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DS-2019, SEVIS ID, and the J-1 VISA

How to obtain a J-1 Student Visa for high school exchanges:
The DS-2019 Form

AFICE, the Academic Foundation for International Cultural Exchange, is designated by the United States Department of State as a J-1 Visa sponsor for secondary (high school) students. 

The J-1 Visa program for secondary students works by authorizing a private, non-profit organization (such as AFICE) to issue forms that enable students to obtain a J-1 Visa. This form is the DS-2019 form, and it can only be issued by an authorized program to a bona-fide participant of the program. When the program officials log into SEVIS (the government database used to authorize and track Exchange Visitors in the United States), they enter the name, nationality, and other personal information regarding the students. That information is stored and the student record is given a unique SEVIS ID number. That number is printed on the DS-2019 form when the program official generates the form. Even if the student record is change and the DS-2019 form is updated, the SEVIS ID number remains the same. Each authorized organization is allotted a strictly limited amount of DS-2019 forms to use each year, and when that allotment has been used the organization can accept no more students for the year.

The DS-2019 Form cannot be obtained directly from the U.S. Government. It is only available through programs such as AFICE that are authorized to issue the form to its participants. Therefore, in order to obtain a SEVIS ID number, students must apply through a designated program.

A brief note on nomenclature: The J1 visa is sometimes referred to as the J1 visa, though the dash is actually part of the name. Additionally, people often leave the dash out of the form name and thus we have inquiries about the DS2019 student visa form. The names can sometimes be confusing, but we hope the information provided here will be of assistance to you.

Visa differences and obtaining a DS-2019 Form

More information on the differences between the DS-2019 (DS2019) and the I-20 (I20) forms, and between the J-1 Visa and the F-1 Visa can be found on this page.

If you are interested in obtaining a DS-2019 Form and J-1 visa by becoming an AFICE Student, please use the contact form below to receive information on how to apply. If you are interested in becoming a Host Family, please use the button below to take you to the Hosting Contact Form. We will get back to you right away with application materials and further information.

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For further information on the AFICE Program, please look around our site or use the contact forms on the various pages linked in our menu, above.


For other matters, including new overseas partnerships, office inquiries, and couseling matters, please contact our main office directly via our Contact Page, telephone: (858)455-0302, or fax: (858)455-0335

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