J-1 Request Procedure
NEW! Any J-1 Initial, Extension, or Transfer-in Requests received after 12/31/2014 will be subject to a $100 ISS processing fee. For more information, see the J-1 Processing Fee page.
The J-1 process involves multiple processes and input from various offices at Virginia Tech, government agencies, and institutions and individuals abroad. Because some steps might take several weeks or months, it is important that J-1 requests arrive at ISS at least 3-4 months in advance of the intended start date. In order to submit a complete request to ISS, the requesting department should follow the procedures outline below. A process overview and estimated timeline is available here.
- Verify the potential exchange visitor meets the eligibility criteria.
- Obtain an export review from OESRC and a conviction check from HR (these processes can take some time so do them first and start them early).
- Complete the ISS Request Form and gather required documents and signatures. A completed form contains:
- All fields completed
- All required signatures
- All required attachments
- Passport – must be legible and valid
- Copy of Invitation Letter from Host to Scholar/Student Intern
- Funding Documents – see funding document requirements
- OESRC Export Review – Obtain from Export control
- HR Conviction Check Approval Email – Obtain from HR
- CV – Publications list not necessary
- Previous DS-2019s
- Forward the J-1 request with ALL required signatures and attachments to ISS (MC 0265).
- ISS processing. [5-10 business days] ISS processing time starts from the receipt of a complete request form. Incomplete requests will be held until all attachments and required information have been submitted. ISS creates a SEVIS record and original DS-2019 for J-1 and any dependents. ISS assembles welcome folder with visa instructions and original DS-2019(s) and emails host department that documents are ready for pick up. The Host Department must pick up documents as campus mail is not an option.
- Mail DS-2019. [1-2 weeks] The department picks up the welcome folder, adds their original invitation letter (if foreign national is requesting an original and the department has not already sent one) and mails to foreign national using UPS, FedEx, or DHL, NOT USPS. Per Dept. of State rules, do not email the DS-2019.
- Schedule visa interview. [1-4 weeks] Upon receiving DS-2019 in the mail, the foreign national pays the SEVIS and DS-160 fees and schedules a visa interview appointment. Appointments are sometimes not available for several weeks. Foreign nationals should not make an appointment until they have the DS-2019 in hand.
- Visa processing. [a few days – a few months] Visas are not processed the same day as the visa interview and processing may take several months based on time of year, background checks, etc. Foreign nationals should NOT schedule flights, enter into U.S. housing contracts, or resign from a current position until visa is in hand.
- Arrival. [1-10 days] The foreign national may arrive and check-in up to 30 days before or after the DS-2019. Failure to arrive and check-in within 30 days after the start date will result in invalidation of the SEVIS record. If the foreign national cannot arrive and check-in within 30 days, s/he or the department must notify ISS to change the start date and issue a new DS-2019 to avoid invalidation of the J-1 record in SEVIS.