Steps for Incoming J-1 Student Interns & Departments

The process of requesting J-1 Student Intern visa status begins with the host department. Once the NU department has submitted a complete request to the IO, the IO advisor will review the documents and send a required questionnaire to the student intern's supervisor. After the questionnaire is returned, the IO advisor will issue the Exchange Visitor (EV) a DS-2019 and DS-7002, which is used to obtain his/her J-1 visa stamp at the U.S. embassy/consulate outside the U.S.

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Instructions for host departments

1. Collect required documents

  • Send the Exchange Visitor DS-2019 Request  and the J-1 Student Intern Student Supplement to prospective Exchange Visitor (EV) for completion (electronic copies are acceptable). It must be returned to the host department along with associated documents.
  • Obtain an approved Visiting Scholar Health Insurance Application (VSHIA) OR obtain a waiver of the Visiting Scholar Health Insurance, both through the Office of Risk Management.
  • Obtain funding documentation. When submitting bank statements, institutional letters of support or bank letters please use the following guidelines:
    • Documents must have been issued within the last 3 months.
    • The EV must be named as account holder or recipient of the letter of support.
    • The letter must be in English or notarized English translation.
    • If the funding information is an institutional letter of support, the dates of coverage and total amount of support must be present.
  • Complete the DS-2019 Request and the J-1 Student Intern Department Supplement and obtain required signatures. Collect all documents on the checklist.

2. Scan and email the documents to the International Office

Complete requests should be emailed as one PDF to EVrequest@northwestern.edu

  • Email subject: "LAST NAME, Start Date" (e.g. WILDCAT, 04/01/2013)
  • File name: "DS2019Req_LAST NAME, First Name" (e.g. DS2019Req_WILDCAT, Willie)

The request will be forwarded to the appropriate advisor, who will be in contact with the Department and/or the EV with any questions or missing paperwork.

3. The IO Advisor emails a questionnaire to the NU faculty supervisor

We ask that the questionnaire is returned to the IO advisor in one week, so that we may issue the DS-2019 and DS-7002 within two weeks from receiving a complete request.

4. The IO Advisor issues the DS-2019 and DS-7002

  • The IO advisor will email the student intern, NU faculty supervisor, and department contact. Included in the email will be the SEVIS ID number so that the student intern may make his or her J-1 visa appointment
  • The department will pick up the DS-2019 and DS-7002, obtain an original signature from the NU faculty supervisor on the DS-7002, and send the documents to the student intern. We strongly recommend that departments use FedEx, UPS, or another courier service.

Instructions for incoming student intern exchange visitors

1. Complete the Exchange Visitor DS-2019 Request and J-1 Student Intern Student Supplement

This will be sent to you by your NU department contact. Return the completed form and associated documents (electronic copies are acceptable) to your host department so your contact can submit the request to the International Office.

2. After the department's request is approved by IO, you will receive the SEVIS ID number, DS-2019, and DS-7002

The International Office will email you the SEVIS ID number; your department will send the DS-2019 and DS-7002 to you via FedEx, UPS, or another courier. Make sure to sign the DS-7002 in the appropriate fields.

3. Pay the SEVIS Fee

You can pay the SEVIS fee via the SEVIS I-901 Fee Processing website.

4. Obtain the J-1 visa stamp

Once you have the DS-2019 and DS-7002 from NU, sign your name in the appropriate fields, and make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate for a visa interview. All J-1 visa stamps must be obtained outside the U.S.

If while applying for a J-1 visa stamp, the EV's name is sent for a background check, there is very little the university can do. However, if more than 60 days have passed since the date of application, and no information has been given regarding application status, please follow the instructions on the IO website regarding Visa Stamp Delay.

Note: Canadian citizens do not require a visa stamp.

5. After arrival, you will need to complete Immigration Check-In

  • When entering the country, be sure to present the DS-2019, DS-7002 and J-1 visa stamp to the immigration official to ensure you enter in J-1 Student Intern status.
  • You must check in with the International Office within five days of arriving on campus. Learn more about your check-in process.