Visas, Immigration, & Work

Visa Information

The on-line application, transcript, and Financial Certification form you submit will be used to create the DS-2019 document, which gives you permission to be here as an exchange student with a J-1 visa. The University has authorization from the government to produce these, which takes 4-12 weeks after receipt of all of your documents. Emory is very careful in handling each one, because it risks losing the right to issue DSs should improper care be exercised. Emory also registers you onto the SEVIS system as part of the process in generating the DS-2019.

The DS-2019 and additional information will be sent to your study abroad coordinator in late June or late November. Once you receive it, you'll make an appointment with the U.S. consulate or embassy nearest you (different consulate locations have different policies). For a listing of U.S. Embassies and Consulates, visit Take your passport, DS-2019, the original (or copy) of your Financial Certification Form with documentation, and any other documents required, the SEVIS fee and visa application fee, and obtain your J-1 visa.

Academic Training

International exchange students on a J-1 visa are able to seek short-term academic training opportunities such as internships, employment or research related to their field of study upon completion of their study abroad semester. Students are allowed to participate in academic training for a period not to exceed the amount of time they were enrolled as a student at Emory.

Visa Application and Fees

United States permanent residents and citizens do not need to apply for visas. All other exchange students must apply for a visa. As a general rule, students are issued J-1 visas in recognition of their participation in the exchange visitor program.

International students are required to pay the SEVIS Fee if their Form DS-2019 was issued on or after September 1, 2008 and are one of the following:

  • Applying for a J-1 visa for initial participation in a program.
  • In the U.S.. and applying for a change of status to J-1.
  • Currently sponsored by the U.S.. Government and will transfer to a NON-U.S.. Government sponsored program.
  • Currently a J-1 Exchange Visitor applying for a change of J-1 category.
  • Currently a J-1 Exchange Visitor applying for reinstatement for a substantive violation.

Maintaining J-1 Status

Travel as a J-1 Visa Holder

When traveling domestically in the U.S. carry a passport, I-94 card, and valid form DS-2019. No endorsement is needed, however, on the DS-2019 form.

For travel outside the United States during the period of exchange study, obtain a signature on the back of the DS-2019 form from an international student adviser in the International Student and Scholar Programs Office. This signature is valid for one semester, so it is not necessary to get a new signature for additional travel within that one semester period.

When on exchange and traveling inside or outside the United States, be sure to have the following materials: passport, valid J-1 visa, valid DS-2019 with current signature, I-94 card, and visitor visa, if applicable.

Employment as a J-1 Visa Holder

Employment may be authorized for the purpose of scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship requirement; on-campus jobs; internships, practical experience in one's major field of study; or in rare circumstances for economic hardship.

A J-1 student must be authorized for employment by a Responsible Officer at ISSP (International Student and Scholar Programs), prior to beginning any job whether on or off campus.

The student must meet certain eligibility requirements and may need to discuss his/her personal situation with the J coordinator at ISSP before accepting a position.

The Goizueta Business School exchange coordinator is the academic advisor for exchange students who may sign forms in the space provided for academic advisor.