How to Get DS-2019 For J1 Exchange Visitors to U.S.A


In this article, we’re going to learn how to get the form DS-2019 which is given to prospective J1 Nonimmigrants.

What is DS-2019?

The form DS-2019 is a two page document required to support the application for an exchange visitor visa to the U.S. This document is produced by a U.S Department of State designated sponsor.

How Can I Get the DS-2019?

To receive the DS-2019 as a prospective nonimmigrant to the US, you must first find a designated sponsor and then apply and be accepted for sponsorship into an appropriate J1 program category.

Some of the J1 program categories are; professors/research scholars, short-term scholars, trainees, and college/University students.

Similar to the Form I-20 given to F1 and M1 nonimmigrant, the form DS-2019 primary purpose is to apply for a J1 visa and then seek entry into the U.S on this J1 visa.

Can I bring my family to the U.S on a J1 Visa?

J1 non-immigrants who intend to bring a spouse, child or children must obtain a separate DS-2019 form for each dependent, and must meet the requirements set by their designated sponsors to do so.

What Else is the DS-2019 Used For?

Apart from applying for the J1 Visa to enter the U.S, the DS-2019 could be used for the following;

  1. Applying for a U.S social security number
  2. Applying for a U.S state driver’s license or a state ID card
  3. Serving as a proof of work authorization

DS-2019 Sample

how to get DS-2019 form

From the above DS-2029 sample, describing each block in the two page documents,

  • starting with Page One at the top right corner is the Civic ID Number. This number always starts with the letter N.
  • Block one of the documents identifies you as the participant in the J1 program.
  • Block Two includes the name of your program sponsor and describes the nature of your J1 program to be completed.
  • Block Three, which is very important is the start and end date of your program.

J1 visa holders may not arrive to the U.S more than 30 days before the start date. As a non-immigrant under J1 status, you are given a Grace period of 30 days after the program end dates to depart the US.

Note that your program end date and not the expiration of your J1 visa determines how long you’re allowed to stay in the U.S. You can learn more about this difference between your J1 visa and your J1 status [HERE]

  • Block Four States your exchange visitor category.

This could be any one of several J1 program categories, such as trainees, College and University students, short term scholars, etc.

  • Block Five is a breakdown of the estimated financial support for your J1 program.
  • Block Seven also very important is the name and contact information of your program sponsor’s responsible Officer. You may need this information when trying to enter the U.S at the U.S Port of Entry.
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  • Block Eight is completed by a J1 Responsible officer, whenever a transfer of your J1 program occurs.
  • Over on this section to the left describes if you are subject to the two year home residency requirement and would contain the name, signature and date of a U.S Consul officer or immigration officer.
  • The travel validation section on the right is also very important. A valid travel signature from your responsible officer will be required to reenter the U.S after a brief departure from the U.S.
  • The very last section on page one is the certification section where you would sign and date the form DS-2019.
  • You should read and understand the instructions section on page two before signing this form.

The form DS-2019 is a very important immigration document, and you must do your part to keep this safe at all times.

Some questions you may ask

Question: What if I was given an emergency visa appointment by the U.S Consulate later than my program start date? My start date is august 1st and the embassy schedule is august 11? Will this affect my visa approval?

Answer: U.S consular officers understand this situation, and would not penalize you for that, especially in these current times.

Question: What are the requirements in order to acquire one (i.e form DS-2019)??

Answer: You’ll need to find a program that can sponsor you for the J1 visa.

Question: Can I reprint a copy of my DS-2019 if I already filled it?

Answer: You may, the only thing you’re to fill on the DS-2019 is your signature and date.

Question: If you already got your J1 approved, is it possible to change the date on the DS afterwards?

Answer: Yes but only your responsible officer can do so by re-issuing a new Form DS-2019.

Question: If I got an internship in USA, so now who is going the issue this form? The U.S-based company or me in my home country?

Answer: Your program sponsor.

I hope you found this article is quite informative.

DISCLAIMER: This article/post and content is designed for general information only and is NOT legal advice. I am not a licensed attorney and so the information presented in this post should not be construed to be formal legal advice. If you need legal advice, you may contact a licensed attorney.