Common Questions for Program Sponsors

Common Dilemmas

What are program sponsors’ responsibilities toward exchange visitor participants in the event of a national emergency or natural disaster in the United States?

Though not a regulatory requirement, sponsors should have a plan in place in the event of a natural disaster or national emergency for contacting and providing information, assistance and instructions to exchange visitor participants and their accompanying spouse and dependents.

What do I do if one of my exchange visitors loses his/her passport?

A foreign visitor in the United State who loses their passport must immediately contact their home country’s embassy or consulate to report the loss and find out how to replace it. provides information on each of the embassies located in Washington, D.C.  The participant should also contact their Sponsor to obtain a new copy of their Form DS-2019 to present to their Home country’s embassy or consulate to get the new passport.

What do I do if one of my exchange visitor’s Form DS-2019 is lost or stolen?

Forms DS-2019 can be reprinted in SEVIS when necessary, with an appropriate explanation entered in the exchange visitor’s record.

What do I do when a dependent turns 21?

An accompanying family member who turns 21 years of age is no longer eligible to be in the United States as a dependent in J-2 status, and must depart the country or apply for a change to another type of non-immigrant status.

Designation & Requirements

Does the State Department recommend any of its Exchange Visitor Program designated sponsors?

The State Department does not recommend or “rate” any of the designated sponsors. Designation by the State Department indicates sponsors have complied with all applicable regulations for obtaining designation and are in good standing.

How can my organization apply for designation as an Exchange Visitor Program sponsor?

The application requirements and procedures for designation as an Exchange Visitor Program sponsor are contained on our website. Please note that program sponsors, with exception of Federal Agencies, must have a minimum of five exchange visitor participants on an annual basis in order to remain eligible for designation.

What are some of the responsibilities and obligations of the State Department-designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsors?

The State Department-designated sponsors are responsible for all aspects of the exchange program, including screening and selecting of foreign national participants and monitoring the participants throughout their exchange visitor program in the United States.  These sponsors can explain their program requirements and how their program works.  For more information on sponsors’ responsibilities and obligations, please visit the Sponsors main page.

Who are the State Department-designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsors?

Exchange Visitor Program sponsors are comprised of U.S. government, academic, research, and private sector organizations designated as Exchange Visitor Program sponsors by the State Department’s Office of Private Sector Exchange in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Important Documents

How does my organization update information about our State Department-designated exchange visitor program and organization?

See the question, “What is the Form DS-3037.”

What is the Form DS-3036, Exchange Visitor Program Application?

Exchange visitor program sponsors use Form DS-3036, “Exchange Visitor Program Application” to apply to the Department of State for re-designation of their current exchange visitor program sponsor status, or apply for an amendment of their current exchange visitor program designation authorization.

What is the Form DS-3037, Update of Information on Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor?

Program sponsors use Form DS-3037, “Update of Information on Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor,” to provide the Department of State with updated sponsor information.


Are there SEVIS User Manuals?

Yes. There is a User Manual available to help Responsible Officers (ROs) and Alternate Responsible Officers (AROs) navigate SEVIS. The manual explains in step-by-step detail how to perform procedures in SEVIS.

Is there a SEVIS Help Desk?

Yes. To obtain help with SEVIS technical issues only (e.g., batch processing, password resets, system operation), contact the SEVIS Help Desk at 800 892 4829 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.  For more information, visit the SEVIS website.

Is there online help with SEVIS questions?

Yes. Once SEVIS is accessed each page contains a help icon.  The online help feature contains the same information available in the User Manual.

What is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)?

SEVIS is the electronic database developed to collect information on foreign nationals and their accompanying spouse and dependents that enter the United States on the F, M or J visa.