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J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

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J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas

In order to participate in ISEP, you must obtain a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. Please note that all ISEP participants who attend U.S. host institutions are sponsored under ISEP's J-1 exchange visitor program. ISEP participants are not sponsored by their host institution for visa purposes.

All visas are not alike!

You should only enter the United States as a J-1 exchange-visitor using the DS-2019 issued by ISEP.

Do not enter as a tourist (with a B-2 visa or no visa), as an F-1 student, or as a J-1 exchange visitor under another program, such as a camp counselor or SWAT program. If you enter the United States on a visa other than ISEP’s J-1/DS-2019, you must leave the United States and re-enter on ISEP's J-1 visa/DS-2019. If you have difficulty obtaining your visa, contact ISEP before you depart your home country for the United States.

The Exchange Visitor Program

The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs administers the J-Exchange Visitor Program. This group implements the Mutual Educational and Cultural Act of 1961, as amended. The Act promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. The Exchange Visitor Program provides foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in exchange programs in the United States and then return home to share their experiences.

The State Department designates sponsors to administer individual exchange visitor programs. ISEP is officially designated as an exchange visitor sponsor by the State Department. This means that ISEP is authorized to issue the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status," known as a "DS-2019."

Visa Questions

Since ISEP is your J-1 visa sponsor, all questions about employment, obtaining a visa, and immigration status should be directed to ISEP, not your home or host coordinator. If you have questions about any of the topics covered in this section, please contact us at sevisinfo@isep.org .