Government Sponsored J1 Visa

Through the Government Visitor program, distinguished international visitors develop and strengthen professional and personal relationships with their American counterparts in U.S. federal, state or local government agencies. Please refer to the information below as to how you schedule an appointment and what is needed to apply.

The Department of State has waived, through December 31, 2022, the in-person interview requirement for F, M, and Academic J visa applicants qualifying as secondary and university students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (“academic J visa applicants”), subject to certain conditions. Please follow instructions to apply. (PDF 162 KB)

  • Form DS-160: Print the confirmation page of the electronic visa application.
  • Photograph: See our photo requirements. If there are any issues with the uploaded photograph, you will be required to provide a photo with your application.
  • Original Form DS-2019: Program Serial Number must start with G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-7
  • Passport: Must be valid and undamaged.
  • Envelope: A prepaid self-addressed express/registered post envelope for the return of the issued visa in the passport

An appointment request may be made by forwarding a copy of your DS-160 confirmation page and DS-2019 indicating a Program Serial Number starting with G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-7 to the following:

Contact information for the Consulates:

Fees are not required. Do not pay the MRV, SEVIS and an issuance fee, as we are unable to refund these fees.

Dependents travelling:
If your dependents will be accompanying you to the United States on your J1 visa, they will be applying for a J2 visa. They will be required to present their DS-160 Confirmation Page, photo (if applicable), DS-2019, passport and a Registered Marriage or Birth Certificate.

Q: Can I use any photo for my application?
A: Our photo requirements are very specific, three main points to consider when supplying a photo:

  • It must be less than 6 months old to reflect your current appearance.
  • It must be taken in front of a plain white background (no objects should be in the background such as bookcases, blinds, doorways, brick walls).
  • You must be facing the camera front on (studio photos where you are facing at an angle will not be accepted).

Q: I can’t upload my photo, what do I do now?
A: If you do not have a digital photo, can’t upload it or your photo does not meet the specified requirements, you must bring a photo meeting the requirements along to your interview. Refer to our list of known photographers who take U.S. sized passport photographs. We recommend you bring a hard copy of your photo in the event your digital photo is rejected by our office.

Q: Does my passport need to be valid for 6 months?
A: As a general rule, passports must be valid for six (6) months beyond the date the traveler will exit the United States. However, the United States has signed agreements with a number of countries (including Australia and New Zealand) to waive this requirement. When such an agreement is in place, the passport must be valid for the entire period of the visitor’s intended stay, but the additional six month validity period is not required. On the U.S Customs and Border Protection website you may find the full list of countries with the exemption to the six (6) month validity rule.

Q: What do my dependents need to apply?
A: If your dependents will be accompanying you to the United States on your J1 visa, they will be applying for a J2 visa. They will be required to have their own Form DS-160 Confirmation Page, Photo, DS-2019, Passport and a Registered Marriage or Birth Certificate. Children under the age of 14yrs and adults over 79yrs are NOT required to attend an interview.

Q: What is the Two Year Rule? How do I know if I am subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement?
A: When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program you will be subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement if your exchange program is funded by either your government or the U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country or you received graduate medical training. If this requirement applies, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor program.  You are not prohibited from traveling to the United States but may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the foreign residency requirement is satisfied.

Q: Can I use the Apply by Mail service if I am re-applying for the same visa type and program?
A: If your previous J1 visa has not been expired for more than 48 months, you may be eligible to apply by mail. Please visit our website to see eligibility. Again, DO NOT pay the MRV fee.

Q: Do I need to provide a marriage certificate and/or birth certificate? Do they have to be originals?
A: If your spouse will be submitting an application, a marriage certificate will be requested. We will also need a birth certificate for any dependent children applying with you. Please note copies will suffice. ORIGINAL documents are NOT required.

For further information on the Fulbright Program please visit our website.

For further background information on J-visas please visit our website.