The DS-2019, or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status,” is the document that is required to acquire J-1 Exchange Visitor status through a J-1 visa application and to maintain J-1 status after arriving in the U.S. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State. To be eligible for J-1 student status, students must be admitted to a degree program at an accredited educational institution for either a full course of study, if pursuing a degree program, or a “prescribed course of study”, if participating in an approved non-degree program.

There are some key differences between J-1 and F-1 student status. Unlike F-1 status, most students who will be completely funded by personal or family funds are not eligible for J-1 status. J-1 students and their dependents are also required to carry health insurance throughout their program of study, while F-1 students and their dependents are not. Additionally, students in J-1 status may become subject to a 2 year home country residence and physical presence requirement that does not apply to F-1 students. For more information about the J-1 visa category, please consult the Department of State’s J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website here.

In order to receive a DS-2019 after applying for J-1 student status and being admitted to Stevens, the following documents must be provided to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office by the student:

  • Application for Form DS-2019 - Student category only
  • Financial documentation as outlined in the Financial Documentation Requirements.
  • For transfer students from another Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)-approved U.S. institution (in addition to the items above):
    • Transfer-In Request form
    • Copy of DS-2019 from former institution

In addition, the following documents must be made available to the ISSS office by Stevens Admissions:

  • Copy of written application to Stevens
  • Evidence of satisfaction of admissions requirements
  • Letter of Admission from Stevens
  • Proof of English language proficiency, including TOEFL, IELTS, or another approved equivalent

After all documents are received and are determined to be sufficient, a DS-2019 will be issued for and shipped to the student in approximately 5-6 business days.