J1 Visa Timescales What to expect once your application has been accepted

Try to get your application in as early as possible! You should apply AT LEAST 6 weeks in advance of your intended date of departure to the USA*

*The process can take longer in the busy months of March, April and May due to the volume of applications going through the US Government so please allow extra time for your application if applying at this time of year.

Once you have successfully submitted your application for a J1 Visa Programme the process of gaining the legal sponsorship begins.

There are various stages to this - each is extremely important. Please note that at all times we must adhere to US government regulations governing the programme.

Common Questions

  • Is there a "Fast track" option?

    There is an expedited service available from our partners in the USA. Processing times for this (subject to your application being complete) are 5 working days for a DS-2019 to be generated (normally 6-8 working days before paperwork arrives back in the UK.This costs an additional £750 on top of your normal programme fees.
    *In cases where a Site Visit is required please allow an additional 2-4 working days in the USA

  • Can I book my interview at the Embassy BEFORE I get my DS-2019

    Unfortunately No. In order to book the interview you will first need to complete the DS-160 - to do this you need your DS-2019/ SEVIS ID number. This is only generated once your application has been approved and is part of the legal documentation that is sent to the UK.

  • When can I book my flights?

    Our advice is that you should wait until you have been approved by the embassy for your visa before booking any flights.
    If you do so before this neither we nor the US Embassy can be responsible for any costs incurred.


Please note that we can not start an application until ALL parts have been successfully submitted to us.
The timescales here are approximate but are based on a completed application.
If your application is incomplete or requires revisions we will let you know but processing times only start when everything is in place!

Here's How it Works.

Please note this is for Internship USA, Graduate Internship USA and Professional Career Training USA - for Summer Work and Travel USA and Camp Exchange the process is different. Please refer to your programme pages for information.

  1. Step 1

    You complete the participant application and start the online DS-7002 via the form on your programme page

  2. Step 2

    You send us your completed application form either via email, web upload or post (please see your programme page for details)

  3. Step 3

    We check all of your documents and contact you if anything is missing - or if we have any questions.
    *At this point we will also ask you for full payment of your programme fees

  4. Step 4

    Once complete we start the process and send to our partners in the USA for approval. As part of this process they will go through your application and contact your Host Company to verify the details of the Internship/ Traineeship.

  5. Step 5

    Once approval has been given, your legal documentation is authorised and printed in the USA. Your legal documentation is sent to our offices in the UK - these must be hard copies - we're not allowed to have these emailed or sent electronically.
    We send these out to you via 1st class post unless you have requested a different method

  6. Step 7

    You can then go ahead and book your flights safe in the knowledge that you have your passport and J1 Visa in hand!

Once we have received an application we are unable to provide updates over the telephone.
Should you require an update on the status of your application please email info@istplus.com.

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IST Plus was formed in 2003. Since then we have worked with thousands of students and young people from all over the world to help and guide them on their international journeys.
We work with partners across the globe to provide the best service possible.


In the UK: 0207 788 7877
International: +44 (20) 7788 7877


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