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Applying for a visa

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To apply for a visa, J-1 scholars will first need to obtain a DS-2019 from ASU. Consult with your department for more information on this process. Please check with the U.S. Consulate near you for the most up-to-date application procedures and requirements.

You do not need to apply for a visa if you:

  • Are a national of Canada or Bermuda. You are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a visa in your passport but you do need a DS-2019. You also have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

  • Already have an unexpired J-1 entry visa in the same classification that was issued when you were at another school. You may use your unexpired visa to enter the U.S. with a DS-2019 from ASU.

Required documents

To apply for a visa, you'll need these documents.

J-1 scholars

  1. Signed DS-2019(s). A separate DS-2019 form is required for each visa applicant. Each J-1 visa applicant should sign their own DS-2019, with the exception of children under age 14. A parent should sign in this instance. The DS-2019(s) will be returned to you to present at the U.S. port of entry.

  2. Receipt showing payment of the $180 J-1 SEVIS fee.

  3. Payment of the $160 visa application fee, and appropriate visa application forms for each visa applicant.

  4. Passport(s) valid for at least six months into the future, for each visa applicant.

  5. Proof of financial support. This could be a bank statement or a sponsor’s official statement of support. If you are receiving payment from ASU, your invitation/offer letter should indicate this amount.You must be able to verify the total funds indicated on the DS-2019 with a personal bank account or other supporting documentation.

  6. Two U.S. passport-size photos for each visa applicant.

  7. J-1invitation/offer letter from the sponsoring department at ASU.

Please also include other supporting documents (if applicable).

J-2 dependents

If your spouse or dependents will be applying for a visa, you'll need these documents:

  1. Dependent's J-2 DS-2019.

  2. Dependent's proof of relationship (marriage or birth certificate)

  3. Copy of your J-1 visa page in passport (only if you are already in the U.S. before your dependent joins you).

  4. Copy of your J-1 I-94 arrival/departure record (only if you are already in the U.S. before your dependent joins you).

Schedule your visa interview appointment with the U.S. Consulate. During your interview, you will explain your purpose for going to the U.S. and nonimmigrant intent. There may be a delay due to security clearances or administrative processing.

Visa renewal

The visa renewal process is similar to the first-time application process. Please check with the U.S. Consulate near you for the most up-to-date visa application procedures and requirements.

If you are planning to renew your expired visa in your home country you must apply early and expect delays. If you need an updated travel signature, please contact ISSC for travel endorsement at least 10-14 days prior to departure.

These are the documents needed for visa renewal purposes:

  • DS-2019 form with valid travel signature from ISSC

  • Passport (valid for at least six months into the future)

  • Proof of financial support

  • Revised invitation/offer letter from your department, showing current program dates

Submitting your visa application

In order to apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you must complete Form DS-160. This form now requires applicants to provide information on all social media platforms they have used within the last five years. As such, you will be required to provide the following:

  • Username, screen name, handle or other identifier for each social media platform you use or have used.

  • Your current email address and phone number.

  • Any email addresses and phone numbers you have used in the past five years.

Please note: You will not be required to provide your passwords for any of these accounts.

Before you begin the online visa application, please gather the above information and make sure your social media privacy settings are up to date. 

Tips for a successful visa interview

  1. The consular officer may ask questions regarding any public information that is available on your social media accounts. Please be prepared to answer their questions.

  2. Be prepared to demonstrate ties to your home country. Ties to your home country are the things that connect you to your hometown, homeland or current place of residence (i.e., job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc).

  3. Practice your English in advance, as the interview will be conducted in English.

  4. Unless you are under 18 years old, do not bring parents or family members with you to your interview.

  5. Prepare to articulate why the program you will study in the U.S. will help or relates to your professional goals in your home country.

  6. Answer all questions concisely with the appropriate information.

  7. Be ready to explain any documents that you submitted during your application process.

  8. It is harder for students from certain countries to obtain visas, so expect potential challenges or delays in processing.

  9. Your main purpose to come to the U.S. is to study. You must clearly articulate your plan to return home after you have finished your degree.

  10. If you have dependents that will stay at home while you study in the U.S., be prepared to share how they will support themselves in your absence.

  11. Remain positive. It can be a tricky and challenging process, but a positive attitude can go a long way.

 Administrative processing

From the U.S. Department of State: When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case. At the conclusion of the administrative processing period, the consular officer might conclude that an applicant is now qualified for the visa for which they applied. The officer may also conclude that the applicant remains ineligible for a visa. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visas, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.

From ASU’s International Students and Scholars Center: If you are experiencing administrative processing delays longer than 30 days, please email issc@asu.edu.

Visa denials

Some students will be denied a visa if the consular officer determines they are ineligible. Many students with a denied F-1 or J-1 visa application are not able to prove sufficient ties to their home country under INA section 214(b). 

If your visa was denied, we recommend submitting a new visa application once you have addressed the concerns of the Consular Officer. 

If this will impact your ability to arrive on time to ASU to begin your studies, please email issc@asu.edu.