Visa and SEVIS Information

Applying for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

You must first be nominated by your university, apply to Mercer University through the exchange student application portal and be accepted as an Exchange Student to Mercer University, before beginning the required immigration process.

We strongly suggest that you secure your J-1 Exchange Visitor visa prior to booking your flights.

The process of securing your visa needs to be a top priority once your DS-2019 Form is issued by Mercer University. Visa processing times and interview availability differs throughout nations. The following list provides resources to help you through the process of obtaining a U.S. visa to enter the U.S. legally as a non-degree seeking exchange student.

     1.    Receive acceptance into a SEVP-certified school (Mercer University is a SEVP-certified school)
     2.    Work with your international student advisor to issue a Form DS-2019 for your program
     3.    Receive your Form DS-2019 in the mail and confirm that all information is correct.
     4.    Pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee of $180 for J visa applicants at the following secure U.S Department of Homeland Security payment portal:
     5.    Print and save copies of your receipt from paying the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
     6.    You can now apply for a visa interview appointment at the closest U.S. embassy or consulate. There will be a Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 and fee to be paid online. It is highly suggested that you schedule your visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate within your nation. It is not recommended to travel to a third-country and apply, as longer processing delays may result. The following links will assist you with this process:

Homepage for U.S. Department of State – U.S. Visas
U.S. Department of State: U.S. Visas – Exchange Visitor Visa
U.S. Department of State: Visa Appointment & Processing Wait Times
U.S. Department of State: Interviews & Documents

     7. Once you secure your J-1 Exchange Visitor visa and your passport has been returned to you, contact your international student advisor and scholar services coordinator at Mercer.