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Apply for J-1 Visa

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All exchange students will apply for and enter the United States on a J-1 visa. A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange. All applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program.

You cannot apply for a J-1 visa or pay the SEVIS I-901 fee until you have a SEVIS number, which is provided from our office after acceptable financial documentation has been received.


Coming to OU

To learn more about the process for newly admitted students, follow the links below. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here

Spring 2022 semester and COVID-19

Currently, spring classes are still expected to begin as expected on January 18. If that changes, or if you're unable to get a visa in time for the fall semester, you will need to contact Admissions to defer to a later semester.

For University of Oklahoma Coronavirus updates and resources, please visit

Additional Coronavirus Information for International Students


Apply for your visa

NISO Experience

Step 2: Apply for your visa

After you have been admitted to OU and received your I-20 or DS-2019, please follow the steps below to apply for your student visa. For more information, see the US Department of Homeland Security website, Your Guide to Studying in the States.

Pay I-901 SEVIS fee

Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee at The SEVIS fee is not a university fee. This is a one-time fee to the US government and must be paid before you can apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa. 

Visa category Fee
F-1 $350 USD
J-1 exchange visitor $220 USD

For more information about this fee, including other options for paying, please visit the SEVP website. You should be able to retrieve a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt at regardless of your payment method.

If you have more than one I-20 or DS-2019

Only enter the information for the school you will attend in the US when paying your SEVIS fee and completing your visa application. Changing schools or documents will cause delays in obtaining a visa and entering the US.

Keep a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt

Print two copies of your SEVIS fee payment receipt. Keep one copy for yourself and use the other copy for your visa interview.

Apply for US visa

Next, review the student visas page on, as well as the instructions at the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply for a visa. After you receive your visa, check to see that you received the right type of visa and that your name and date of birth are correct and match the information in your passport.

Required travel documents

You will need the following documents to enter the United States:

  • Passport
  • US visa
  • Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • Proof of admission to OU
  • Financial documentation
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt


Be sure that you do not pack the above items in your checked luggage.