No./Title: AA112 – FOREIGN NATIONALS POLICY
Resp. Office: ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Approval Body: CASA
Effective Date: 05/01/1988
Last Review: 01/21/2020
Next Review: 01/21/2023
Contact: MaryAnn Clark, Associate Vice Chancellor
This policy is in compliance with U.S. government agency rulings related to foreign nationals at the university. In addition, the Office of International Affairs is duly authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State to issue visa documents and submit petitions on behalf of individuals seeking to participate in programs sponsored by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) encourages intellectual exchange among its faculty, staff, students and foreign scholars. Highly qualified foreign nationals will be considered for admission to degree programs and foreign scholars may be invited to participate in appropriate educational and research programs at UTHSC. All activities addressed in this policy are coordinated by the Director of International Affairs.
OPTIONS FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS
Based upon the authority given to UTHSC the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the issuance of form I-20 (F-1 visa), highly qualified international students may be admitted to degree programs at UTHSC. International students must meet the criteria for admission, must demonstrate competency in English and must not displace equally qualified Tennessee residents (or equally qualified U.S. citizens). International students must demonstrate financial resources (including student stipends or fellowships) adequate to complete their education at UTHSC.
Based upon the authority given to UTHSC by the U.S. Department of State for the issuance of form DS-2019 (J-1 visa), the UTHSC may sponsor visits of foreign scholars for the purposes of observation, consultation, teaching, research or postdoctoral training. Under this program, federal guidelines prohibit the involvement of foreign nationals in direct patient care activities.
In addition to J-1 Exchange Visitors, foreign nationals sponsored for H-1B or other visa statuses as appropriate are coordinated by the Office of International Affairs; all such visits require prior approval of the department chair. UTHSC faculty members contemplating sponsorship of international scholars must first contact the Office of International Affairs. All visa sponsorship petitions must be approved and signed by the Office of International Affairs.
Medical Residents and Fellows and Unregistered Visiting Students
Based upon the sponsorship of Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), foreign physicians may be considered for residencies, clinical fellowships, or other appointments that require patient care activities, provided all university, state, and federal requirements are satisfied. Faculty members contemplating sponsorship of foreign nationals who are expected to engage in patient care activities must first contact the dean of the appropriate college for the required procedures.
On occasion, health professions students from foreign institutions may visit UTHSC for limited-term studies that include patient care activities. These foreign students will not be enrolled in degree programs at UTHSC. Anyone at UTHSC who contemplates sponsorship of foreign visiting students must first contact the dean of the appropriate college for the required procedures and consult the Office of International Affairs for the appropriate visa.
Sponsorship for Permanent Residency
Faculty contemplating the sponsorship of a foreign national to become a permanent resident of the United States must first obtain the approval of the relevant department chair. Such immigrant petitions must be signed by the Office of International Affairs.
The UTHSC assumes no legal responsibility for the issuance or extension of a visa. Nor shall the UTHSC be responsible for rendering legal opinions regarding an individual’s immigration documents, status, or credentials.
International students and scholars are required to obtain hospitalization, accident, medical evacuation and repatriation insurance.
All documents relating to sponsorship or immigration statuses of foreign nationals sponsored by the UTHSC must be approved by the Director of International Affairs.
Federal regulations regarding foreign nationals change frequently; thus individuals seeking information as to steps needed to obtain a visa or to sponsor a foreign national should contact the Office of International Affairs well in advance of the proposed start date for the foreign national.
Effective: May 1, 1988
Revised: August, 1996
Revised: June 19, 2012, Committee on Academic and Student Affairs (CASA)
Revised: February 17, 2017, Committee on Academic and Student Affairs (CASA)
Reviewed: January 21, 2020, CASA