A DS-2019 is not a J-1 visa, but you need one to get a J-1 visa. A DS-2019 is a document that shows that you are being officially sponsored by an organization, in this case UC Davis. Click here for more general information on the DS-2019 from the US State Department. A DS-2019 is not necessarily needed for other kinds of visas. Click here for information on other kinds of visas.
This is the process of obtaining a DS-2019 from UC Davis:
- Email me, at firstname.lastname@example.org, the following: (1) your name; (2) your date of birth; (3) your email address; and (4) the beginning and end dates of your visit.
- IMPORTANT: WE REQUIRE THAT THE BEGINNING DATE OF YOUR VISIT ON YOUR DS-2019 BE AT LEAST 10 WEEKS FROM THE TIME WE ARE FIRST NOTIFIED BY YOUR PI THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME TO UC DAVIS. For example: if you want your begin date to be September 1, 2017, then we need to begin processing your DS-2019 no later than June 23rd, 2017. The 10 weeks of lead time is primarily for your benefit–you must have enough time in your home country to get your visa. (Sometimes it might take a long time–processing times vary from country to country. Click here to find visa processing times in your home country.)
- Watch your email for a message from me requesting information from you.
- Watch your email for a message from SISSscholar@ucdavis.edu. This email will give you instructions on how to access iGlobal, our new visa processing program. You will be asked to supply information and upload documents.
- Watch your email for possible messages from me if I need more documents from you or if I have an update for you on the progress of your DS-2019.
- Watch your email for your DS-2019! This seems like a lot of watching your email, but you are probably already doing that anyway (right?). When you receive your DS-2019 from me via email, you may use it to make your visa appointment at the embassy (using the SEVIS # at the top right of your DS-2019). I will fed-x the original signed DS-2019 to you immediately; you must take the original with you to the interview (along with other documents; click here to see a list of these).
A note on timing: it generally takes 1 – 2 weeks for me to prepare your DS-2019 request to send to SISS for finalization; it then can take up to 3 weeks for SISS to finalize it and send it to me (total 5 weeks UC Davis processing time). Given a total 10-week lead time, that leaves you, the scholar, 5 weeks to obtain your visa.