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J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa


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Procedures for Obtaining J-1 Visitor Status

At the U.S. port of entry, your DS-2019 form and passport containing the J-1 visa must be presented to an immigration officer, who will return the DS-2019 form to you. You will fill out an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record on which the officer will stamp your port of entry, date of entry, Duration of Status, and will write in your visa status. The officer will attach the I-94 Departure Record to your passport.

As of October 2004, all U.S. ports of entry will have facilities to deploy US-VISIT as part of the entry process. Upon a visitor’s arrival in the United States, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer uses an inkless digital finger scanner to electronically capture two finger scans. You will be asked to put the left index finger and then the right index finger on the scanner. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will also take a digital photograph of you.

The biographic and biometric data is used to match you with your travel documents and to compare that information against watch lists. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will ask questions about your stay in the United States. At that point, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer either admits the visitor or conducts additional inquiries based on the verification results.

The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is filled out by you and an immigration officer. The immigration officer assigns you a non-immigrant status (this should be J-1 for ISEP students) and indicates the actual authorized period of stay in the United States. Usually the period of stay will be marked "D/S" or "Duration of Status." This means that you are allowed to remain in the United States until the ending date listed on the DS-2019. In some cases, the officer may list a specific date for departure. If so, please contact the ISEP central office in Washington, DC, immediately upon your arrival at your host campus.