When you get your visa document (I-20, DS-2019, I-797 approval notice) from UT Health Science Center, you need to apply for your visa to enter the U.S. For information on how to apply in your country, the U.S. Department of State has a website with many U.S. embassies/consulates listed. If the consulate in your country is not listed, you should contact the embassy/consulate by phone to ask about the application process.
U.S. immigration law assumes that every visa applicant intends to immigrate to the U.S. Therefore, if you are applying for a non-immigrant visa [student (F), exchange visitor (J), tourist ( B), etc.], you must prove to the consular officer who interviews you that you will return to your country upon completion of your temporary stay in the U.S. Proof of your non-immigrant intent may take various forms. No single document, certificate, or affidavit of support may be considered a guarantee that a visa will be issued. You must prove that you have such strong ties to your home country that you intend to return. Examples of such ties could be ownership of property, family relationships, a job, educational status, grades, long-range plans after graduation, etc. Each applicant's situation is different.
Persons applying for an H (temporary worker) visa do not have to prove non-immigrant intent.
You must be prepared to present your case very concisely and quickly as you will likely only meet with the consular official very briefly.
It is important to remember that any visa document issued to you does not guarantee issuance of a visa by the consulate. Nor does a visa guarantee admission to the U.S.; admission is controlled by the Department of Homeland Security at the port of entry.
Should your visa be denied, the consulate must give you the reason for denial in writing. The most common reason for visa denial is failure to prove non-immigrant intent. Should this happen to you, you may gather new evidence of your non-immigrant intent and return to the consulate to re-apply.
- Pre-arrival Information for research scholars, faculty and staff
- Pre-arrival information for students
- Tips for applying for a visa
- 5 Secrets of Applying for a Student Visa
(from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, but useful for all F-1 applicants)
- UT Health Science Center Student Handbook
Office of International Affairs
Johnson Building, Suite 205K
847 Monroe Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163
Hours of operation:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F