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DS-2019 & Visa Info

DS-2019/Visa Info
Who Qualifies for a J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Visa?

  • Students from a school with an approved exchange agreement with Georgia Southern

  • Students with government scholarships to study in the U.S. under an approved exchange or scholarship program

  • Exchange students/scholars who plan to study and/or conduct research at Georgia Southern for one semester or one academic year
In order to study at Georgia Southern, J-1 exchange students will need to obtain a DS-2019 from the university.

What is a Form DS-2019?

Form DS-2019s are “Certificates of Eligibility” for J status. These forms show the U.S. government that you are considered eligible to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa based on your documented funds and academic record.

After receiving a DS-2019, you may schedule an appointment for a visa interview at your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Note: Georgia Southern issues the DS-2019, but does not issue the visa. 

Remember! The DS-2019 application process takes time to complete, so you should begin as soon as possible!

How do I apply for a DS-2019 as a J-1 Exchange Visiting Student?

Complete the Exchange Visiting Student Application here on the Global Portal. Remember that you must be nominated by your home institution before your application will be processed.

Application Deadlines

Fall Term (August - December): May 1
Academic Year (August - May): May 1
Spring Term (January - May):    November 1

Tips on Applying for a DS-2019

  • In order to prioritize your paperwork and ensure timely deliver, submit your exchange application well before the deadline.

  • Please allow up to 1 week for your DS-2019 to be prepared after all documents are received.

After Requesting an DS-2019

  • It will normally take 1 week to prepare your DS-2019 once you have been accepted and have submitted all of the SEVIS/visa documents.  

  • When your DS-2019 is prepared, you will receive an "DS-2019 Ready" email with the next steps on how to receive it, as well as the next steps in the visa process. 

    • Please refer to the Study in the States website as a primary reference.

    • Please review all the information in the "DS-2019 Ready" email to ensure that everything is correct.  

  • When you’ve verified that the "DS-2019 Ready" email is correct, you will select and pay for your choice of shipping method for the document. You will find details of shipping options in the email. 

  • Your email message will also contain the information you need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee

    • This fee must be paid at least three days before your J-1 visa appointment or entry to the U.S. if a visa is not required. 

    • When paying the fee online, print at least two receipts. Take the receipt (Form I-797) with you to your visa appointment and keep it permanently with your DS-2019 forms.

  • You will then make a visa appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Diplomatic Mission.

    • Consult the U.S. Department of State for valuable information on what you will need for your visa appointment

    • Remember to take your DS-2019, letter of acceptance, I-901 payment receipt, and financial documentation with you to your visa appointment.

***A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning that you will need to demonstrate that you intend to return to your home country after your studies are complete.