Resources > Section 17 > J-1 Visa Application & US Entry > Exchange visitor (J-1) visa
#17-31Canadian exchange visitors (J)PDFReturnURL
After being accepted to a BridgeUSA J-1 Exchange Visitor by a designated sponsor and issued Form DS-2019 and SEVIS ID, prospective exchange visitors will apply for a J-1 visa at a US embassy or consulate (Canadians apply for J-1 status at a US port of entry).
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Exchange visitors who are Canadian citizens directly from Canada do not require a visa from a US embassy or consulate to enter the United States. Instead, they apply for admission and secure “J status” from the CBP at a port of entry.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need a visa to enter the United States for a limited time frame. Instead of applying for a “J-1 visa”, they secure their “J-1 status” at a US port of entry after being accepted to BridgeUSA by a designated sponsor, issued Form DS-2019, and paying the SEVIS fee (skip the MRV fee, visa interview, and Form DS-160).

Procedures
• Secure a J-1 internship/training from an eligible US-based entity
• Apply and be accepted to bridgeusa">BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) by a designated sponsor
• Be registered with SEVIS and issued Form DS-2019 (original) and Form DS-7002
• Pay the USD 220 SEVIS fee and generate the I-901 SEVIS receipt
• Gather the required materials
• Prepare for and be interviewed by a CBP officer
• Hand carry the required materials when crossing the border

What to bring?
Passport (expires at least six months after the program end date)
Form DS-2019 (original, signed using a blue pen)
Form DS-7002 (signed by all parties)
I-901 receipt
financial sufficiency form to cover the expenses as per Form DS-2019
- Proof of your ties to Canada (e.g., school-issued support letter)

Note: Bring additional documents in case additional proof is required to establish your admissibility to the satisfaction of the CBP official. Pay the SEVIS fee at least 3-5 days prior to your departure to the US and carry a copy of the payment confirmation.

Why Canadian citizens need to pay the SEVIS fee ?
The SEVIS fee is separate from the visa fee and is required for all exchange visitors, regardless of their nationality, as long as they are registered with SEVIS and assigned a SEVIS ID number. Hence, Canadian citizens issued with Form DS-2019 can skip the visa interview and nonimmigrant visa fee but not the SEVIS I-901 fee.

Are Canadian citizens required to complete Form Form DS-160?
Canadian citizens do not need to complete Form DS-160. They secure J-1 status at a US port of entry with the nonimmigrant visa application (MRV) fee waived. Canadian citizens, however, are still required to obtain the Form DS-2019 and pay the SEVIS fee .
Exchange visitors who are Canadian citizens directly from Canada do not require a visa from a US embassy or consulate to enter the United States. Instead, they apply for admission and secure “J status” from the CBP at a port of entry.