J-1 Student Visa & Arrival Information
A SEVIS I-901 fee payment is required for J-1 students and the receipt must be included with all J-1 visa applications. Students should also be prepared to present the SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt at the U.S. port of entry. Students with a country of citizenship or country of birth of Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or Gambia must pay by money order, Western Union Quick Pay or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank. All other students also have the option to make a credit card payment.
Applying For A Visa
Students are encouraged to apply for their visa as soon as they receive the DS-2019 issued by Jacksonville University to provide time for visa processing. U.S. Embassies or Consulates are able to issue J-1 entry visas up to 120 days before the program start date listed in item #3 on your DS-2019.
In most countries, student visa applicants must appear in person for the visa interview. However, each U.S. embassy or consulate sets its own interview policies and procedures. Students should consult their specific embassy website or call for application instructions.
In general, the following documents are required for the J-1 visa application:
- Online Non-immigrant Visa Application (DS-160) confirmation page
- Visa application fee payment receipt - check the U.S. embassy or consulate website for specific instructions
- Form DS-2019 issued by Jacksonville University
- Valid passport - must be valid at least 6 months into the future
- Financial evidence - proof of funds for estimated cost of duration of study.
- SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt
- Jacksonville University admission letter
- One photograph - see the U.S. Department of State website for photo requirements.
All applicants should be prepared to provide additional information, such as transcripts or diplomas from previously attended institutions, or documents which demonstrate that the applicant intends to return home after his/her studies, etc. Dependents will receive their own DS-2019 with their own SEVIS ID number to apply for the J-2 visa. Dependents are not required to pay the SEVIS fee and it is the J-1 student who signs all DS-2019.
IMPORTANT: No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued. After the visa is issued, check to make sure the J-1 visa sticker in your passport is accurate and that your original DS-2019 has been returned to you as you will need to have it in hand when entering the U.S.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need to apply for a J-1 visa, but are required to have the DS-2019 and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before entering the U.S. to study.
Entering The United States
When preparing for your arrival to the U.S., you should plan your travel according to information provided by the International Affairs Office at Jacksonville University. According to immigration regulations, J-1 student visa holders can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program report date on the DS-2019 (item #3).
Students transferring into Jacksonville University in J-1 status from another institution or changing their degree level at Jacksonville University can stay in the U.S. or travel between programs, and may enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the new program start date.
When you travel, make sure to have the following documents in your carry-on bag:
- Valid passport with valid J-1 visa sticker
- The original DS-2019 issued by Jacksonville University
- I-901 SEVIS fee receipt
- Financial documents
- Admissions letter
At the U.S. port of entry, you will be required to present your passport and DS-2019 to the immigration officer who will stamp your passport. In most cases, the officer notes “D/S” (“Duration of Status”) on your passport page. This means that you are allowed to stay in the U.S. for the length of time indicated on your DS-2019 (item #3), as long as you maintain full-time enrollment and valid J-1 status. Be sure that your passport is properly stamped before exiting the inspection area.
Do not enter the U.S. in visitor status (B1/B2, WT, or WB). This status does not permit full-time study in the U.S.
After your arrival, print out your Admission (I-94) number and keep a copy of all travel documents (I-94 information, J-1 visa, and DS-2019) for your personal records. Make sure your I-94 print out contains the correct information: visa status J-1, admit until D/S.
If you need any clarification on this process or need further assistance, feel free to contact the Office of International Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (904) 256-7758