Thursday, February 24, 2011

J1 visa 101 - Getting started “The important stuff” in 5 easy steps!”

It is that time of the year when our participants start applying for their J1 cultural exchange visas.
We will contact each of our participants as soon as their official paperwork from the USA government arrives in South Africa.   Visa assistance sessions are run weekly on “How to apply for your J1 visa”. Contact your local offices for times and dates. 0861 4 CCUSA
You local CCUSA office will schedule your interview at the US consulate for you at a cost of R45  

We will go over this again with you..... but here is a crash course:
J1 visa 101- Getting started “The important stuff in 5 easy steps!”

Step 1. The online US consulate application -  Non immigrant Visas  
Complete the DS-160 form online.  Please take your time and fill this in carefully, it takes about 90 minutes.  Print out the receipt once you submit the form online (this must go with to your interview)

Step 2. Taking your photo
Photo requirements:
  1. The size of the photo, including background, must be 2 inches square (roughly 51 mm square)
  2. The photo must be un-mounted, full face and, taken within the last 6 months.
  3. The applicant must be facing the camera, looking straight on, with the face covering approximately 50% of the area of the photo.
  4. The entire Face of the applicant must be shown. From the crown of the head to the tip of the chin, and from hairline side to side, preferably with the ears exposed.
  5. Photos should be in colour.

Step 3. Paying the US consulate interview fee
You will need to pay the equivalent of $140 in Rands into the US Consulates bank account at any First National Bank (No account number necessary).  This deposit can only be done in cash at any FNB teller. 
This is a non-refundable deposit, so please ensure that all your paperwork is 100% accurate before going to the consulate

Step 4. Gathering the required documents
  1. Passport
  2. Any Previous Passports (with visas)
  3. DS 2019 form (CCUSA office will have these for you)
  4. Proof of payment of SEVIS fee of $35. (Your camp pays this fee for you- we have the receipt in the office).

Step 5. Recommended supporting documents
  1. Proof of intent to return.  This can be a letter or proof of registration from the university/college, a letter of employment, proof of bank account, investments, ownership of car, house etc.
  2. Camp Placement Letter (printed from your Footprints)
     iii.          Travel Itinerary or a copy of your ticket (there is no need to book a ticket till your visa has been approved)

Ok so we got through all the steps, here is a check list to make sure you take everything you need to the US consulate for you meeting

1.      Passport and previous passports

2.      DS2019 provided by CCUSA

3.      Sevis Fee Payment(done by CCUSA)

4.      1 x Photo 

5.      Travel Itinerary

6.      Proof of intent to return

7.      Visa Fee- $140 (Proof of Payment)

8.      DS160 confirmation page

9.      Camp placement Letter

If you have any questions SHOUT, you know where to find us

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