Scheduling and Preparing for a Visa Interview

Once you have received your Form DS-2019 from Brandeis University or your 1-797A Approval Notice (if you are an H-1b visa holder) and your SEVIS fee has been paid (if you are a J-visa holder), the ISSO recommends that you schedule an appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible.

Processing times for visa issuance vary and may require additional time due to security checks on applications. The U.S. Department of State provides the latest information on visa processing times, required materials, and current listings of U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. You will find links to these sites below. 

Please note that the Department of State only publishes approximate visa wait times.

Canadian Citizens: Although Canadian citizens are not required to obtain an entry visa stamp, all Canadians must obtain a Form DS-2019 and pay the appropriate SEVIS fee at least 3 business days before entering the U.S. and applying for J-1 status at the U.S. Port-of-Entry. 

Documents to Bring to Your Visa Interview

  • Valid Passport

  • Proof of Assured Funds (Financial Documents) as reflected on your Certificate of Eligibility Form DS-2019 (bring all ORIGINAL bank documents and support letters)

  • Original Certificate of Eligibility Form DS-2019 for J-Visa holders (be sure to carefully review for possible errors and sign your document prior to your interview) or I-797A Approval Notice for H-1B Visa Holders

  • SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt (for J-Visa holders)

  • Appointment Letter from Brandeis

  • Check your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for additional requirements such as fees, photos, etc.

The U.S. Consular Officer will review your documents during your visa interview. Be prepared to answer potential questions about your family, finances, and why you are choosing to come to Brandeis.

U.S. Department of State Resources