
Dependents: Scholar's dependents will need to apply for dependent visas. Dependents will have to present all of the documents required for the scholar's visa, as well as proof of marriage for the spouse and proof of parenthood for children. Any child who is 21 years of age or older cannot enter the United States on a dependent visa.
Canadian Citizens: Canadian citizens do not need a US visa to enter the United States but do need to have an approved travel document, DS-2019, and proof of I-901 fee payment to be admitted into the US.
Change of Status or Transfer: Scholars who are currently in the US and have applied for a change of status or transfer of status do not need to leave the US for the sole purpose of applying for a visa abroad.
International visitors who travel outside of the US must have a valid visa (for their current non-immigrant status) in order to re-enter the US. If a scholar's visa will expire prior to re-entering the U.S., or if the scholar has used all entries permitted by the visa, or if the visa does not match the current non-immigrant program category, the scholar will need to apply for a new visa while outside of the U.S.
Scholars who are currently in the US and have a valid status document (DS-2019, I-797 Approval Notice, etc) do not need to have a valid visa stamp in their passport. The sole purpose of the visa is for authorization to re-enter the US after traveling abroad. A valid status document is the only authorization necessary for an international visitor to legally remain in the US after being legally admitted (with a visa which has since expired). International visitors should not leave the US for the sole purpose of applying for a US visa abroad.
Procedures for applying for a visa renewal are similar to procedures for applying for an initial visa. Though all US Consulates are governed by the same general guidelines, each US Consulate has its own procedures for applying for a visa and processing times vary. The scholar should check the Consulate's Web site at which he/she will apply for their specific application procedures.
You will need to be prepared to present the following documents to the immigration officials at the United States port of entry (POE) into the U.S., be prepared to present the following items to immigration officials:
DOS Alert: U.S. Consulates in Canada Temporarily Suspend TCN Visa Processing for Summer (2014)
"AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14060447 (posted Jun. 4, 2014)"
In response to member queries regarding the difficulty of scheduling visa processing appointments for third-country nationals (TCN) in Canada, the AILA DOS Liaison Committee reached out to the Department of State (DOS). DOS informed AILA on 6/3/2014 that due to increasingly heavy demand by Canada-based visa applicants, the seven U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are extremely limited in their ability to accept TCN cases during the peak demand period of June, July, and August. Canadian posts encourage such applicants to seek appointments elsewhere in the world, such as in the applicant’s home country. Canadian posts offer increased appointment availability for TCNs during non-peak processing times, such as October and November, and January through May. Emergency cases may seek consideration for scheduling an interview at a Canada post by visiting canada.usembassy.gov.