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J-1 Visa Information

Paying your SEVIS Fee and Obtaining a J-1 Visa

As a result of having been admitted (or approved to come) to South Dakota State University, a DS-2019 will be issued to you. Once you have in your possession the DS-2019, you will need to make the SEVIS payment. 

J1 Visa

J-1 Exchange Visitors are required by our US Government to pay a fee to help cover the costs of administering and maintaining the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This fee will apply to any potential academic students and scholars who are initially issued Form DS-2019. (Dependents of Students who are issued an I-20 for an J-2 Visa are not required to pay the SEVIS fee.) The SEVIS fee for J-1 students and scholars is currently $220. This fee may be paid in one of the following ways:

The fee may be paid by mail, by submitting Form I-901 together with a check or money order to our US Government that has been drawn on a U.S. bank and has been made payable in U.S. currency. (An Application fee submitted from outside the United States, “may be made by an international money order or foreign draft drawn on a financial institution in the United States,” and payable in U.S. Currency.) In other words, many foreign banks are able to issue checks or money orders drawn on a U.S. bank. The form you will need to pay the SEVIS Fee can be downloaded on the I-901 Pay Your Fee page (It is located on the right side of the page and titled as “Paper Form I-901”). Do not send this form and fee to SDSU, but rather the address provided on the downloadable form.

The fee may be paid electronically, by completing the Form I-901 through the internet and using a credit card. Access the electronic form.

This fee payment does not need to be completed prior to scheduling an interview with the consulate, or any other activities undertaken prior to the in-person application process at the embassy. However, it does need to be paid before the consulate can issue the visa. The fee payment must be processed at least 3 days prior to the date upon which you will go for your visa interview.

After you have a receipt of that payment, report to the nearest United States embassy or consulate and apply for a student or scholar visa on the nonimmigrant visa application Form I-160. Apply for the J-1 visa promptly, since processing times vary at each US embassy/consulate.

The US embassy or consulate will require certain information to verify your eligibility to obtain admission to the US a J-1 Exchange Visitor. Please refer to the list below for items that may be required as evidence of your eligibility.

  • Form DS-2019 signed and dated by the school official
  • valid passport for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the US
  • appointment or offer letter from South Dakota State University to be engaged in a Research or Teaching opportunity.
  • proficiency in the English language
  • sufficient financial resources to cover all living expenses during the entire period you anticipate being in the United States
  • one photograph (37x37 mm) for each applicant aged 16 and older, showing

After your VISA Interview

J-1 Students

  • After you have completed your visa interview at the US embassy, please contact us via email to let us know whether you have received your visa. This is an important step as it will allow us to prepare for your arrival. Please email Kirsten Linke or call 605-688-5612 or fax 605-688-6540.

J-1 Professors/Interns/Research Scholars

  • After you have received your visa, please contact BOTH the advisor in the academic department you are working with and our office. Please email Kirsten Linke.