Canadian citizens do NOT have to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. They do, however, have to present the proper visa document from UTHSC at the port of entry to the U.S. to ensure the correct visa status is assigned on the I-94 card to allow payment and/or reimbursement of expenses by UTHSC.
Visa vs. Status
Many individuals have difficulty understanding the difference between the validity of a visa and permission to remain in the United States.
A visa, which is a sticker placed in a national passport, is granted by the Department of State at one of the U.S. consulates or embassies outside the U.S.
A visa is used solely to make application to the Immigration Service to enter or re-enter the U.S. after being abroad. That is, a visa is used only to cross borders and has nothing to do with the length of your stay in the U.S.
Permission to enter and/or remain in the United States and extensions of stay in this country are granted by the Immigration Service.
Upon your entry into the United States, the Immigration Officer at the port of entry places in your passport a small white card, Form I-94, your Arrival/Departure Record. On this card, the Immigration officer writes your visa status and either a date or "D/S" (duration of status).
The date on the Form I-94 is controlling. That means, if it says "Duration of Status" you may remain in the U.S. as long as you maintain legal immigration status (for example by having a valid I-20 or DS-2019). If you have an actual date written on your Form I-94, you should leave the U.S. before or on that date or apply for your extension of stay with Immigration prior to the expiration of your status.
Applying For a Visa
If you apply for a visa, you may be subject to a lengthy security check. For this reason, we discourage you from applying for a visa in Canada or Mexico. If you have to undergo a security check, you will not be allowed to return to the U.S. until the check has been completed. It is best to apply for a visa in your home country.
For information on applying for a visa at a U.S. border post in Canada or Mexico, see the State Department website .
If you will be applying for a visa in your own country, you should check the latest information on application procedures for your particular country from the State Department's list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide.
The U.S. charges a visa application fee in addition to a visa issuance fee according to a reciprocity schedule. The fee is equivalent to that which U.S. citizens are charged for a similar visa in the particular country.
WB & WT Status
If your country is one of the Visa Waiver Program countries, you may travel to the U.S. on business or as a tourist without first obtaining an actual visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate. If you should choose to participate in this Visa Waiver Program, your immigration status will be similar to that of a B-1/B-2 visitor to the U.S. WB equals B-1 status, and WT equals B-2 status.
People who enter on the Visa Waiver will be issued a green I-94 card which will have WB or WT written on it (depending on the purpose of your visit) and an actual expiration date 3 months from your arrival date.
The expiration date CANNOT be extended and you CANNOT change to another immigration status without first leaving the U.S. and applying at a U.S. embassy or consulate for your new visa.
Compliance with ESTA is also required.
If you are scheduled to come to UT Health Science Center as a Research Associate, Postdoctoral Research Trainee, invited lecturer or any other position for which we have mailed you immigration documents, such as a DS-2019 for J-1 status, do not arrive in WB, WT, B-1 or B-2 status.
Doing so will result in your not being able to be paid by UTHSC.
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