J-1 Student Interns Visa & Immigration Guide

Welcome to Georgetown University! This site contains pre-arrival information compiled by the Office of Global Services (OGS) to assist you with your move to Georgetown. The goal of Georgetown University’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to promote cultural and educational exchange between international and domestic students, faculty, staff and community members as well as to promote greater diversity and international awareness within the University community.

Components of this program include:

  • Educational, research and teaching activities, 
  • Orientation,
  • Cultural exchange programming (such as the Global Expo),
  • Cultural adjustment support,
  • Logistical support, and
  • Immigration advising.

Please also visit the U.S. Department of State’s website and their Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure.

Visa Application

Your Form DS‐2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J‐1) Status, indicates that Georgetown University will sponsor your immigration status in the United States. Please read the instructions on page 2 of the form and sign the Exchange Visitor Certification on page 1.

Prior to applying for your visa, you will need to pay a one-time Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. This fee is assessed in addition to the visa application fee. J-2 dependents are not subject to the SEVIS fee. To pay the SEVIS fee, complete Form I‐901. Write your name exactly as it appears on your Form DS‐2019 and print your receipt to include with your visa application. Your SEVIS Identification Number can be found at the top right corner of your Form DS‐2019 and it starts with an “N”. The Program Number can be found in Box 2 of your Form DS-2019 (P‐1‐01850). We recommend you carry the payment receipt with your Form DS‐2019 to show to the immigration officials at the port of entry as well.

Then, you will need to complete the DS‐160 visa application form and schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a visa interview (except for Candian citizens). When you go to your visa interview, take:

  • Form DS‐2019
  • Signed DS-7002, Training/Internship Placement Plan
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Passport
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Any correspondence received from Georgetown University regarding your stay
  • Original financial documents
    • Appointment letter, if paid by Georgetown
    • Personal bank statements, employment letters, scholarship letters, etc.
  • J-2 dependent documents, if applicable
    • Passport(s)
    • Form DS-2019(s)
    • Birth certificates for each child, if applicable
    • Marriage certificate, if applicable
    • Proof of insurance

Intent to Return: To obtain your J‐1 visa, you must demonstrate to the U.S. Consular Officer that you intend to return to your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence after you have completed your J‐1 program. Any statements made during the visa interview which cast doubt on your intentions of returning home may result in the denial of the visa. Although some consulates permit applications from third-party nationals, it may be difficult to prove your non‐immigrant intent if you do not apply for a visa in your home country.

For more information, please refer to the Department of State’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa website.

Travel to the United States

Once your visa is granted, you may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the start date on your Form DS‐2019. At the U.S. port of entry, you will be asked to present: 

  • Your Form DS‐2019, passport, and J-1 visa
  • SEVIS Fee payment receipt
  • J-2 passport(s) and Form DS-2019(s), if applicable
  • Proof of health insurance

In addition to your immigration‐related documents, we also advise that you may want to bring certified copies of the following documents:

  • Financial documentation
  • Georgetown University Appointment letter
  • Birth certificates for yourself and each member of your family.
  • Marriage certificate, if you are married.
  • Copies of diplomas and/or professional licenses with English translations.
  • Copies of vaccination records for any children who will attend school.

Your passport should be stamped with the date of entry and “J-1 D/S”. These markings indicate that you have entered in J‐1 status (or J‐2 status for your accompanying dependents) for the duration of your status. After arrival, you should also print out your Form I-94. This is the proof of your J-1 status in the United States.

If you intend to arrive by land (from Mexico or Canada), you must schedule and pay the I-94 fee in advance of your arrival to the border.

If you will arrive later than the start date on your Form DS-2019, please e-mail your dedicated IS Advisor with the date you plan to arrive.

J-1 Student Intern Check-in

You are required to schedule a check‐in appointment with your dedicated IS Advisor within 30 days of the start date of the Form DS‐2019. OGS is located in the Car Barn Suite 140 at 3520 Prospect St NW.

You should bring:

  • Passport
  • Form DS-2019
  • J-2 Passport(s) and Form DS-2019(s), if applicable
  • Proof of health insurance

OGS must register your arrival within 30 days of the start date of your Form DS‐2019 in order for you to remain legally in the United States. You must attend a J-1 check-in in order to be registered. If you will arrive later than expected, please notify your dedicated IS Advisor by e-mail.

You also need to check-in with OGS prior to applying for a Social Security Number (SSN).

Note: if you intend to travel outside of the United States after your arrival, in order to re‐enter the United States you will need to obtain a travel signature on the DS‐2019 Form from your IS Advisor. Travel signatures are provided during the check-in appointment.  

International Scholar Arrival Checklist:

Attend a required check-in orientation my making an appointment with your dedicated IS Advisor in the Office of Global Services.

If you will be paid by a U.S. source, apply for a Social Security Number 1-2 days after you have attended the J-1 orientation or check-in appointment.

If you will be paid by Georgetown, complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form on your 1st day of work with your Department HR Contact (Medical Center, Law Center or University Services) or with Human Resources (HR Main Campus).

If you will be paid by Georgetown, once you have your SSN and are in the GMS Human Resources system, set up your tax withholding by completing the Tax Office Google form and following their instructions for submitting “employee tax documents for non-US persons”.   E-mail any questions to taxdepartment@georgetown.edu.

If you will be paid by Georgetown and are eligible for GU health insurance, attend a benefits orientation. You must sign up for health insurance within the first 60 days.

If you are not paid by the University and are a Visiting Researcher on the Main Campus: Check in with Mr. Larry Brown in the Office of the Provost (3307 M Street, NW Suite 202). Please bring a copy of your Visiting Researcher letter and a valid photo ID.  Visiting Researcher office hours are Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All other check-in times are by appointment only. 

If you are not paid by the University and area Visiting Researcher at the Law Center: Check in with Mariah Strauch-Nelson.

If you are not paid by the University and are an Affiliated Researcher, Medical Center Researcher or Student Intern: Check in with your Department Administrator.

Obtain your GOCard after your information has been entered into the Human Resources system: Take your passport and invitation/appointment letter to the GOCard office inside the Leavy Center campus bookstore. (Law Center Visiting Researchers check in at the Law Center.)

Set up your Georgetown e-mail account.Follow the instructions on the University Information Services website.To obtain your NetID, enter your information in the Georgetown Directory.

Familiarize yourself with transportation and parking on campus: Check the Office of Transportation Management website for the shuttle bus schedule and information about parking on campus.

Explore Georgetown’s recreational and sports facilities:Visit Yates Field House and GU Wellness for more information.

Secure housing: If you need assistance in finding housing for your stay, housing listings are available on the Office of Neighborhood Life website. Their office is located at 1300 36th St.

Utilize Georgetown’s emergency alert notification system:Sign up for Hoya Alert to receive e-mails and notifications on your cell phone.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Federal regulations require J-1 Exchange Visitors to obtain health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents for the entire length of stay in the United States. Georgetown requires all scholars to certify insurance coverage upon arrival in the United States. Please review the full list of requirements and health insurance options on our J-1 Health Insurance web page.

Student Interns are required to have insurance prior to their arrival in the United States.  

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form

If you will be employed at Georgetown, you must complete an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form on your 1st day of employment. If you will be paid by Georgetown, complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form on your 1st day of work with your Department HR Contact (Medical Center, Law Center or University Services) or with Human Resources (HR Main Campus). 

Restrictions/Obligations of J-1 status

By entering the country in J‐1 visa status, you accept the responsibility of meeting the terms and conditions stated on the Form DS‐2019. You will be admitted into the United States for the sole purpose stated in section 4 of the Form DS‐2019. Please notify OGS if any of the following occur:

  • the source of your funding changes
  •  the nature of the work you are doing changes
  • the end date of your work changes
  • your sponsoring institution changes
  • your U.S. address, telephone or e-mail address changes (must be reported within 10 days of the change)

Failure to notify OGS of any of these changes may invalidate your immigration status and affect your legal permission to stay in the United States.

Work Regulations

J‐1 Student Interns must work full-time (at least 32 hours per week)at the internship. They may not engage in any employment (either on or off campus) that is not described on the DS‐7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP).

Settling in at Georgetown

For detailed information on housing, transportation, etc., please visit our Resources web page.