Booking and attending your visa interview
*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. You can see a full list of websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions at https://www.usembassy.gov/ . Information on this page regarding the DS-160 and booking systems however are similar across countries - as is the list of documents required for interview.
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
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.
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
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 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/
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
1. Provide your DS‐160 number (see Step 1).
2. Determine your visa type (J1)
3. Select a courier return location – read the options carefully as an additional fee may be charged
4. 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.
5. Schedule an appointment
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
Once approved, your SEVIS ID is listed as your DS2019 Number on the top left of your online account.
It will also be show on the top right of your DS2019 Certificate and starts with an N00
No. They are totally separate. Even though your SEVIS fee has been paid you still need to pay the embassy fee.
In almost every case the answer is YES. The only time you will not automatically be required to go for an interview is if you extending a current J1 visa - this is where your DS-2019/ SEVIS ID number remains the same. For all new J1 visas an interview is required.
In order to book your interview you need to complete the DS-160 and to do this you need your DS-2019 Number (also known as your SEVIS ID).
This number can only be generated once your application for the programme has been approved in the USA.
No. The wait times are published here You may get lucky and get a quicker appointment by checking in on your account daily to see if any free up.
There is also an option within the online booking system to request an expedited appointment - HOWEVER please note this is normally reserved for emergencies so do not expect to be successful in gaining an expedited appointment.
You can't speed up the processing at the embassy however - this takes 3-5 working days AFTER your interview before you will get your passport (with J1 Visa printed inside) and DS-2019 Certificate returned to you.
In some cases however your application may be put forward for more checks and administrative processing - which can take longer.
No. You can choose to have your passport sent back to one of the pick up locations around the UK - or for an additional fee you can choose to have it delivered to an address of your choosing.
These options are made clear when you book the interview using the online system.
We recommend allowing at least one week from the day of interview to allow for your passport and visa to be returned to you. In addition, if you are currently on a programme in the US the embassy recommends you be in the UK for at least 2 weeks prior to your interview. You may choose to be in the UK for less time than this but please note this is at your own risk.
If applying for an interview in the UK You will need additional documents such as an ACRO certificate and VCU1. Details can be found at https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/ineligibilities-and-waivers-2/arrest-caution-conviction/
If you are applying for an interview in Dublin and your arrest was in Ireland please see https://ie.usembassy.gov/visas/ineligibilities-and-waivers/arrest-caution-conviction/
If you are applying for an interview in another country please check the requirements for your local embassy or consulate - you can find the links for world-wide embassies at the top of this page
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