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Visa Stamp

Commonly referred to as a “visa stamp,” a US visa is a travel document (a machine-readable visa foil placed in a passport or travel document) issued by a US embassy or consulate that permits the bearer to travel to a US port of entry to request permission to enter the US under a specified visa type and for a specific timeframe following a successful visa application.
What is it?

- A machine-readable label attached to a passport page.
- Serves as proof that the holder is permitted to enter the country for specific purposes.

How & What to Check?

Step 1: Read instructions PDF #35.
Step 2: After a successful interview, the consulate will retain your passport and affix the visa stamp.
Step 3: Upon return (normally 3 to 5 days), immediately check for errors and report to ADMIN if any.
Step 4: Enter visa issuance date & upload #35 (visa) within 48 hours upon return.

*Scan instead of photographing the file and ensure there is no CamScanner or similar watermark.

How to Check?

Upon return of the passport and stamped Form DS-2019, immediately inspect the visa to ensure all information is correct. Mistakes or discrepancies can jeopardize entry to the US and lead to further complications.

- Issuing Post Name - Where the visa was granted.
- Visa holder’s biographical information (e.g., surname) matching their passport and DS-2019.
- Entries - The number of times the visa holder may enter the US while the program is in effect; “M” means “multiple.”
- Annotation, e.g., SEVIS ID and program number, matching the DS-2019.
- Issue & Expiration Dates - When the passport was issued and expires.
- Control Number - A unique identifier for the visa assigned by the DOS.
- Visa Type - “R” stands for “Regular,” which indicates a standard passport.
- Type/Class - Classification of the visa type, e.g., “J1” for exchange visitors
- Nationality - Passport country of the visa holder, e.g., “CHIN” for Chinese nationals.
- Restrictions, e.g., BEARER IS/IS NOT SUBJECT TO SECTION 212E
- Program Period - FROM XX-XXX-XXXX to XX-XXX-XXXX, aligning with the DS-2019 program period.

What to Note?

1 A visa does not guarantee entry into the country; it merely allows the holder to travel to the port of entry and request permission to enter. Final entry decisions are made by immigration officers at the border or airport.

2 You can enter the US within 30 days before and depart within 30 days after the program period stated on the visa.

3 If subject to the Two-Year Rule, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years after the J-1 program ends before you are eligible for certain U.S. visas and immigration benefits, such as H-1B, L-1, K-1, or lawful permanent resident status (green card).

4 Canadian and Bermudian citizens who are eligible and exempt from the J-1 visa interview can obtain J-1 status at the port of entry, without being issued a J-1 visa.
Related topicsWhat is a US Visa?