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J-1 Visa Process

Exchange visitor (J-1) visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States. Before you can apply for a J-1 visa you must be accepted into an exchange program through a designated sponsoring organization (see Department of State (DOS) J-1 Visas Exchange Visitor Program for details). These include Belmont University’s exchange partner universities.

Your DS-2019 indicates that we have invited you to study or perform scholarly activities and that we have created a record for you in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The DS-2019 includes dates and information about your intended program of study or scholar activities. You can find your unique SEVIS ID number in the upper-right corner of your Form DS-2019. If all of the information on the form is correct, sign your name in the appropriate space on the form. You will then have to pay a SEVIS fee and schedule the visa application appointment at the US consulate or embassy closest to where you currently reside.

Applying For the Visa
Schedule An Interview

Schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate; however it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.

What To take to Your Visa Interview
  • Passport
  • Form DS-2019 from Belmont University
  • Form DS-160/confirmation page
  • Application fee payment receipt
Attend Your Visa Interview
  • During your visa interview a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa and which category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel.
  • Ink-free digital fingerprints will be taken at the interview.
  • After your interview, you will be informed if further administrative processing is required.
  • When the visa is approved, you will be informed when your passport with the visa will be ready for pick up or delivered to you by courier.
Entering The United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to apply to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry to the United Sates. The Department Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the port of entry have authority to permit or deny admission the U.S. If you are allowed to enter the U.S. you will be given an I-94 visa stamp in your passport and you may proceed to your destination.

New Students

J-1 exchange visitor visas may be issued up to 120 days in advance of your university start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the U.S. in J-1 status earlier than 30 days before your university start date.