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Are your papers in order?

You won’t be able to enter the United States without certain documents. Some of these will come from your CIEE international representative; others, like your passport, are your responsibility.

You’ll need these documents throughout the duration of your program. Please keep them in a secure location. You should also scan or make photocopies of your program documents, and keep copies separate from the originals; in case you lose them, it's also a good idea to leave duplicates with a friend or relative at home.

When you travel, keep your important documents with you. Don’t put them in checked luggage! If you lose any documents, contact CIEE immediately at 1-888-268-6245 for help replacing them.

Documents provided by your CIEE international representative, host organization, or CIEE

DS-2019 Form

This document shows that you are authorized to train in the United States. It indicates that you have the sponsorship and support of CIEE, and it must be taken to the U.S. Embassy in your home country when you apply for your J-1 Visa. The document contains the dates of your internship program, as well as your sponsorship identification number (DS-2019 number). If you intend to travel outside the U.S. during your internship, CIEE will need to fill out the travel validation box on your DS-2019 form and issue you a Letter of Good Standing. Please make sure that you have signed and dated the bottom of your DS-2019 form.

DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan

This is the official summary of your training, and proof that you’ll be engaged in an approved program in the United States. Learn more.

SEVIS receipt

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security keeps track of visitors with a system called SEVIS – the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Once you’ve paid your SEVIS fee to your international representative, you’ll receive a SEVIS receipt that you must take with you when you go to the U.S. Embassy to get your visa.

Confirmation of insurance and insurance identification card

CIEE health insurance covers you for the duration of the program. Make sure you keep your identification card with you at all times; you must present it to your health care provider if you seek medical treatment. If not, you might be charged for services.

CIEE program handbook

This should serve as your primary resource during your program. Please be sure to read the handbook thoroughly, and refer back to it often.

Letter to Social Security officer

This letter explains your J-1 Exchange Visitor status to the Social Security officer who will process your Social Security application.

Documents you need to obtain on your own


Your home country is responsible for issuing your passport. If you already have a passport, you need to make sure that it’s valid for your entire trip, including any time you will be in the U.S. after your program ends. Please note: Before granting your J-1 Visa, some U.S. Embassies require you to hold a passport that expires at least six months after the last day of your program. You can check with the U.S. Embassy in your home country about its specific policy. Once you have your passport, contact the U.S. Embassy again to schedule an interview to apply for your visa.

U.S. J-1 Exchange Visitor visa

Take your DS-2019, SEVIS receipt, and passport with you to the interview at the U.S. embassy. Your CIEE international representative can help guide you through the process and may also help arrange your Embassy interview.

U.S. J-2 visa for dependents

Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are eligible for J-2 visas. To apply, you must submit a CIEE J-2 Dependent Application form. You can submit a Dependent Application either at the same time as you submit your program application, or later during your program.

Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Card

The I-94 number is issued upon entrance to the United States. You may go the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s I-94 website after you have arrived to download and print a copy of your number.

Documents you’ll receive on the airplane

Customs Declaration Form 6059B

Fill this out before you land, and give it to the customs officer. Instructions are printed on the form.

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