1. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR POGRAM HOST
- Review program goals, activities, dates and available funding.
- Determine if it is acceptable to bring dependents (spouse or children under age 18) - sufficient funding, accommodations and insurance are required
2. REVIEW THE FOLLOWING
3. COMPLETE AND RETURN TO THE HOST UNIT
- International Visitor Application & Information Sheet
- Copies of Degrees or Transcripts (Students, Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars) or proof of employment
- Copies of Picture/Date page of Passport
- Copy of any prior J-1Visas in Passport
- Proof of outside or personal funding, if any, that will be used to support the visitor's program
- Copies of all documents for any dependents who will accompany you
4. INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS REVIEW & PROCESSING
The International Visitor Program Coordinator will review the proposed activities, budget, services to be provided and your professional and immigration history to see that the J-1 visa is appropriate. All proposed activities, services and visitor’s profile must fit the approved program categories and criteria for participation in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program as established by the Forest Service and US State Department. The program activity must be clearly linked to the goals and approved activities of the Forest Service which promote international exchange and the proposed funding must be adequate.
5. SECURITY CHECK
Prospective J-1 Exchange Visitors are subject to a mandatory security check.
6. ISSUANCE OF DS-2019
Once the program activities are approved and the security check is complete, the International Visitor Program Coordinator, who serves as the Responsible Officer for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, issues a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status - Form DS-2019. This form is then mailed to your Host Unit.
7. RECEIVE OFFICIAL INVITATION, DS-2019 & PRE-ARRIVAL INFORMATION
The Host Unit must forward the following documents to you. As it is important to ensure safe delivery, please provide an address where you can receive express or certified mail. Express mail services usually requires a valid daytime telephone number.
- Official Invitation Letter
- Form DS-2019 (Original document signed in blue ink.)
- Copy of or website link to the US Forest Service International Programs International J-1 Exchange Visitor Handbook
- Community Resource Information Sheet/ Pre-Arrival Information Sheet (these may be provided upon arrival)
8. INSURANCE - AIRLINE TICKETS - DEBIT CARDS
All J-1 Exchange Visitors are provided with health and emergency evacuation insurance. International Programs will mail your insurance card directly to your Program Host. If other services are to be provided to you, such as transportation or maintenance allowances, the electronic airline ticket itineraries and debit cards will also be provided directly to your host. In general, International Programs waits to process these requests until program dates are reconfirmed and it is certain that you have obtained the appropriate visa to enter the United States . In this way, we are able to save our Host Units from incurring additional costs related to date changes or cancellations. In some cases, round-trip airline tickets are required by the consular officer reviewing your visa application. If you are to receive airline tickets from the US Forest Service and your consulate requires proof of the tickets, notify us immediately.
9. PREPARE FOR ARRIVAL
Communicate with your host unit to confirm your travel plans. Make certain you have all required documents with you. Also, make sure you have emergency telephone numbers. You may want to refer to the Checklist for J-1 Exchange Visitors to help you plan.
10. MANDATORY CHECK IN – PROGRAM VALIDATION -- ORIENTATION
- Within 48 hours of arrival ask your host to send the following items to the International Visitor Program Coordinator by fax or email:
- Copy of Stamped DS-2019,
- Copy of visa and entry stamps
- Copy of I-94 card.
- Change of Address Form
- Acceptance of Responsibility form.
- Insurance Form
- Your host will provide you with an office orientation to the area/office.
- Review the online orientation materials and complete the Orientation Quiz during your first week at your program site. You can send the completed quiz to the International Visitor Program Coordinator by mail, fax or email.
11. PROGRAM PROGRESS/COMPLETION
Your host unit is responsible for collecting progress or program completion reports and notifying International Programs of your departure. If you and your host wish to change or extend your program in any way, your host must contact the International Visitor Program Coordinator directly.
We look forward to your visit!