US Exchange Visitor Visa

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The United States Exchange Visitor Visa is a nonimmigrant entry permit to the US that is dedicated to foreign:

  • researchers,
  • students,
  • trainees,
  • scholars,
  • interns,
  • and specialists.

The requirements, length of the permitted stay, and usage differs depending on which type should you select.

Nonetheless, every applicant must have strong English communication skills to be able to spend a few weeks, months, or years in the United States. First, choose the most appropriate program for you and check the specific requirements you have to meet.

Please note! The Exchange Visitor Visa was designed to help foreign citizens study, train, or get cultural experience in the United States. Travelers cannot study, conduct research, or be an intern under the Visa Waiver Program, ESTA, or the Visitor Visa since these serve for tourism, transit, or business purposes (not working).

In 2019 alone, more than 350 000 visas were issued under the Exchange Visitor Program.

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Exchange Visitor Visa Requirements

The requirements differ between the various Exchange Visitor Visa categories. Visit the official government website to access the full list of conditions and documents to prepare.

Depending on the selected type of entry permit, you may need to:

  • be a student,
  • have a specific certificate,
  • have a degree,
  • have special skills that are required to conduct research or to demonstrate specialized knowledge.

Moreover, every applicant must have good communication skills in English to be able to enroll in the program.

How to apply for the Exchange Visitor Visa?

First, all applicants must enroll in the selected category’s program working under the Exchange Visitor Visas. Once your application is accepted, you are registered in the United States Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

In most cases, at that point, you will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Next, fill the DS-2019 form provided to you by your sponsor.

The DS-2019 gives an overview of the purpose of the visit, describes the category of the exchange, gives the dates of the stay, and provides a brief description of both the applicant and the sponsor.

All Exchange Visitor Visas require undergoing a visa interview with the consular officer. You must prove that you have good English communication skills and that the purpose of your visit is valid.

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The supporting documents may differ between the available types, e.g., applicants for the training/internship program must attach a training/internship plan (form DS-7002) additionally.

Final words

If you are an aspiring student, want to learn English better, get to know the country’s customs and culture, or are a researcher looking to conduct studies in the United States, this program is perfect for you!

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