DS-2019 FAQs

The DS-2019

Requesting and Receiving a DS-2019


I have my DS-2019. Now what? 

Transferring Your SEVIS Record 

Changing Your Immigration Status to J-1 

DS-2019 for Dependents 

Deferring/Cancelling Admission 

The DS-2019 

What is a DS-2019 and do I need one? 

The DS-2019 is a document issued by a US government-approved educational institution, such as Emory University, certifying that a student has admission into a program and that you have demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the U.S. for the length of the DS-2019 form. The DS-2019 is officially titled the “Certificate of Eligibility” because it allows an individual to apply for a J-1 student visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad. More details and a sample DS-2019 can be found on our website. 

What is the DS-2019 used for? 

Outside the US: After receiving a DS-2019 from Emory University, you can make an appointment to apply for an J-1 visa at a US embassy or consulate. Please note that citizens of Canada and Bermuda are visa-exempt, but still need to pay the I-901 fee.
Entering the US: You must present the J-1 visa stamp (inside your passport), DS-2019 and other supporting documents to a US Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival at the U.S. port-of-entry (such as an airport, seaport, or land border). 
Inside the US: Once you are admitted into the US in J-1 status, the DS-2019 has multiple functions. As a J-1 student, you will need the DS-2019 when completing international student check-in (International Student Check-In form) and when completing on-campus employment paperwork (if applicable). You must also show your DS-2019 at the Social Security Administration office and the Georgia Department of Driver Services when applying for a Social Security Number (SSN), driver’s license or state identification. The DS-2019 will also be updated if you make changes like receiving a travel signature.  

Do all international students need a DS-2019? 

Most international students at Emory hold F-1 or J-1 status while in their academic program, with F-1 status being the appropriate status for most international students. However, students who meet the following criteria are eligible to request a DS-2019:  

Admission to a full-time program, plus: 

  1. The exchange is based on a written agreement between the US and a foreign government; or 
  2. The exchange is based on a written bilateral agreement between Emory and a foreign institution; or 
  3. The student will receive US or foreign government funding for their J-1 student stay; and the government agency requires the student to hold the J-1 student status. 

If you are currently outside the US and require a student visa or if you are already in the US in J-1 status at another school, you can submit the New Student DS-2019 Request in ISSS Link. If you are currently sponsored by a different organization (such as Fulbright) and want to change to Emory sponsorship, please email us at newstudentfj@emory.edu. Students who would like to change their immigration status to J-1 can find more information about the change of status process here and should contact their ISSS Advisor.  

International students who are not eligible for a DS-2019 will be able to request an I-20 for F-1 status.

Requesting and Receiving DS-2019 

How is a DS-2019 created?  

The DS-2019 is generated from the US government system called SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Once you complete the DS-2019 request process, Emory ISSS will create your J-1 SEVIS record and issue your DS-2019. The DS-2019 is a paper print out of your SEVIS record. If you need to update or change information on your DS-2019, ISSS makes these updates through SEVIS to produce an updated DS-2019 document.  

What is the process for requesting a DS-2019?   

J-1 Exchange Students 

Once you have formally accepted your admission to your exchange program (by paying a deposit or other method indicated by the program), ISSS will email you instructions for requesting an DS-2019 through ISSS Link, our online international student and scholar portal. In ISSS Link, you will provide information and documents needed for ISSS to issue you and if applicable, any dependents requiring J-2 status, a DS-2019. Then, your exchange program administrator will receive an email asking them to provide supplemental information. After they have submitted their portion of the request, and the DS-2019(s) is ready, ISSS will electronically share your DS-2019(s) along with instructions for paying the SEVIS fee and applying for your visa.  

J-1 Degree-Seeking Students (including Fulbright transfers) 

Transfer students that are not already at Emory will receive an email from ISSS with instructions for requesting a DS-2019 through ISSS Link 

Current Emory students that are transferring their sponsorship from another organization, such as Fulbright, to Emory will need to contact our office directly at newfjstudent@emory.edu.

Please also refer to our transfer specific FAQ questions below and read the Transfer Students section on our Getting My I-20/DS-2019 page to understand the transfer process. 

What documents do I need to prepare/upload to receive my DS-2019?    

In ISSS Link, you will upload a copy of your passport biographical page, Emory admission letter/email, department information, and financial documents showing you have resources to cover estimated expenses for the length of your program. Even if you will be fully funded by Emory, provide a copy of your funding letter(s) in the DS-2019 request e-form and when applying for the visa. See our financial page for financial document requirements and a list of acceptable documents.   

If you are currently in the US in J-1 status, please also have the following documents/information available prior to completing the request in ISSS Link: 

  • Current non-Emory DS-2019(s)  
  • J-1 visa stamp copy (unless a citizen of Canada or Bermuda)  
  • Most recent I-94  
  • Information about your current J-1 institution:       
    • Name and contact information of your international student advisor 
    • SEVIS transfer release date  

If you are currently in the US in an immigration status other than J-1, please have the following documents available before completing the request:  

  • Current eligibility document (such as H-1B I-797 Approval Notice, F-1/F-2 I-20, etc.)  
  • Visa stamp used for most recent entry to the US (unless a citizen of Canada or Bermuda)  
  • Most recent I-94 

If you have any dependents (spouse or child) who will accompany you to the US in J-2 status, please have available a copy of their passport biographical page(s).  

When uploading scanned documents, please be sure that they are as clear as possible to avoid delays in processing your request and issuing your DS-2019. Documents may be in either JPG or PDF format. If you receive an error message in ISSS Link when uploading your files, please see the “I’m getting an error message when submitting my New Student DS-2019 Request form through ISSS Link. What should I do?” FAQ for help. 

How do I access ISSS Link and what are my ISSS Link login credentials?   

Click the “Login” icon on the ISSS Link homepage. You will be taken to Emory’s single sign on page where you will enter in your Emory NetID and password; the same credentials you have used to access other Emory online services. Your NetID is different from your 7-digit student ID number. If you are unsure of your NetID or password please click here.   

When can I expect to receive my DS-2019?   

Barring any unforeseen or extenuating circumstances, your DS-2019 request will be reviewed by ISSS within three business days of submission by you and your or academic program coordinator. Once completed, your or academic program coordinator will pick up your DS-2019 and they will ship it to either your home address or home institution. Please follow up with them regarding which address you prefer.  

If additional information, documentation, or clarification is required, ISSS will email you and ask you to provide what is needed. If ISSS needs additional information or clarification from your academic program, we will email you to let you know there will be a delay in DS-2019 issuance while we work directly with your academic program. Upon receiving the new information or documentation, ISSS will issue the DS-2019 within three business days.  

How will ISSS send the DS-2019 to me? 

The Department of State (DOS) has announced a new rule that will permit the electronic transmission of the Form DS-2019 to J-1 exchange visitors beginning on April 27, 2023. Once your DS-2019 has been issued, ISSS will share a digital, password protected version with you via email. Once available, please print, sign, and date the DS-2019. 

You will then bring the DS-2019 with you to a US embassy or consulate for your visa appointment, unless you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda, as you are visa exempt. You will also present your DS-2019 to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when entering the US.  



I am unable to log into ISSS Link 

To log into ISSS Link, you will use your Emory NetID and password, which also gives access to other Emory websites and systems.  

  1. Confirm that you are using the correct Emory NetID and password: Go to https://mypassword.emory.edu and confirm you have the correct credentials. If you need to reset or change your Emory password, please follow these steps.  If that doesn’t work, you can contact the Office of Information Technology which has additional resources including a phone number for the Service Desk. 
  2. After confirming your credentials are correct, if you are unable to log into ISSS Link, please email newfjstudent@emory.edu. In your email, please be sure to include your full name (as it appears on your passport), student ID number (if you know it), and your date of birth. ISSS will be in touch with you soon after receiving your email to resolve the issue.  

After logging into ISSS Link, I cannot find the “New Student DS-2019 Request” form.  

Please make sure you are checking the right place:  

  1. After logging into ISSS Link, select "New Students" on the left side of your screen.  
  2. Under 'Tasks', you should see a link to the form "New Student DS-2019 Request.”  

If you do not see that link, please email newfjstudent@emory.edu. In your email, include your full name (as it appears on your passport) and student ID number (if you know it), and your date of birth. ISSS will be in touch with you soon after receiving your email to resolve the issue.  

I’m getting an error message when submitting my New Student DS-2019 Request form through ISSS Link. What should I do? 

An issue with uploaded documents (file format, size, or corruption) is the most common reason why students get an error upon submitting an e-form in ISSS Link. If you can complete the request form but get an error upon submission, please try re-saving the documents that you want to upload in a different format (PDF preferred) and be sure the combined file size is less than 25MB.   

If the problem is not resolved, email newfjstudent@emory.edu and include your full name (as it appears on your passport) and student ID number (if you know it), and your date of birth. In your email, please explain the issue and include a screenshot of the error message if possible. ISSS will be in touch with you soon after receiving your email to help.  

I Have Received My DS-2019. Now What? 

Please visit our "I Have My DS-2019. Now What?" page. 

I am exempt from applying for a visa, do I still need to pay the I-901 Fee?  

Yes, all students (including Canadian and Bermudians) are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee otherwise we will not be able to activate your record once you enter the U.S. Please print and save your receipt for your records.  

Where can I find my SEVIS number? 

Your SEVIS ID number is the 9-digit number beginning with “N,” in the upper right-hand corner of your DS-2019. Use this number to pay your I-901 fee and apply for your visa  

How early can I enter the US after receiving my DS-2019? 

New J-1 students may enter the US up to 30 days before the program start date listed on the DS-2019. Your start date can be found under section 3 on your DS-2019.  

The bottom of my DS-2019 has space for a “Travel Endorsement." What is that, and do I need it to enter the US? 

No, you do not need a travel endorsement (also called a travel signature) on your initial DS-2019. A travel signature is provided by a Responsible Officer (ISSS staff) to indicate that the student has been maintaining J-1 status and is eligible for re-entry to the US. The Travel Endorsement section on the initial DS-2019 is intentionally left blank. However, after entering the US for the first time as an J-1 student, you will need to request a travel signature prior to traveling abroad in order to return to the US as an J-1 student. 

How long does it take to get a visa after receiving my DS-2019? 

Visa processing times vary by Consulate. We encourage you to schedule an appointment as soon as you receive your DS-2019 from Emory because there could be long appointment wait and processing times, depending on the US Consulate. 

A general estimate of appointment and processing times can be found on the US Department of State’s website. 
You may be eligible for an expedited interview appointment based on your DS-2019 start date. The process to request an expedited nonimmigrant visa interview varies by Consulate. Refer to the instructions on the US Embassy/Consulate’s website where you will interview, or on their online appointment scheduling site. For more information, explore our Getting Your Visa webpage. 

How do I update my information if something has changed since I requested my DS-2019, or I believe my DS-2019 contains an error? 

Please email newfjstudent@emory.edu and explain the change or error. If there is a change that requires a SEVIS update, you may be asked to submit additional documentation via ISSS Link. 

If you believe there is an error on the issued DS-2019, ISSS will review it and make changes accordingly. Depending on the nature of the change or error, a new DS-2019 may or may not be needed. If a new DS-2019 is issued, ISSS will share a digital, password protected version with you via email because you will need it to enter the United States.  

My name on my DS-2019 is not correct. What should I do? 

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has a set of standards for all nonimmigrant names entered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Per these standards, when issuing an DS-2019, ISSS enters a student’s name into SEVIS as it appears in the machine-readable zone (MRZ) of the passport. For more information visit the Study in the States Name Standards webpage. 
If your name on your DS-2019 does not match these standards or your name has changed and you have received a new passport, please email newfjstudent@emory.edu. If there is a change that requires a SEVIS update, you may be asked to submit additional documentation via ISSS Link (such as a new passport showing a different name, etc.). If you believe that there is an error on the issued DS-2019, ISSS staff will review it and advise you accordingly. If a new DS-2019 is issued, ISSS will share a digital, password protected version with you via email because you will need it to enter the United States.   

I received my DS-2019, but it has been lost or damaged. How can I get a replacement?  

Please email newfjstudent@emory.edu to inform ISSS that your DS-2019 was lost or damaged.  

Transferring Your SEVIS Record 

I am already in the US on a different institution’s DS-2019 What steps do I need to take and by when? 

If you are currently under another J-1 program sponsor, your program sponsor will need to transfer your SEVIS record to Emory. Read the Transfer Students section on our Getting My I-20/ DS-2019 page to understand the transfer process. 

Emory will only accept SEVIS transfers of records in Active SEVIS status. If you have a non-Active SEVIS record, you must request an Initial DS-2019 from Emory. 

I am a Fulbright student who wants to transfer to Emory sponsorship, who should I contact? 

Since each transfer must be handled on a case-by-case basis, we request that you email newfjstudent@emory.edu to receive the next steps.  

What is Emory's Program Code? 

Emory University Atlanta and Oxford Campus: P-1-00874 

Changing Your Immigration Status to J-1  

I am currently in the US in a different immigration status. What should I do? 

If you're already in the US in an immigration status other than F-1 or J-1, you should change your status. You can either: 

  • Option 1: Travel outside the US, apply for the J-1 visa stamp, and re-enter the US using your new visa. 
  • Option 2: File an application from within the United States to change status if eligible. This usually takes longer. 

Please schedule an appointment with your ISSS advisor before you start the application process. 

DS-2019 for Dependent(s) 

Do my family members need a DS-2019 if they will join me? If so, what should I do? 

You can bring your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 with you to the United States as J-2 dependents. 
If they will arrive with you initially, you should request J-2 DS-2019s for them when completing the DS-2019 Request form in ISSS Link. However, you can also request immigration documents for them at any point during your program if they will not join you from the beginning. 
If you have already been issued an Emory DS-2019, but would like to obtain DS-2019s for your dependent(s), log in to ISSS Link and complete the “Add a Dependent” e-form found under the J-1 Student Services tab. Your family members will need to apply for J-2 dependent visas before they come to the US. They will each need an DS-2019 and a valid visa in their passport in order to enter the country. Please note that citizens of Canada and Bermuda are visa exempt but still need their own J-1 DS-2019. 

Deferring/Cancelling Admission 

What if I have changed my mind about studying at Emory University? 

If you have decided not to attend Emory University, please contact your academic program/school coordinator or program organizer (such as Fulbright). 
If you have already accepted admission and begun/completed the DS-2019 process, please contact your school/academic program as well as ISSS. 
If you have already been issued an Emory DS-2019, ISSS can work with you to cancel your SEVIS record or, if possible, transfer it to another US academic institution. 

What if I need to defer my admission to a future semester? 

If you are a non-degree student, you must get approval from your home institution and host department. 

If you are a degree seeking student, you must request a deferral from the program/school to which you applied. If you have already been issued an Emory DS-2019 and later your admission is deferred, ISSS will update your SEVIS record accordingly and provide you with an updated DS-2019.