Embassy interviews

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Once your application has been approved and legal documentation has been sent out to you, you can then book your face to face interview at your local US Embassy or Consulate.
This is the last step in the process!
Please see below for a step by step guide on how it all works.

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*Please note this information relates to interviews booked at either the US Embassy in London, the US Consulate General in Belfast or the US Embassy in Dublin. If you are planning on attending an interview in a different country please refer to the local instructions for your location embassy.

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Delays to Embassy Interviews

Latest Update 19 May 2022

As a result of US embassy closures worldwide and US Travel bans during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are significant delays and backlogs in getting embassy interviews at US Embassies worldwide.
In many cases you may be required to send in your completed documentation to the embassy before being allowed to schedule an interview.
See here for the latest FAQs and updates on the US Embassy website in the UK.

Please note we can not influence an embassy in any way to expedite an appointment, nor can our team advise on the availability of these. Please contact your local embassy directly for information on appointments.

Our team are unable to respond to phone enquiries regarding embassy interviews or their availability. please check our FAQ section. If the answer to your question can not be found on this page, please send an email to info@istplus.com

Receive your documents from IST Plus

Once you have received all your legal documentation from us (including your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility ) you can go ahead and book your face to face interview at the USA Embassy.

Remember - you can't book your face to face interview until you have your DS-2019# (also known as a SEVIS ID) - and you can't get this number until you have been approved by CIEE and received your documents back.

Please note the US Embassy charges $160 US for visa interviews (approx £120). This is separate to the SEVIS fees paid on your behalf

The SEVIS Email

Once your application has been processed through SEVIS you will receive an email confirming this from FMJfee. This email is confirmation that CIEE have paid your SEVIS fee - but is not confirmation that your documents have yet been printed or shipped from the USA. Please wait for your legal paperwork to arrive at your address before booking your face to face interview.

Please check your paperwork

If you have lost or damaged any of your documents please let us know immediately as you must have these when you attend your face to face interview.
Email our team at info@istplus.com and we'll work with you to get new documentation.

*There will be a charge for replacement documents to cover the additional costs in ordering these from the USA

Important Information

You will not be able to book an interview without FIRST completing Step 1 - the DS-160. Only with your DS-160 confirmation number will you be able to create an account in the Embassy/ consulate booking system .
*In order to compete your DS-160 you will need your SEVIS ID/ DS-2019# from your online account

Your SEVIS ID is listed as your DS2019 number on your online account under your NAME at the top of the page and can also be found on your DS2019 Certificate of Eligibility at the top right side - starting with N00

You will be asked for your PROGRAM NUMBER.
This is listed on your DS-2019 Certificate: P-3- 05133

Booking the Interview - Step 1

Go online and complete your DS-160. This can be found at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. Remember you are a J1 Exchange Visitor when choosing certain options! You will need to complete the DS-160 and upload a digital photograph of yourself before you can move to Step 2.

Please watch the official US Embassy video on completing the DS-160 before starting the process, as well as the slideshow guidance we provide below.

*Video will open in a new tab in your browser

*Please note we are unable to assist with technical issues completing the DS-160. Please follow the guidance above or check the FAQ section at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

Booking the Interview - Step 2

Please note: Only residents of the Republic of Ireland may book an interview at the Dublin Embassy.
If you are based in the UK you must apply at either London or Belfast.
If you are attending an interview in any other country please refer to your local embassy instructions for guidance on booking an interview for your J1 Visa.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each of the steps

  • Provide your DS-160 Confirmation Number (see Step 1)
  • Determine your Visa type (J1)
  • Select a courier return location – read the options carefully as an additional fee may be charged
  • Pay your U.S. visa fee via debit card (Visa or Mastercard) – this is $160 US Dollars and is required for anyone booking a visa interview
  • Schedule an appointment
Interview Tips

When attending an interview at the US Embassy, there are some important things to remember.

You should make sure you have read your DS-7002 carefully and are ready to discuss this in detail with the consular officer
You should be able to clearly explain your plans for when you return from the programme
You should be able to clearly explain the benefits of the international experience this opportunity will offer you - and why this differs from opportunities available in your Home Country
You should always be polite, professional and respectful of the US Embassy and what it represents

What Can you take to the US Embassy?

You can bring your mobile phone, e-reader, or tablet device. Key fobs and cycle/motorcycle
helmets are also permitted.
Please note that there is no cafeteria or vending machine available in the waiting room. However,
you may bring snacks with you and water or juice in sealed plastic bottles. No glass bottles are
permitted. There is a large supermarket located next to the U.S. Embassy.

A guide to the London Embassy
What can you take to the Embassy?

Large bags/suitcases (above cabin baggage size) and laptops cannot be admitted to the Embassy.
Other items that cannot be brought into the building include perfume and cologne (above 30ml),
weapons and glass bottles.
Prohibited items cannot be stored at the Embassy so leave them at home or store them securely
before you arrive. Left luggage facilities are available for a fee at several airports, coach stations,
and mainline train stations, including Waterloo and Victoria.

Embassy/ Consulate Locations