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Pre-Entry and Arrival

International Visitor Program

Required Check In and Validation

When an exchange visitor enters the US for the first time, s/he is in “Initial” SEVIS status. The process of converting an exchange visitor from “Initial” to “Active” is the Validation of Program Participation. Once in the United States, the EV must report to his/her activity site and complete the Arrival Form immediately after arrival. The arrival form should be faxed to the International Programs office within 48 hours of arrival. The Responsible Officer (International Visitor Program Coordinator) will validate program participation in the SEVIS system. If an Exchange Visitors is not validated in this system within 30 days of the program start date (or 30 days after a transfer effective date), the Exchange Visitors will be considered a “no show” and program participation is effectively cancelled or “terminated.” If the program is not validated, legal immigration status is pending. If an arrival is not properly validated, an Exchange Visitors may have to go through a lengthy process (up to several months) of requesting re-instatement through the U.S. Department of State. Such errors may limit Exchange Visitors from inviting dependents or traveling while corrections are pending. Hence, validation within a few days of arrival is extremely important.

To validate program participation, please complete the following and send the documents by fax (or email) AND by regular mail:

Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-2) Status: Form DS-2019
Program Start and End Dates
30-Day Grace Period
Financial Support - Sufficient Funds
2-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement
24-Month Bar
Mandatory Health Insurance
Required Check In and Validation
10-Day Notice of Any Move
Notification of Changes in Program Sites or Activities
Travel Outside the US During Program
Program Progress Reports
Notification of Departure
Dependents (J-2 Visa Holders)
Employment and Taxes


  • Arrival Form - Data Information Sheet: (needs signature from host unit advisor)
  • USA Address & Contact Information Form
  • Acceptance of Responsibility
  • Other forms as required for specific program


  • Passport Biodata page
  • J-1 Visa in Passport with entry stamp
  • I-94 Card with entry stamps
  • DS-2019 Form with entry stamps

Email to: or Fax to: (202) 273-4750


Mail to:
US Forest Service
International Programs
International Visitor Program
1099 14 th Street, NW
Suite 5500W
Washington, DC 20005-3402

Next Program Regulation: 10-Day Notice of Any Move

If you have any questions, please contact:

  • Brenda Dean , International Visitor Program Coordinator, Responsible Officer, (202) 644-4640,
  • Rima Eid, International Visitor Program Specialist, Alternate Responsible Officer, (202)644-4642,
  • Kristin Corcoran, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4643,
  • Misty Sidhu, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4645,
  • Ashlee Jackson, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4644,
  • Lee Blaser, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4631,

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