Visa procedure

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Information is included below on the Application procedure for acquirng a J1 visa from the UK. Lower on the page is a section on application for a waiver on the 2 year rule applied to this visa. Any questions on this information can be addressed to me at This information is by no means exhaustive so please consult the embassy web-pages and call the help lines if you run into any problems or have any concerns. Also the NIST office of International Affairs is here to help you.

Applying for a visa from the UK Image:Flag_England.gif

When submitting paper work for application of a visa before coming to NIST please refer to the international affairs office web-pages

Also the the US Embassy in London has a usefule webpage;

On receival of all paperwork from NIST - including DS2019 visa applications must be made in person at the US embassy in London. Please leave plenty of time to visit the embassy - arrive earlier than your appointment. Dont forget to take something warm to wear and wear comfortable foot wear - the lines are long and you will stood outside for a period of time. expect at least 3hours for you visit if not more. Once in the embassy tea and coffee are served and setting is provided. Bring a book!!!!!!!!!!!

J1 Visa - Exchange visitor

In application for a J1 visa, you are required to obtain from your sponsor the form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. The DS-2019 is not valid for travel unless accompanied by a valid visa.

Once recieved, the holder of an exchange visitor J-1 visa, may enter the United States up to 30 days before the designated start date on the DS-2019. The 30 day limitation does not apply to those returning to continue with the program. He or she may remain for up to 30 days after the completion date on the DS-2019.

If you wish to remain longer, you will be required to apply for an adjustment of status or extension of stay from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services having jurisdiction over your place of residence in the United States. See for visa waiver information

  • Application Procedure

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LIST CAREFULLY - this is compressed information taken from the US embassy website however it is STRONGLY recommended you also visit the website for more detailed information. If in doubt call the helpline to answer any other questions.

The following is a list of forms and documents that all nonimmigrant visa applications are required to furnish. Failure to include the additional documents and forms will result in the application being denied. All nonimmigrant visa applicants, even children and babies listed in parents' passports, are required to:

  • 1) Complete the visa application form DS-156; This form should be completed ON-LINE. Often you will receive a paper copy of this form from NIST however the embassy requires the form be completed online as this produces a barcode which is used for identification purposes later. Failure to complete the 2D bar coded form will delay your application for a visa. Do not complete blank or unprocessed data input forms by hand. Unprocessed data input pages or data input pages completed by hand will not be accepted. The information that you submit is not stored anywhere. It is also not submitted to the Embassy electronically. It is only used to generate a barcode.

Instructions for completing the electonic form (from the embassy web pages-

1) Complete the form on-line by filling in the applicable data fields. Fill in the form as completely as possible leaving blank only those fields that do not apply in your case. If a field is completed incorrectly, a message will advise you on who to correct the entry. 2) Press the Continue button at the end of the form and wait while the system processes your data and transfers it to a 3 page DS-156 form with a special bar code on page 3. Failure to click on the Continue button will result in an incorrectly formatted application form.

3) Print the form after it is returned to you and date and sign it.

4) The barcode that prints on the 3rd page contains the information you entered and will help us process your application more quickly.

5) Pages 1, 2 and 3 with the 2-D bar must be furnished when applying for the visa. The electronic form DS-156. Do not complete blank or unprocessed data input forms by hand. Unprocessed data input pages or data input pages completed by hand will not be accepted.

  • 2) Pay a visa application fee;

Every visa applicant is required to pay a visa application fee. Payment must be made in cash at a bank using the Embassy supplied paying-in slips. The fee cannot be paid at the Embassy. Payment is not yet available on line.

The visa application fee may be paid at any bank in cash. If paid through Barclays Bank, no additional charges apply. Other banks may assess an administrative charge.

On January 1, 2006 the application fee will increased to £63.00.

There will be no refund of the fee, regardless of whether the visa is ultimately issued or refused. Please note that each individual must pay a fee even if he or she is traveling with others on the same passport. You should request a paying-in slip when scheduling the appointment for the visa interview. Banks Banks are open Monday to Friday, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, except for Wednesdays when they open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. The banks nearest to the Embassy are located at: 9 Portman Square (Barclays) 30 North Audley Street (National Westminster) 1 Portman Square (National Westminster) 431 Oxford Street (Midland) 399 Oxford Street (Lloyds)

  • 3) Present a passport

Valid for at least six months beyond the holder's period of stay in the United States with at least one blank page - the six-month requirement does not apply to United Kingdom passports;

  • 4)Provide one passport photograph

Photographs are required to meet State Department regulations. Please check the website as these passport photographs ARE NOT USUAL DIMENSIONS and need to be the size required by the embassy. This may require you to have them specially taken (do not use a photo booth)

Note: Visa applicants who appear in person for an interview with a consular officer will have their passports returned to them by a courier service, Special Mail Services (SMS) contracted to the U.S. Embassy. Visa applicants eligible to process their application by mail, or those who have been notified that they are required to submit additional documents in order for the application to be processed will be required to arrange with the courier service for the delivery of their documents to and from the Embassy.

  • 5)DS2019

Dont forget to take with you your DS2019 from NIST as proof of your sponsor in the USA

  • 6)Proof of ties in the UK

Also it is recommended that you take some proof of ties in the UK to show that you intend to return to the UK following you position in the USA e.g bank accounts, savings account details etc.

  • scheduling an interview

An appointment for an interview may only be scheduled by calling the Operator Assisted Visa Information Service on 09042-450100 Monday through Friday, between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm, and Saturday, between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm. Calls to this line are charged at £1.20/min from BT landlines, but some mobile and network providers may charge more. In addition, callers from outside the United Kingdom and some mobile and network providers cannot access this number.

Applicants calling the Operator Assisted Visa Information Service are offered the earliest available appointment. The Embassy always recommends that an applicant not make final travel plans until the visa has been issued and they are in receipt of the passport

further information:

  • Processing Times

Routine visa applications take approximately 5 workdays to process after the visa interview at the embassy in London - interviews must be made in advance over the phone (make sure you book this in plenty of time as they can be booked up months in advance!!).

Applicants who are advised at the time of the visa interview that their application will require additional administrative processing should allow at least 60 days for this stage of the application to be completed. Please note that the processing times quoted are approximate and are not guaranteed.

The Embassy strongly encourages intending travelers to apply for visas well in advance of their proposed journey, and to always refrain from making irrevocable travel plans until the visa has been issued and they are in receipt of their passport and visa.

  • Tax status for UK citizens residing in the USA

Regardless of what you are told, the UK DOES NOT have a tax treaty with the USA which applys to any position given to you at NIST - this is only applicable to those working in educational institutions such as unniversites. Often your wages / stipend will be calculated on your tax status so ensure your employer / sponsor knows that you are not tax exempt whilst in the US. As a UK citizen you will be required to pay both state and federal taxes whilst in the USA.

Applying for a waiver of the J1 visa from the UK Image:Flag_England.gif

To remain in the USA after expiration of your J1 visa or before changing visa status from J1 to H1 etc one must apply to waive the two year home residency rule which you are subject to with your J1 visa. Most people waive this on the basis of a no objection from your home country (i.e in this case the UK

There are three major steps to this procedure, which are detailed below.

  • On-line application with the US State department

First go the state dept to get the visa waiver aplication: and select "Complete an online application for a J-1 waiver recommendation".

The application form should be filled out online in order to generate a series of barcodes and a reference number / case number. You will be required to fill in your personal details, visa details, J1 information and DS2019 information also so have these documents at hand.

  • Request for a letter of no objection from the UK embassy in DC

In support of your waiver you will require a statement of no objection from the UK embassy (only applies if you are a uk citizen. In order to do this you will need to call the embassy in DC (202-588-7800) and request an application form to be sent by email. Once you receive the form, you will need to mail (by FED EX) the completed version with a copy of the barcode page (THIRD PARTY BARCODE PAGE) from your on-line application, a stamped self-addressed envelope and a CASHIERS CHECK or MONEY ORDER paid to British Embassy Government Account(amount is currently $41)to the address on the bottom of the application form. All being in order ,on receiving your completed paper work and payment, the embassy will write your statement of no objection and mail it to the US State Department.

  • Request for Waiver of J1 visa to the US State Department by mail

The following documents should be mailed (By Certified Mail) to the US State Deparment ( this list is also printed on the forms which you will receive on completion of your on-line documentation. DO NOT STAPLE ANY OF THE DOCUMENTS TOGETHER;

Application fee - currently $215 in cashiers check / money order made payable to "the US Department of State" The check should have your name, date and place of birth written on the back side Form DS-3035 (completed and signed) - this is the form from the on-line application Waiver Review Division Barcode page Any supplementary information Copy of the data page from your current passport containing name and date of birth Copies of ALL of you DS2019 forms including the most recent TWO self addressed stamped envelopes

Send all above to: US Department of State Waiver Review Division P.O Box 952137 St Louis, MO 63195-2137

Once all paper work have been received and 3/4 weeks have passed you will be able to check on the progess of your application on the US State Deparment web-site by entering your case number. The web-site also has information on the current wait times associated with the waiver process.

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