The DS-2019 form or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a US embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J-1 visa to enter the United States. The DS-2019 form identifies the exchange visitor and their designated sponsor and provides a brief description of the exchange visitor's program, including the start and end date, category of exchange and an estimate of the cost of the exchange program.
Designated sponsors are authorized to issue this form to prospective exchange visitors they have screened and selected for participation in the exchange visitor program. The information in this form is completed by the sponsor prior to being given to the participant, who once given the DS-2019, can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for the J-1 visa. Issuance of the J-1 visa, like all non-immigrant visas, is at the discretion of Consular Officers viewing visa applications at U.S. embassies and consulates. This means that even if you are accepted to an exchange visitor program and have received your DS-2019, the Consular Officers decide if you will or not be granted the J-1 visa.