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Pre-Entry and Arrival

International Visitor Program

Arrival Check-In and Validation of Program Participation

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. After arriving in the United States, the visitor must report to his/her activity site and email the required documents within 48 hours of arrival.  An International Visitor Program Specialist, who serves as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the J-1 program,  will validate program participation in the SEVIS system. If a visitor is not validated in this system within 30 days of the program start date (or 30 days after a transfer effective date), the visitor 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, the visitor 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 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 send the following by email to the Alternate Responsible Officer listed on the DS-2019:  

  • Passport Biodata page
  • J-1 Visa in Passport with entry stamp
  • I-94 Form (retrieved from CBP website)  
  • DS-2019 Form with embassy stamp
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


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,
  • Lee Blaser, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4631,
> Click here and read about latest activities and news of the International Visitor Program.

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