Congratulations - you have been admitted to the interACT exchange program at the Carnegie Mellon University! There is a lot to do before your trip can start and we hope the following information and guideline will give you a first overview and a helping hand!
Whenever you have any questions, whenever something is unclear, do not hesitate to contact us (Margit Rödder, phone: +49 721 608 48676)
The J1-Visa (Exchange Visitor)
For your study at CMU Pittsburgh or CMU Silicon Valley you need a so called J1-visa. You should start the application process at least 3 months before your stay at CMU.
At first ist very important for the CMU to know the intended period (from DD/MM/YY to DD/MM/YY) of your stay. You should have an idea of the start date at least (it would be perfect, if you could give us already the exact beginning and end date of your stay). You can enter the US 30 days prior to it, but the start date has to be at least 60 days after CMU receives your information for the DS-2019 application.
The broad purpose of the Exchange Visitor J1 program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Exchange programs exist in a variety of formats and permit visitors to come to this country for a wide range of activities. Carnegie Mellon's Exchange Visitor program provides opportunities for study, research, and teaching. Annually, Carnegie Mellon welcomes about 400 visiting researchers and professors from over 40 departments to the campus community.
1. Make an appointment with Margit Rödder, who will inform you about the first steps. She will bring you in contact with Jae Cho, CMU, who will help you getting the needed documents (DS 2019) from CMU in order to apply for the visa at the consulate.
2. You need to send several documents to Jae (in detail listed under "Form DS-2019"): a copy of your passport, interACT confirmation letter (original by post), a bank statement (orginal by post) and you have to fill in a special form (provided by Jae or Margit). After CMU has received the documents for the visa CMU will send your documents to its Office of International Education (OIE).
3. OIE will prepare the DS-2019 and fedex it to your address.
4. After having received the DS-2019, request an appointment with your local consulate (it sometimes takes 3 weeks to get an appointment).
5. You will have a series of proofs, forms, payments and other documents to prepare for your appointment.
6. SEVIS number
7. Appointment with consulate.
8. Please contact Jae before you will arrive in Pittsburgh and make an appointment with her. Jae is happy to welcome you in person at CMU!!! Furthemore, you have to attend the OIE foreign Scholar education class the first Thursday that you are at Carnegie Mellon University.
To get the J-1 Visa, CMU has to request the form DS-2019 at OIE. You will then receive an invitation letter, the Department request form, and the J-1 Exchange Visitor Data form from CMU, which you have to fill in and to sign.
To request the DS-2019 you need:
- A colour copy of your passport
- The interACT confirmation letter (2 originals, one to be send to CMU and one to take to consulate)
- Bankstatement: 2 originals, one for OIE and one for consulate
OIE needs a letter from the bank stating that you have e.g. USD 1,934 per month for visitors (USD 7736 per 4 months/ USD 11604 per 6 months) available. This letter needs to be in English. Please ask your bank for two originals (one you need to send to CMU in advance and one to take with you to the consulate)
- Examples for bank statement: This is to certify that....(name), resident in (address) is our customer. He is able to provide ...........USD. We hereby confirm that......(name, address), is able to provide the amount of .......$ to support himself for his period of study in the USA.
Please send all the above mentioned documents to CMU via e-mail (as pdf). The originals of the interACT confirmation letter and the bank statement also need to be send by mail in order to apply for the DS-2019!!!
Attending the OIE Orientation Session
The OIE orientation session is manditory for new and returning exchange students!
Please call the Office of International Education (OIE) receptionist at (412) 268-5231 or x85231 (if you are calling from on campus) to arrange to attend the next mini-orientation session for all new scholars.
The orientation sessions are intended to assist visiting scholars in J, H, F-1 Optional Practical Training, and other immigration/visa categories. Be sure to bring your passport, visa, I-94 departure card and DS-2019 form or any other immigration paperwork with you. Spouses are also welcome. Details on the regular time and location follow:
Thursday, 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Warner Hall, 3rd Floor
Office of International Education (OIE)
Carnegie Mellon University
The orientation session will be helpful for new scholars and visitors. In addition to immigration and visa matters, practical matters such as the social security number application, health and health insurance, housing, banking, transportation, etc. will also be discussed.