Important Documents


The DS-2019 Form

The DS-2019 Form identifies InterExchange as the program sponsor. It describes the purpose of the program and states the time period that the student is allowed to work. The DS-2019 Form is proof of sponsorship for a J-1 Visa. Students are allowed to work only with a valid DS-2019 Form and only through the dates listed in Section #3 on the DS-2019, and can travel for 30 days after, provided they return home in time for the start of the first official day of class. The J-1 Visa is only valid with the DS-2019 Form.

InterExchange will send you the DS-2019 and the electronic confirmation of the I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt only after you have sent payment and the bank has confirmed receipt of payment. Any DS-2019 Form that must be reprinted due to errors in arrival dates or incorrect data entry on the part of the International Cooperators will incur additional per DS-2019 reprint plus shipping costs to be billed to the IC. Reprints may take several weeks to be processed.

The J-1 Visa

The J-1 Visa is issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The J-1 Visa allows students to enter the U.S. when presented with their DS-2019 Form at the border or airport. The expiration date on the J-1 Visa is the last date students may enter the U.S., not the last day they can work, although they may be the same.

The J-1 Visa may be marked “Multiple Entry” or “M” under the Entries section. This means that students may enter the United States as many times as they want up until the expiration date on their J-1 Visa. If the visa has a number under the Entries section, this means that students are only allowed to enter the U.S. that number of times. If the visa has “1” entry, this means that they are only allowed to enter the U.S. once.

Travel: If students plan to leave the U.S. to travel and then come back during their program or 30-day travel period, they must re-enter the U.S. before the expiration date on their J-1 Visa and DS-2019 Form. The DS-2019 Form must be validated for travel by InterExchange before leaving the U.S.

Applying for the J-1 Visa at the U.S. Embassy

Cooperators are responsible for researching the visa requirements at the U.S. Embassy in your country and notifying students of these requirements.

Depending on the country, either the International Cooperator will present the students’ documents, including the DS-2019 and the I-901 Forms, to the U.S. Embassy, or the students will need to apply individually.

Each student must have a valid passport and is responsible for applying for the visa and for any costs associated with obtaining the visa.

InterExchange becomes the student’s J-1 Visa sponsor once they are accepted to the program. No one except InterExchange or a government agency can cancel a student’s visa.

Students must confirm the accuracy of the information on their visas as soon as they are issued. Requesting amendments is often a lengthy process.

J-1 Visa Denials

International Cooperators should inform InterExchange about any visa denials before the student’s intended U.S. arrival date.

Students seeking a refund because of visa denial must return the DS-2019 Form with proof of visa denial. The refund will be a total of program fees paid to InterExchange less an administrative fee in addition to the non-refundable SEVIS fee.

Any student who is denied a visa because he or she has falsified documents or operated under some other false pretense will be cancelled from the program without a refund.

Please do not tell InterExchange about a cancellation if the student will re-apply for a visa.

Notice of visa denials received after the student’s scheduled arrival date will receive no refund.

You must report visa denials through our online application system. However, for credits to be issued you are required to notify InterExchange via email that a participant has been denied.

I-901 Form - SEVIS Receipt

InterExchange sends invoices to ICs for the $35 SEVIS fee and will send cooperators an electronic confirmation of the I-901 Form with the DS-2019 Forms. Students will need the I-901 Form in order to apply for the J-1 Visa at the U.S. Embassy. More information about SEVIS can be found in chapter 5 of this Handbook.

As of July 2013, SEVIS no longer prints the I-901 Form to ship to sponsors. They now transmit an electronic copy instead.

Social Security Numbers

All Americans and internationals working in the U.S. will need a Social Security card. Students must apply for a Social Security card upon arrival in the U.S. The Social Security number (SSN) is used for the employer’s tax purposes, opening a bank account and applying for a driver’s license.

Students must register in SEVIS to receive their Social Security card.

Some employers will not issue paychecks to students who have not applied for a Social Security number.

Sample documents are available in the Appendix.

Next: SEVIS »

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation