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Applying to Southern

Once you have applied to your respective exchange program, your application will be reviewed first by the exchange program to which you have applied, then by OIE staff at Southern to see whether our institution will be able to accommodate you and your specific course needs. Our exchange partners typically receive a reply within 1-2 weeks, depending on whether our office requires additional information in order to make a decision. You are then notified of whether a placement has been made at Southern.

If you are accepted to participate in an exchange semester or year at Southern, you will be asked to fill out Southern's "J-1 Exchange Visitor Application." The application provides us with the information necessary in order to register you as a visiting student at Southern, to begin to assemble information needed to issue your DS-2019 (for immigration purposes), and to enroll you in courses. We ask that the application be filled out and returned within two weeks so that we can continue making plans for your stay at Southern.

Please continue exploring the sidebar for further information on what to do once you receive a placement at Southern.

1) Admission

Submission of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Application with proof of comprehensive health insurance and evidence of sufficient funds (to support the Exchange Visitor for the duration of his/her stay) is required. Proof of health insurance and proof of finances are required in order for the OIE to issue the DS 2019.

Proof of health insurance may be submitted in the form of a statement of benefits or a breakdown of insurance coverage. Click here to review a sample statement of benefits to show what this document might look like. Here are the Federal Regulations for minimum health insurance coverage requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors. If the student's current health insurance does not meet these requirements, the student may choose to purchase the SCSU comprehensive health insurance.

Proof of finances may be submitted in the form of a bank statement to show that the student has sufficient funds to live on or off-campus for the duration of his/her semesters at SCSU.

2) Courses/Registration 

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Application contains a course request list which the student must fill out. This course request list assists the OIE in enrolling the student in courses at Southern. Please indicate preferred courses and courses of secondary preference.

3) Health Form

All students are required to complete the Connecticut State University Student Health Services Form. This form will be kept on file at Southern's Granoff Health Center, where the student will have access to medical care.

4) Housing & Meals 

The student must indicate if he/she will be living on- or off-campus. If the student plans to live on-campus, he/she will have to apply for Housing via the MySCSU website.

 Steps 2 through 4 cannot be completed without the J-1 Exchange Visitor Application.

5) Pay the SEVIS (I-901) fee

Before you can apply for your J-1 visa, you must pay the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. Canadian students (who don't need a visa to enter the United States) must also pay this fee.

How to pay:
The easiest payment method is online, but you can also pay by mail or Western Union.

The SEVIS I-901 fee is $180.00 for J visa applicants and is non‐refundable. However, in the unlikely instance that your visa application is denied, you may reapply for a new J-1 visa within 12 months without having to pay a new SEVIS fee. If you choose to transfer your record, either between universities or advancing your degrees, you will not need to pay the I-901 fee again. The SEVIS I-901 fee stays with your SEVIS record via your SEVIS number. Anytime you receive a new SEVIS record with a new SEVIS number, you must pay the fee.

6) Apply for your visa with your U.S. Embassy or Consulate

You'll apply for your visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to you. Apply as early as you can so you have plenty of time for the interview and processing—in many cases you can apply 120 days prior to your academic program start date shown on your DS-2019. Check the Consulate or Embassy's website for application instructions. The US Department of State lists appointment and processing wait times.
Once you have applied and received your visa, please contact Jazmin Sharif  to confirm that you have been issued a visa and to notify the office of your travel plans/itinerary information.

7) Travel to the U.S.

When you have received your J-1 visa, you can arrange your travel. You can enter the US as early as 30 days before the program start date on your DS-2019 (but no earlier).

Document checklist

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES

Your passport, valid for at least six months from your entry date
Your DS-2019
Proof of SEVIS fee payment (receipt or Form I-797)
Welcome Letter and/or Letter of Invitation from Southern Connecticut State University
Original financial documents proving sufficient funding, as reflected on your DS-2019
Medical records: certificates of immunizations and vaccinations, and any prescriptions or necessary medical documents
Documents demonstrating your intent to return to your home country the U.S. once you've completed your studies/research at SCSU

Contact information for the Office of International Education (OIE) in case you need to call. (Call 203 392-6947 for assistance.)

8) Pass through Immigration at your US port of entry

Once you arrive in the US, you'll go through Immigration and speak with an officer. Be prepared to show your documents and answer questions about your program of study, your family ties, and your intent to return home. Verify that the US entry stamp in your passport is clear and shows your status (J-1) and duration of that status (D/S). Read more about what to do when you arrive in the US.