Obtaining a Visa

If you are not currently in the United States, you need to apply for (and receive) your J-1 visa before you can begin your program at IUPUI. (The exception is if you are Canadian. See below.) If you are already in the United States in J-1 status, you need to transfer your J-1 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record to IUPUI.

If you have questions at any time, contact us: and we will help you.

If you are a Canadian citizen with a valid passport, you do not need to apply for a visa stamp. However, you do need to pay the SEVIS fee before you enter the United States.



Apply for a J-1 Visa

To request J-1 status for you, your hiring department at IUPUI must submit an electronic request (e-form) through iStart. We request that your department submit the e-form at least three months before your start date to allow for OIA processing, mailing, obtaining a visa, and making flight and living arrangements.

During this application process, you will also submit information about any J-2 dependents you plan to bring with you.

  • Pay Your SEVIS Fee

    After you receive your SEVIS ID number and the Exchange Visitor Program Number from your program sponsor, you can pay the SEVIS fee online. If you are bringing dependents with you, you will need their SEVIS ID numbers as well. (All of you will share a program number.) You do not need to wait to receive the DS-2019(s) to pay this fee.

    Remember to print your online receipt. You will need it for your visa interview and visa application.

  • Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application

    The online application includes a list of documents and information you will need.

  • Schedule a Visa Appointment at the Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate

    Do this as soon as possible, as wait times for appointments vary by country. To see how long this process takes in your country, read the Department of State’s visa wait time information.

    See the list of U.S. embassies and consulates to find the nearest one and schedule your appointment.

  • Prepare Your Documentation

    You will be required to show several documents at your visa appointment, including:

    • Your DS-2019

    • A valid passport

    • Your SEVIS payment receipt

    • Visa application forms

    • Current financial documentation that lists the sources and amounts of financial support you have secured for your program, totaling at least $1,310 per month for the duration of your invitation. If you are bringing your spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, or both, you must also show access to $666 per month for the first dependent and $562 per month for each additional dependent.

    Depending on what country you are from, you may also have to pay a visa fee at your appointment. Learn more »

  • Prepare for Your Interview

    Because you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa, you will need to prove to the consular official that you do not intend to immigrate to the United States. In other words, you need to show that you have definite plans to return home after your IUPUI program is complete.

  • Plan for Security Clearances

    The embassy or consulate may require security clearances before it will issue your J-1 visa stamp. The requirement may be because of your name, birth country, country of citizenship, field of study, or field of research. Security clearances can take two to six weeks, or more than six weeks in rare cases. Plan for these wait times when you make arrangements to travel to the United States.

Enter the United States and Validate Your Program

You can enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date on your DS-2019. You must arrive no later than 30 days after the start date.

You have to report to the OIA upon your arrival at the IUPUI campus. You should report to us no later than 30 days after the DS-2019 start date so we can validate your program. See where to find us »

J-1 Transfer to IUPUI

If you are already in the United States on J-1 status and plan to come to IUPUI without leaving the country, contact us immediately by email: . If you are eligible, we will assist with the transfer of your J-1 program to IUPUI.