Digitally Signed DS-2019 and DS-7002 Form Guidance

The U.S. Department of State now permits designated sponsors for the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) to digitally sign and electronically transmit the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-Nonimmigrant) (DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms). Once issued, the prospective exchange visitor and their spouse or children can apply for a J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.   

The Office of International Education (OIE) has discontinued the issuance of paper DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms to J-1 visa holders and instead issues digitally signed electronic DS-2019/DS-7002 forms. This includes J-1 exchange visitors in the category of Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Professors, and Student Interns.  

Student Interns are issued both the DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms. All other categories listed will only have the DS-2019 form. 

OIE advisors digitally sign the electronic DS-2019/DS-7002 forms and provide the PDF file directly to exchange visitors in a protected sharing format. 

Please note that the digitally signed forms are not a copy of your paper DS-2019/ DS-7002 form. Digitally signed DS-2019/DS-7002 forms are considered your original and most up-to-date forms.

Here are a few reasons to be excited about this change: 

  1. Digitally signed D2-2019 and DS-7002 forms are friendlier to our global environment. By moving to digitally signed forms, we are reducing the carbon footprint of international and domestic shipping. 

  1. Exchange Visitors can immediately access their digitally signed forms shared in a secure format. This means no more walking across campus to pick up documents or waiting on international or domestic shipping. 

  1. All U.S. government agencies accept the digitally signed DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms for all purposes. 

How to Use Your Digitally Signed DS-2019 and DS-7002 Forms 

After receiving your digitally signed form, you will need to do the following: 

  1. Print a hard copy of the digitally signed DS-2019 and DS-7002 (if applicable) form on standard 8.5 inches X 11 inches white paper. 

  1. Sign with your signature at the bottom of the 1st page of the digitally signed DS-2019  

  1. Student Interns, sign with your signature at the bottom of the 1st pages of the digitally signed DS-2019 and DS-7002. 

  1. Travel with the hard-copy printed version of the digitally signed DS-2019/DS-7002 in hand when you enter the U.S. or attend your visa interview.  

  1. Bookmark the Department of State guidance on digitally-signed DS-2019 forms here to reference, if needed.  

The Department of State has coordinated with other agencies to ensure it will be accepted at the point of visa interview as well as entry into the U.S. Please note that you will be required to print and have a hard copy of the digitally signed DS-2019 forms with you at the time of your visa interview and when attempting to enter the U.S.  You cannot enter the U.S. presenting your DS-2019 forms on your phone, tablet, or other electronic devices. Presenting your digitally signed DS-2019/DS-7002 form on your phone, tablet, or laptop will not be acceptable for any official government purposes.  

For your reference, more information on the Department of State guidance on digitally-signed DS-2019 forms can be found here.  

We hope that one day the U.S. government will no longer require a paper document, but until that day, remember to print and follow the steps above.