J1 Visa Information

If you want to study, work or do an internship in the USA, you will be required to obtain a J1 visa. Here we will describe everything about the J1 visa and other related forms. And, do not worry, Internships USA supports you throughout the process should any problems or queries arise.


What is the J1 Visa?

The J1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to people who come to the USA to do an internship, a traineeship or a summer work travel program. Indeed, this is the document that gives you permission to enter the USA between the dates listed as issue date and expiration date. These dates do not need to match the dates of your program, as they are only the dates between which you can enter the USA. However, please note that if you leave the USA outside of these dates you will be required to apply for a new visa.

Steps for receiving your J1 Visa: 

  • Get your DS-2019 Form to be eligible
  • SEVIS Fee
  • DS-160 Form
  • US Embassy/Consulate Interview

DS-2019 Form

To be eligible for a J1 Visa, you must have a DS-2019 Form, also called a certificate of eligibility.  The DS-2019 Form is a document that allows you to apply for a J1 Visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate as an intern or trainee. It must be issued to you by an authorized visa sponsor.

However, it is important to note that this form will only be used to APPLY for a J1 Visa. It does NOT necessarily mean you will receive a J1 Visa.

The DS-2019 consists of 2 pages. As a foreign national, you are required to sign page 1 which states that you agree to the instructions and understand what it says. You will encounter the following information:

  • Identification of the participant.
  • Identification of the sponsor. This part will contain the name, signature and telephone number of the sponsor’s responsible officer in case you need to contact them. 
  • Description of the program.
  • Type of program and the beginning and end dates.
  • Estimate the financial support that will be provided during the program duration.



Every exchange visitor who received a DS-2019 form after September 1st of 2004, is also required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. It must be paid before your interview at the US embassy or you will be denied a visa and entry into the USA. It enables to help fund the upkeep of the automated program which tracks exchange visitors in order to make sure that they maintain the correct status while in the United States. This payment is a separate fee from the others. 

 If your Visa to the USA is denied, you can reapply for the same program within 12 months of your original SEVIS fee payment without having to pay it again.

The cost depends on the type of exchange visitor. The prices are as followed:

  • The fee for a J1 Visa application is $240
  • The fee for subsidized J1 visa categories is $35
  • The fee for government visitors is $0

DS-160 Form

Before you have your interview at the U.S. embassy, you must also fill in and submit your DS-160 Visa application. The barcode which you can find on your DS-160 Visa application must be used to book your interview at the U.S. embassy/consulate. You must be very careful to fill in all your information correctly on your DS-160 Form before signing it.  False information will make you ineligible to enter the USA. 


U.S. Embassy Interview

Candidates who are between the age of 13 and 80 are required to attend an interview at the U.S. embassy/consulate. As the waiting times for a visa appointment can vary, we encourage you to apply for your interview as soon as possible. When you have your interview at the U.S. embassy/consulate it is essential that you bring with you:

  • The DS-2019 Form
  • The DS-160 Form confirmation
  • (If you have one you must get your DS-7002 Form)
  • Your passport which must be valid in the USA for at least 6 months after the intended end date of your program.
  • One 2×2 inch (51x51mm) photo with your face in full view with a natural expression and without wearing headwear or glasses

When you have your interview at the U.S. embassy/consulate, it is essential that you show that you have binding ties in your home country and that you have no plans to abandon them and are only in the USA for a temporary period.

After successfully completing your interview with the American embassy or American consulate, you are ready to go to the USA!

See also: J1 Visa Extension


Thanks to Internships USA, I did a finance internship in the US, just as I wanted! Indeed, it was very important for me to experience the American lifestyle and to be immersed in a country in which finance thrives. But I was struggling to find a really interesting internship there on my own… so, I called upon Internships USA and they helped me a lot, not only to find this internship but actually throughout the whole process with visas, etc. I truly recommend their services!
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