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How to Apply for a DS-2019

Students do not need to wait until they are admitted to submit the information required to obtain the Form DS-2019.

Deadlines for Requesting a DS-2019:
Students beginning in the Spring (January): December 1
Students beginning in the Summer (May): April 15

Students beginning in the Fall (August): July 1

What is a Form DS-2019?

Form DS-2019s are “Certificates of Eligibility” for J status. These forms show the U.S. government that you are considered eligible to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa based on your documented funds and academic record. After receiving a DS-2019, you may schedule an appointment for a visa interview at your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Note: Georgia Southern issues the DS-2019, but does not issue the visa. 

Remember! The DS-2019 application process takes time to complete, so you should begin as soon as possible!

Determining Your Visa Category

F-1 (Student) Visa

  • Students wishing to pursue a full degree and formally graduate from Georgia Southern University including…
    • Bachelor’s degrees
    • Master’s degrees
    • Doctoral degrees
    • Studying in the English Language Program (ELP)
  • F-1 visa students will need to be regularly admitted to Georgia Southern and will need to obtain a Form I-20 from the university

J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Visa

  • Students from a school with an approved exchange agreement with Georgia Southern
  • Students with government scholarships to study in the U.S. under an approved exchange or scholarship program
  • Exchange students/scholars who plan to study and/or conduct research at Georgia Southern for one semester or one academic year
  • J-1 visa students will need to obtain a DS-2019 from the university.
  • Exchange Students MUST visit the Exchange Student Information page for information on their DS-2019 application process.

Tips on Applying for a DS-2019

  • Financial Documentation Requirements
    Sample Financial Statement that you can show your bank
  • Submit all your paperwork together.  Sending separate documents may cause a delay in your processing.
  • In order to prioritize your paperwork and ensure timely deliver, submit your documents well before the deadline.
  • Please allow up to 1 week for your DS-2019 to be prepared after all documents are received.

After Requesting an DS-2019

  • It will normally take 1 week to prepare your DS-2019 once you have been accepted and have submitted all of the SEVIS/visa documents.  
  • When your DS-2019 is prepared, you will receive an email with the next steps on how to receive it, as well as the next steps in the visa process. Please refer to the Study in the States website as a primary reference.
  • Please review all the information in the email to ensure that everything is correct.  
  • When you’ve verified that it is correct, you will respond to the email with your choice of shipping method for the document.  You can choose airmail for free (which could take 6 weeks or longer in some rural areas), but we recommend using the express service.  Your document will reach you in a much shorter amount of time and will include a tracking number.  You’ll find details on both these options in the email.
  • Your email message will also contain the information you need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. This fee must be paid at least three days before your J-1 visa appointment or entry to the U.S. if a visa is not required.  When paying the fee online, print at least two receipts.  Take the receipt (Form I-797) with you to your visa appointment and keep it permanently with your DS-2019 forms.
  • You will need to make a visa appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Diplomatic Mission.  Consult the U.S. Department of State for valuable information on what you will need for your visa appointment.  Among other things, remember to take your DS-2019, letter of acceptance, I-901 payment receipt, and financial documentation with you.   A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning that you will need to demonstrate that you intend to return to your home country after your studies are complete. 

See more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about obtaining a visa.

Last updated: 2/4/2020