The University of Texas at San Antonio and International Scholar Services have an obligation to comply with the regulations of the U.S. State Department, which controls visa issuance overseas, and the Department of Homeland Security, which regulates non-immigrants after their arrival.
These matters can be addressed only if we have a coherent, campus-wide administrative approach.
We receive inquiries from interested international parties who would like to participate in academia and research at UTSA -- including admission to degree programs, postdoctoral scholar status, visiting scholar status, student exchange, and independent study or research.
We are a UTSA resource for
- The interpretation of immigration regulations.
- Understanding employment options.
- Providing visa services to the campus.
It is essential that faculty and department staff members understand that requests for visa services for visiting scholars, post-docs, researchers, and non-degree students must first be vetted by the staff of International Scholar Services within the Office of International Programs.
There are many issues that must be addressed, including:
- The risks and liabilities associated while on campus.
- Their access to campus services.
- Documentation of the coursework and research activity.
- Determination of the appropriate visa status.
We must communicate that non-degree students and researchers cannot and should not utilize tourist visas for their stay. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that these students, faculty and staff are properly identified and tracked through the SEVIS database. UTSA is the sponsoring agency; we must keep track of our sponsored-visa holders by law.