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How to Apply for a J-1 Visa

Before entering the United States, you must apply for a J-1 Student visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Please read instructions carefully and follow the steps.

Note: Canadians and Bermudians re not required to obtain visa stamps to enter the U.S., but must pay SEVIS Fee. Please keep a copy of your SEVIS fee for entering the U.S.

Step 1: Paying SEVIS Fee -I-901

Before you apply for your first* J-1 student visa for entry to the U.S., you must pay the SEVIS fee $180.  It can be done either by postal mail or online.

    1. Online using a credit card: www.FMJfee.com, or

    2. By paper: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/I-901.pdf

    Fee receipt: You will be able to print the payment receipt when you complete the form

online.  If the payment is submitted by mail, you will receive a paper receipt in the mail.  

*International students who are currently holding a J-1 student visa (attending a US college or university for example) do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again. 

Step 2: Make an appointment and Read U.S. Embassy’s website

Visit http://www.usembassy.gov/ to locate a U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your home and make an appointment for your visa interview.  Please check the website of the US consulate you’re visiting for a complete list of required documents for your interview.  

Step 3: Fill out visa application online

DS-160 Visa Application Form instruction and Form


Step 4. Make sure you have the following documents in addition to any documents required by U.S. Embassy or Consulate

  • Lehigh’s admissions letter

  • DS-2019 issued by Lehigh University

  • Passport

  • SEVIS Fee Receipt (proof of SEVIS I-901 Fee payment)

  • Proof of financial support

Check wait time

You may check visa application wait time



Please contact ISS if you will have a spouse accompanying you to the US when you begin your studies at Lehigh.

Note: 1. To meet the J-1 visa requirements, J-1 visa holders must carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program.  For detailed information visa ISS website http://www.lehigh.edu/~intnl/j1health.html

2. Certain J-1 Exchange Visitors – students and scholars – are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, for more information please contact ISS.


Office of International Students and Scholars • Lehigh University • 32 Sayre Drive, Coxe Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015 • 610-758-4859 • Fax: 610-758-5156 • intnl@lehigh.edu
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