American University is authorized by the U.S. Department of State to bring Exchange Visitors in the following 6 categories: Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, Students, and Student Intern.
We are excited that you will be joining us as a J-1 exchange visitor! Please read our Pre- and Post-Arrival Guide for J-1 Scholars and Student Interns (PDF). The guide contains pre-arrival information that will assist you with requesting your immigration documents and starting your exchange program at American University.
After you receive your DS-2019 form, visit www.fmjfee.com and complete Form I-901 by clicking on "Pay I-901 Fee." Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your DS-2019 form, which should match the machine readable zone of your passport. Your SEVIS Identification Number can be found at the top right corner of your DS-2019 Form. It starts with an “N,” followed by a 10 digit number. The Program Number can be found in Box 2. Submit your payment electronically via credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).
Another person may make the payment on your behalf. We recommend paying online and printing your receipt for inclusion with your visa application. When you travel to the U.S., you should carry the I-901 payment receipt with your DS-2019 Form to show to the immigration officials at the port of entry.
Following payment of the SEVIS fee, you will need to schedule an appointment at the U.S. Consulate for a visa interview. You must provide the following documents to the U.S. Consulate:
- DS-2019 Form (student interns must also bring the DS-7002)
- I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
- any correspondence received from AU regarding your stay
If you will not be financially supported by AU or if AU is only providing a portion of your financial support, you must be prepared to show the Visa Officer at the U.S. Consulate proof of your financial support in the form of original documents.
If your family members will be arriving with you, they should apply for their J-2 visas at the same time. If AU has not already issued separate DS-2019 forms for them, please notify your J-1 Coordinator in the AU Dean’s Office as soon as possible, as your dependents must have their own DS-2019 forms. If your dependents will arrive after you, please contact ISSS to discuss having their DS-2019s issued after your arrive.
Please contact the U.S. Consulate nearest to you for information regarding the visa application procedures and fees for that post. Only citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not require a J-1 visa to enter the U.S. in J-1 status, and can enter the U.S. with a DS-2019 form.
Intent to Return Home
You will not be given a J-1 visa unless you can demonstrate to the U.S. Consular Officer that you intend to return to your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence after you have completed your J-1 program. Any statements made during the visa interview with the American Consul which cast doubt on your intentions of returning home may result in the denial of the visa. Although some consulates permit applications from third party nationals, it may be difficult to prove your non-immigrant intent if you do not apply for a visa in your home country.
The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 visa holders to maintain health insurance for themselves and for any dependents in J-2 visa status, for the entire period of the program indicated on the DS-2019.
All J-1 scholars and student interns are required to provide written proof of insurance coverage to ISSS upon arrival at American University. The information must be in English and indicate that the insurance meets the minimum requirements.
Program participants and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits.
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
- Any insurance policy, plan, or contract must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, the sponsor may ascertain that the participant's policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country.
Below is a list of health insurance companies. American University does not endorse these companies and is providing the below list for informational purposes only.