Study & Exchange

The United States welcomes foreign citizens who come to the U.S. to study or participate in an exchange program. Before applying for a visa, all student and exchange visitor applicants are required to be accepted and approved for their program.

When accepted, educational institutions and program sponsors will provide each applicant the necessary approval documentation (I-20 or DS-2019) to be submitted when applying for a visa.

All  J-1 (Trainee or Intern) applicants must present Form DS-7002 (PDF, 70 kB) Training/Internship Placement Plan. If your Form DS-2019 is issued prior to July 19, 2007 a Form DS-7002 is not required. For more information about the rules for trainee and intern programs, see the Exchange Visitor Program, Trainees on the ECA website.

Please select from the choices below for information about student and exchange visitor visas:

  • Student Visas — Academic and vocational (F and M Visas) including:
    • English language programs
    • University degree programs
    • Flight training and other technical or vocational programs
  • Students — in Public Schools — F-1 Students Attending High School (Grades 9-12)

Education USA has additional information on studying in the United States.

  • Exchange Visitor Visas (J-1 visas) including:
    • Summer Work and Travel program
    • Camp Counselor program
    • High school and university exchange programs
    • Au pair programs
    • Research programs
    • Fulbright programs

For further information on J1 programs, please visit the website on J-1 VISA.

A number of past J1 Exchange visitor program participants have shared their stories with us. Watch the videos and learn about the types of jobs and activities you can enjoy in the United States.

Student and Exchange Visitors are required to pay the SEVIS fee prior to attending their visa interview.  You may pay the fee at Please bring the SEVIS fee receipt along with other supporting documentation to the visa interview.

A full list of required and recommended documents for Student and Exchange Visitors and information on the visa application process can be found on the U.S. Department of State web site.