OBTAINING A VISA TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES
Contact the U.S. Consulate nearest to your place of residence; inquire about the need for an appointment or if the consulate uses a mail-in services or travel agent.
Once you have your visa, you may make your travel arrangements. It is wise to wait until you have your visa; in the event there are delays. The University of Texas at Brownsville will not reimburse you for non-refundable tickets that you are unable to use.
Embassies and Consulates
Nonimmigrant Visa Sponsorship
B-1 Elective Students, Observers or Guest Speakers
You will receive a letter from the University of Texas at Brownsville addressed to the US Embassy or Consulate detailing the activities you have been invited to participate in. You must demonstrate that you have:
Sufficient financial support
Strong ties to your home country
Take or mail the letter addressed to the US Embassy, the financial documents, completed Form DS-156 (Application for Nonimmigrant Visa, a sample is included in this booklet) 1 and your passport to the US Consulate. You may be required to pay a fee(s) and provide photos.
You will receive a Form I-20 indicating that you have been admitted into a University of Texas at Brownsville program. The I-20 indicated the duration of your academic program and the amount of College or personal funding you will require for your studies. The US Consulate or Embassy often asks for documents providing that you have personal, family, or government funds. Be prepared to present those documents.
Take or mail the Form I-20, the financial documents, completed Form DS-156 (Application for Nonimmigrant Visa, a sample is included in this booklet) 2 and your passport to the US Consulate. You may be required to pay a fee(s) and provide photos.
1 Form DS-156 is available on the Internet at the US Dept. of State website: www.state.gov
H-1B Temporary Worker
You will receive a Notice of Approval (Form I-797) and a copy of the petition that was filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. You should follow these steps to obtain your H-1B Visa:
Take or mail the Form I-797, the copy of the petition, completed Form DS-156 (Application for Nonimmigrant Visa), a sample is included in this booklet) 3 and your passport to the US Consulate. You may be required to pay a fee(s) and provide photos.
If you have family members traveling with you, submit their passports with an DS-156 requesting an H-4 visa for each of them. Fee may be required.
J-1 Exchange Visitors and Researchers
The University of Texas at Brownsville will send you the Form DS-2019
Bring or mail your DS-2019, your passport, Form DS-156 and any fees to the US Consulate.
If you have dependents traveling with you, you will need to submit their passports, Form DS-156 for each person and any photos, applicable fees with your documents.