Nearly all Career Training USA participants must interview at the consulate/embassy in order to be granted a J-1 visa. Canadian citizens do not require a J-1 visa to cross into the U.S. border. However, the DS-2019 form must be submitted and stamped at the border with the SEVIS payment receipt.
All citizens of other countries must attend an interview in person.
Tip 1: Make sure you have all the documents that are required
To ensure a smooth interview, it is important to bring all required documents to the consulate or embassy. You should also review the requirements for the U.S. These requirements can change depending on the location.
- DS-2019 Form
- DS-7002 Internship/Training Plan
- DS-160 Confirmation page
- SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
- Color photo of you taken in the last six months, 5 x5 centimeter (2×2 inch).
- You must provide proof of funds for your entire stay in the U.S.
NOTE: If you don’t bring all of your documents, most embassies will cancel your appointment without refunding the $160 fee.
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Tip 2: Make ties with your country
Consular officers assume all non-immigrant visa applicants intend to immigrate to America. You will need to show that you plan on returning home after you complete your program.
It is important to show strong ties to your country.
- Families who are still living in your hometown
- You can also take university classes after you have completed your program
- Acceptance letter from your home country for a new degree program
- After your return, you will be offered a job
- Statements from banks showing your financial assets in your country of origin
- Property ownership proof
- Any other indication that you intend to leave the U.S. after your program ends.
You should bring any supporting documentation, such as a letter from a job, proof of student status or documents pertaining to assets in your home country. It will be difficult for you to prove that you have ties with your country without this documentation.
Tip 3: Don’t forget to interview
You should not bring your parents, siblings, or close friends to the interview. Your family and friends are not invited to interview you by the consular officer. Consular officers might feel you cannot speak for yourself or you are not capable of participating in cultural exchange programs. If this happens, you may be denied a visa.
Tip 4: Practice your English skills
Interviews with embassy officials will take place in English, not your native language. Consular officers will want to know if you have good English skills in order to be successful with your program. In preparation for your U.S. experience, it is a good idea to practice English every day, preferably with a native speaker. You can also prepare for an interview by practicing this.
Tip 5 – Relax and ask questions directly
It can be nerve-racking to go into an interview. But it is important to keep your cool! Dress well. Although you don’t have to wear a suit or a dress, it is highly recommended that you do not wear one. First impressions are important. It is a good idea to arrive early at the Embassy.
Remember to be polite, honest and professional on your interview day. When it is your turn, you will be asked to submit your documents to one window before being asked to move to the next window or room. Your interview will go more smoothly and quickly if your documents are in order. Be calm and don’t be nervous! Listen carefully to the question and respond in a manner that is appropriate. Don’t attempt to prepare speeches for interviews. Try to be authentic!
Participants have asked some of these questions in the past:
- What are you doing in the U.S.
- Please tell us about your previous trips to the U.S.
- What are your plans when you return from your program?
Tip 6 – Learn the purpose and goals for the J-1 Visa
Make sure you fully understand the J-1 Intern/Trainee Visa purpose. The Career Training USA program does not offer a pathway to immigration or work programs. It is a cultural exchange program. Although you may have the opportunity to visit family members or practice English, your primary purpose is to learn about American culture and get practical training in your chosen field.
Next steps after the interview
Generally, after the interview, the consular officer will let you know if your J-1 visa will likely be granted. The embassy will usually keep your passport and any other documentation if you are successful. Your passport will be returned to you with your J-1 visa sticker inside within 5 to 7 business day. The consular official will inform you if your interview went poorly. The consular official will usually send you a letter explaining the reason, but it is important to ask for specific reasons before you leave the interview.
InterExchange must be notified if you have been denied a visa. You may be eligible to reapply depending on the reason you were denied. InterExchange will talk with you about your options and give you instructions for attending a second interview for visa if you decide that you want to apply again.