Cultural Vistas is committed to providing a streamlined visa application process for all its clients.
The standard processing time for J-1 sponsorship evaluation and DS-2019 issuance is approximately 20 business days from the date a completed application is submitted*. Applicants who require a sponsorship decision in a shorter timeframe are encouraged to review our expedited services, which guarantee that your application is evaluated within five business days, for an additional fee.
The DS-2019 is the official document confirming J-1 Visa eligibility under Cultural Vistas’ sponsorship. It is not a visa. Once an applicant’s program is approved and their DS-2019 is issued, they must then schedule and attend an appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for their U.S. visa**. It is important to consider embassy wait times and the time needed to travel to the United States as you plan your application timeframe and arrival date. In light of this multi-step process, we generally advise beginning the application process at least 2-3 months in advance of the training start date.
Please find your city’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the visa appointment and processing wait times.
* An application is considered complete once both the individual and host applications are received along with their required supporting documents. Please note that this process may take longer if we have not previously work with the host company due to the on-boarding process for new hosts.
** This does not apply to Canadian citizens. Canadian citizens may use the DS-2019 for travel across the U.S. border.
Detailed Application Process
Step 1: REQUEST + SUBMIT APPLICATION
For internship and training programs in the United States, individual applicants and host companies + organizations must each complete applications online. Evaluation of the completed application will take place once both components are submitted to Cultural Vistas.
Please submit an online individual application request
. A Cultural Vistas staff member will review your request and send you instructions on how to complete your application online within 2 business days. Be prepared to submit official documentation which substantiates your education and employment qualifications.
Host Companies + Organizations
Please submit your Host Company application online
with your personal login information. If you do not yet have a login, your Cultural Vistas contact can provide one for you or we will provide you with access upon receipt of your participant application request. New host companies + organizations may submit an application request here
. A Cultural Vistas staff member will review your request and send you instructions on how to complete your application online within 2 business days.
Step 2: APPLICATION EVALUATION
Cultural Vistas evaluates your complete application and issues a sponsorship decision within approximately 4 weeks. During this step, a Cultural Vistas staff member may reach out with additional questions, to schedule a phone interview, and/or schedule a host company/organization site visit as necessary.
Step 3: APPROVAL + DS-7002
If we are able to approve the application, we will send the applicant and the supervisor an official training plan (DS-7002) for review and signing.
Step 4: SUBMIT DS-7002
Applicant and the supervisor sign and submit the DS-7002 Training Plan.
Step 5: DS-2019 ISSUED
Cultural Vistas issues the DS-2019 within approximately two business days of receiving the signed training plan. It is then mailed to the participant along with other important arrival documents. At this time, applicants are also e-mailed instructions on how to apply for the J-1 Visa in their home country.
Step 6: U.S. CONSULATE/EMBASSY APPOINTMENT
After making an appointment online, applicants attend an appointment at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy with the original DS-2019. Visa approval and issuance is at the discretion of the consular official. Visa appointment and processing wait times vary by city and time of year. On average, this process takes 2-4 weeks. Up-to-date information can be found on the U.S. Department of State website