Steps on How to Apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
Like any visa application process, there are certain steps you need to follow in order to ensure a successful application. Make sure that you have prepared all the required and supporting documents, as well as paid the necessary fees. You can view the list of required and supporting documents for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa here.
Below are the steps to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa:
1. Find a sponsor
Before applying for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, you will need to find a designated sponsor institution to accept you into their program. These sponsoring institutions can place participants throughout the United States, regardless of physical location. You can view the official list of designated sponsors from the United States Department of State here. Sponsors do screen their participants and prefer those with proficient English language skills, so prepare in advance.
2. Pay the visa application fee
You will need to pay a required J-1 visa application fee of US$160 ahead of time. This fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Although fees are listed in U.S. dollars, payment must be made using local currency. Payments can be made via the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), either over-the-counter or online for account holders.
3. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form
You will have to complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. Each applicant, including children, must have their own Form DS-160 visa application, completed and submitted online prior to your interview at the Embassy or Consulate. The Form DS-160 printed confirmation page must be brought to the interview. You will not be permitted to attend your interview without a form DS-160 confirmation page.
4. Schedule your appointment
You must schedule your appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate via this webpage. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment: 1) your passport number, 2) your MRV fee payment receipt number, and 3) your 10-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.
5. Visit the U.S. Embassy/Consulate on the date and time of your interview
You will need to visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. Remember to bring with you a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one recent photograph, your current and all old passports, as well as your required and supporting documents. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.
Click here for an overview of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa.
Click here for the list of J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa requirements and supporting documents.
James Gonzales is a Filipino-American travel enthusiast and writer currently based in the Philippines. After living and working in New York for 10 years, James decided he wanted to see more of the world and leave the city behind. In the course of saving up for what would become an epic trip across Asia, he wrote about previous traveling experiences for various travel websites and publications based in the Lower East Side.
James focused on journeying through the Philippines in the hopes of understanding his roots, and began Daydreaming in Paradise to share his thoughts and experiences. He’s always looking for like-minded travelers to trade stories and swap tips with, and he hopes you’ll join him on his journey.