10 Easy Steps to Getting Your American J1 Visa Organised

Getting your visa sorted can be a little daunting. So we've taken the steps, broken them down and put them in one place for you. This step-by-step guide starts right at the beginning when you're just about to apply for your visa, all the way through, to when you're at the embassy.

Read carefully, follow the steps and happy visa booking. 


Make sure you have everything in front of you


To do your Visa you’ll need;

  • An American style passport photo. You can use your phone with a white background. The size needs to be 2 x 2 inches
  • You’ll need to know the name of your camp and your camp’s address. You can find this on your camp contract or on their website. (If you don't have a camp yet, don't worry, your profile has an extra set of instructions.)
  • Your parent's information - their birthdates and job titles
  • Your passport information
  • A USB stick
  • Pen and paper
  • The Instructions
  • A cup of tea and a bit of peace and quiet

Create a DS160 application on https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/


Top office tip - don't use safari - we recommend Chrome or Firefox. For some reason the embassy website won’t work on Safari. We’re not sure why either.


Write down your reference number


When you start your application you’ll be given a reference number on the top right of the page. Make sure you write it down or even take a picture, the application tends to time out so you’ll need this number to log back in. The reference number begins with AA00.

If you’re coming back to your application, heads up, the reference number expires after the 30 days. If you need to start again and you have another reference number, that’s A-OK, you can have a different reference number to your appointment - it’s your name and passport number which need to be 100% correct.


Give yourself time to do the application


Set aside some time, remove distractions and go for it.

It’s a lot easier to get through your application in one go rather than doing little bits here and there.

Save each page as you go, and just in case it refreshes, you’ll have your reference number on hand to log straight back in.


Keep referring back to the instructions


We’d recommend opening up the instructions in a separate tab or even printing them out to have in front of you. The most common mistakes on the forms are because people didn’t follow the instructions.

We’ve gone through each question and laid it all out for you so you know exactly what and where to click.

Keep going on your application until the instructions say to stop. You’ll come back to this page later.



Create an account on the embassy booking site 



A second set of instructions, specifically for booking your embassy appointment, can be found here


Use your AA number and select your appointment


The most important thing when filling this form in is that you make sure you tick that you’re being sponsored. That’s what we’re here for. The box will look like this;


You’ll know if you’ve gone wrong at this stage as you’ll be offered a morning appointment. We need you to be there in the afternoon. If this happens please call our office on 0151 708 6868 and we’ll talk through how to change it.


Upload your email confirmation to your Camp Leader’s account

This is to let us know which day you’ll be there.

When you complete your booking, you’ll be sent an email confirmation. Make sure you upload it to your account. Uploads are easy you can do them from your desktop or even on the app!

You can tell which one the email confirmation is by the barcode. It’s the only email with one on.

Top tip - if rebooking - its ok to have a different AA number. Again as long as your name and passport number is correct, there won’t be an issue.


Finish off your DS160 application by entering your SEVIS number


Remember the DS160, the first form you filled in? The long one? You now need to finish this and add your SEVIS.

Your SEVIS number can be found on your Camp Leader's profile. If you don’t have your SEVIS number yet - no problem. Follow the instructions and come back to this later

Top tip - your SEVIS number won’t show until a week before your appointment. No need to stress.


Your appointment at the embassy


Aim to arrive to your appointment 45 minutes before your booked time.

You’ll need to meet us first before you go in as we’ll have your DS2019 to hand to you before you go in. We’ll also be checking your paperwork and double check you’re good to go.


What you need to bring;

  • Passport
  • ‘Appointment Instructions’
  • DS-160 Form
  • Copy of confirmation page
  • SEVIS Receipt (I-901 form)
  • American sized passport photo
  • Evidence of Intent to return to the UK
  • You have read about the Wilberforce Act
  • The embassy checklist


And if attending J Day at US Consulate in Belfast, you’ll also need:

  • DS-2019 Form (- which we’ll send to you in the post)


Top tip - On the day, if you’re running late, please call us on 0151 708 6868 and keep in touch.

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