Electronic Transmission of DS-2019s for J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors

June 21, 2023

ISSO will be issuing Form DS-2019 electronically as per recent guidance from the Department of State (DOS)

Previously, hard copies were issued to J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors either by FedEx, U.S. postal service or picked up in-person.

With this new DOS guidance, ISSO advisors can either:

  • print and physically sign paper Forms DS-2019 in black/blue ink, scan and save them as a PDF, and electronically transmit them (e.g., via email), or
  • use digital signature software to sign Forms DS-2019 and then electronically transmit them

ISSO will password protect Forms DS-2019 for J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors 

  • ISSO will send instructions on how to access and print the DS-2019(s) in the accompanying email

J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors will still need to physically print and hand-sign their own Form DS-2019 prior to visa interviews or travel to the United States.

  • a print-out of the DS-2019(s) are still required for the visa interview, port-of-entry and for Social Security Number applications
  • the change is only in the electronic transmission -- printing is still required by the J-1/J-2 upon receipt 
  • J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors must physically (not electronically) sign a printout of their Form DS-2019 upon receipt

ISSO will also issue password-protected Form DS-2019 electronically during the J-1/J-2 program, for example in cases of:

  • changes in end date (extensions or shortening of program)
  • travel validation signatures
  • reissuance of a lost Form-DS-2019

This new regulation will phase out shipment costs of DS-2019s and improve efficiencies.