When you are admitted as an exchange student, UW-Madison will create an acceptance letter and a DS-2019 “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” for you. You’ll use these documents to apply for your visa. We will send you instructions on how to apply for the DS-2019 document.
Our university will send you a notification by email when your DS-2019 is ready. You will be able to print out a copy of your DS-2019 and use it for your visa application. Be sure to carry a copy with you when you travel to the United States.
Check with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for more information on how to apply. Additional or different documents might be required depending on where you plan to apply for your J-1 visa.
Approximate visa appointment wait times and processing times can be found online at the U.S. Department of State website. Avoid traveling abroad around the time you expect to be applying for your visa in order to keep the process as simple as possible!
UW-Madison will serve as the sponsor for your J-1 exchange visa. Your UW-Madison study abroad office works with International Student Services (ISS) to help you obtain the necessary visa documents for exchange students. ISS provides some visa application tips on their Pre-Arrival page. Most exchange students apply for and receive their J-1 visa without complications. However, keep in mind that visas are granted at the discretion of individual consular officers, and UW-Madison, your UW-Madison study abroad office, and ISS cannot guarantee you will receive your visa, or assist you in the case of delayed or rejected visa applications. Questions regarding visa processing time or status should be directed back to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you applied.