Yale University has been approved by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor J-1 Exchange Visitors participating in academic research, teaching and observation at Yale. Scholars use the Exchange Visitor program for official appointments such as visiting faculty, postdoctoral or postgraduate fellows and associates, as well as other temporary academic appointments.
When to Apply
You must apply for your visa well in advance of your arrival as it can in some instances take several months and occasionally longer to obtain the J-1 scholar visa.
The Department of State has instructed U.S. consulates that they may issue a J-1 visa no more than 120 days in advance of the program start date. However, an application for a J-1 visa can be submitted more than 120 days in advance of the start date noted on the DS-2019 in order to accommodate long processing times. Check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply for a visa for detailed instructions.
You may enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before and no later than 30 days after the program start date noted on your DS-2019 form (item #3). If you try to enter the U.S. outside of this timeframe, you may not be allowed entry to the U.S. If you have problems meeting this timeframe, please get in touch with OISS and your Yale host department
Before you begin the visa application process, please familiarize yourself with the J-1 status by reading our Understanding J-1 Status section. It is especially important that you are aware of the following:
The following is an overview of how the OISS process works, as well as how to obtain your Form DS-2019.
- Your host department initiates a new sponsorship request via OISS Connect.
- You, the J-1 scholar, will receive a welcome email from OISS containing your OISS Connect credentials and login information.
- You will fill out the Exchange Visitor section and upload all required documents to the Documents section.
- You will notify your host department when you have completed your requirements.
- Your host department will complete their required information and upload, and submit your record to OISS.
- After submitting a completed record*, it can take up to 10 days to be processed by OISS, and possibly longer during busier times of the year.
*Completed record means that all required information is present. OISS processing only starts once OISS has received a 100% complete OISS Connect Record. If required information is missing from the scholar or the department, this process will take longer.
- Once finalized, a DS-2019 will be issued. The host department will arrange for delivery of this document to you.
This DS-2019 has been produced by Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is an acknowledgement that your record is in the SEVIS system. The form includes your SEVIS ID number, which is the number in the upper corner above the bar code, (usually starts with an N).
As a new scholar coming in J-1 status you must pay a one-time SEVIS fee prior to applying for your visa, and must submit the SEVIS fee receipt as part of your visa application. You can find instructions about paying the fee on this page.
If you have family members traveling with you in J-2 status, each J-2 dependent (spouse and child(ren)) must have their own DS-2019 form. Each dependent DS-2019 is added in the Exchange Vistor section.
Additional SEVIS fees do not need to be paid for dependents.
The Application Process
The first step in applying for a U.S. visa is the online application DS-160.
Access the DS-160 application at the Consular Electronic Application Center website.
Watch an overview of the online application process.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about the DS-160. There is a $220 visa application processing fee.
Tips for Filling Out Your DS-160
Tips for Filling Out Your DS-160
Below are suggested answers you are welcome to use when you fill out this form. Please be aware that you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of information you provide in this form.
U.S. Address or Point of Contact
- Use your department contact person's contact information and department address
- Or, use your OISS adviser's contact info and OISS's address (421 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06511)
Address Where You Will Stay in the U.S.
- The address where you will stay is the University’s address as listed on your DS-2019.
- Use your department or school's address.
Person/Entity Paying for Your Trip
List your primary source of funding as it appears on your DS-2019.
The next step in applying for a U.S. visa is making an appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate. At this appointment you will need to present the following documents:
- Your DS-2019 form
- Your SEVIS Fee receipt (I-901)
- Your DS-160 confirmation page
- A copy of your financial support documents, i.e. evidence that you have sufficient funds to meet the expenses of visiting Yale and the U.S.
- A valid passport
- Passport-size photographs (that you uploaded in the DS-160 application)
- Completed required visa application forms (available on the U.S. consular websites.)
Check the website of the U.S. embassy/consulate where you are applying to see if there are other requirements.
An application fee will also be required. Typically there is also a visa interview, but some U.S. missions have recently implemented interview waivers and established document drop off options for applying for visas. There have been (and continue to be) changes in the visa application process, so please check the consular websites and follow their instructions on how to apply for your visa.
If you were required to attend a visa interview, make sure to be present with all required documents at your scheduled visa interview appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate. Here are 10 points to remember when applying for a non-immigrant visa.
Check the visa in your passport to make sure that all the information on it is correct. If the information is not correct it can only be changed at the U.S. embassy or consulate that issued your visa.
Your DS-2019 should be returned to you. You will need it to enter the U.S.
When to Contact Us
- If the U.S. embassy or consulate has any questions regarding your Yale appointment, please contact OISS.
- If your visa application is delayed or denied for any reason, please contact OISS and your Yale host department immediately.
Safe travels and we look forward to meeting you when you arrive in New Haven!