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 £100).
These fees are separate to your programme fees and must be paid direct to the US Embassy at the time of booking your face to face interview
Once your application has been processed through SEVIS you will receive an email from email@example.com. 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.
When you receIf there is an error in the dates on your Visa it is VITAL you contact the US embassy direct to query this. You should not travel to the US unless your visa has been issued with the correct dates.
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 completing the DS-160. Please follow the guidance below
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
For any questions or issues relating to visa interviews etc. you can use the Operator Assistance Visa Information Line - or contact them using the @USAinUKConsular Twitter Account below:
• Callers within the United Kingdom should dial 020 3608 6998
• Callers from the United States should dial 703-439-2367
The call center is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am and 7:00 pm (local time; EST in the United States). The call center is closed on all U.K. and U.S. holidays
In line with US Department of State and Embassy recommendations, we advise against making any firm travel plans until you have received your passport and visa back from the Embassy or Consulate.
Neither the US Embassy/ Consulate nor IST Plus can be held responsible for any delays or costs incurred should you book flights prior to receiving your passport and visa.
Once you have received your passport and visa (this is printed inside your passport) back from the US Embassy or Consulate, please check the details carefully.
Your Visa will normally be issued with an end date that matches the end date of your actual internship or traineeship - this is NOT necessarily the date you must depart the USA.
You will be allowed to remain in the USA until the end date as listed on your Certificate of Insurance. These details are also available to view on your online account.
If there is an error in the dates on your Visa it is VITAL you contact the US embassy direct to query this. You should not travel to the US unless your visa has been issued with the correct dates.
For UK applicants you should contact the embassy using their Visa Error Contact Form at https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-errors/error-in-visa-contact-form/
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.
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
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.
Please note: Wait times for embassy interviews can be very long in the months leading up to the summer (April, May and June). Please make sure you allow enough time for this
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.
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