Begin the process as early as possible, allowing sufficient time for the Exchange Visitor to apply for and receive the J visa and otherwise prepare to travel to the U.S. The Exchange Visitor must have the original signed DS-2019 form issued by the International Studies Office to take to the US Embassy when applying for the visa. The US government specifically prohibits sending electronic copies of these documents. The length of time required for completion of the application and approval process can vary considerably. Sufficient time should be allowed in advance of the Exchange Visitor’s expected arrival.
The completed application is submitted to the ISO no less than 45 days in advance of the start date requested. The form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status will be prepared and sent to the sponsoring academic department to be forwarded on to the Exchange Visitor. We recommend sending the DS-2019 to the Exchange Visitor one to three months in advance of the start date of the program via DHL, Federal Express or other express mail service with the ability to track the mailing.
Please note that the start date of the program should be the date that you expect the visitor to start their research activities at UVA and NOT the date that the individual enters the U.S. Regulations permit Exchange Visitors to enter the country up to 30 days in advance of the start date of their program as listed on the DS-2019 form. Please take this into consideration when requesting the program start date so that we can avoid, to the extent possible, having to re-issue the visa document with revisions to the program dates. Once the Exchange Visitor has arrived and checked in with the ISO the start date cannot be revised.