Once you have been approved for sponsorship, there are a few more steps you will need to take before you begin your program.
Pay your SEVIS fee
If you submitted your application before 2:00 p.m. EST on December 29, 2017, you must pay your SEVIS fee before you can schedule your embassy appointment. If you submitted after this time, please move onto the next step (Schedule and attend your visa interview).
- Your sponsorship approval email from InterExchange Career Training USA will include your SEVIS number, which you will need in order to pay your fee.
- Visit the SEVIS website.
- Click “Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment.”
- Follow the instructions to submit your payment. All necessary information will be in your approval email.
Schedule and attend your visa interview
Interns and Trainees (except Canadian citizens) must attend an interview at their local embassy or consulate in order to be issued a J-1 Visa.
- Find the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to your residence that issues J-1 Visas.
- Complete the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application.
- Follow your consulate or embassy’s online instructions for making a nonimmigrant visa appointment.
- Receive your acceptance package containing documents and orientation materials from Career Training USA.
- Prepare for your interview by reading “U.S. Embassy/Consulate Interview Tips” in your Participant Handbook and collecting the required documents for your interview. Be sure to check your local embassy or consulate’s website, as requirements may vary from country to country.
- Attend your interview and receive your visa.
Arriving in the U.S.
Once you have your visa, you can depart for the U.S.!
- Make your travel arrangements, and fill out our Travel Information Form to let us know when you will be arriving.
- Complete your online orientation to ensure that you are prepared for your arrival in the U.S. (Your login is the email address you used in your application, and your password is your SEVIS ID number.)
- Go through U.S. Customs. You will need your valid passport (including your J-1 Visa), your DS-2019 form, and a DS-6059 form (which you'll receive on the plane or at the airport when you arrive). Keep these documents in your carry-on luggage so they will be available when you go through customs.
- Be polite, smile at your customs official, and answer any questions asked.
- When you arrive at your hotel or place of residence (even if it is just temporary), you must notify InterExchange of your U.S. address and phone number so that we can activate your record in SEVIS. You may do this by filling out our Arrival Form online.
Congratulations on making it to the U.S.! Now you are ready to settle into your host city and begin your program.
- If you do not already have a place to live, it is time to begin looking. The housing resources on our website can help.
- You will receive an email from InterExchange letting you know that your SEVIS record has been activated. If you are on a paid program, please wait at least five days after you receive this email, then go to your local Social Security office to apply for your Social Security card.
- Once you have applied for your Social Security number, you will receive your card by mail in a few weeks. You will be able to begin your program before you receive your Social Security card by using the receipt from your Social Security application or a letter from the Social Security office.
- If you are being paid, you will need to fill out some tax forms when you begin your internship or training program. Read our information on tax documents to help you fill them out correctly. Remember to bring your passport with your visa, a printout of your I-94 form, and your DS-2019 Form to show your employer on your first day.
- If you are being paid, or if you will be here for an extended period of time, you may want to open a U.S. bank account. Although each bank is slightly different we have compiled some general information and guidelines that should make the process easier.
- Make sure you update your contact information with InterExchange as you find a permanent residence and telephone number. You should always notify us within ten days of any change of address or contact information, but you will also be contacted via email every 30 days to verify your contact information and to update us on any changes to your program.