AUA is not responsible for obtaining visas for students. It is up to all students who require visas to enter the United States for their clinical training to obtain the appropriate visas themselves. That said, the Office of the Registrar, upon request, will provide students with an immigration packet to present to the appropriate consulate at which the student has an appointment. Some students, such as Canadian citizens, are exempt from the visa requirement. However, students of Canadian citizenship must still request an immigration and hospital letter from the Office of the Registrar as proof of documentation. Hospitals require a minimum of 4 weeks to complete and submit their letters to the university, so requests should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar at least 30 days prior to the start of a confirmed clinical clerkship. Late requests may prohibit students from acquiring the documentation they need to enter the United States for clinical clerkships.
We strongly recommend that all students apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate in the country in which they are a citizen. The experience of students who have previously applied for a visa outside their home country is that students have been denied a visa or granted a short-term visa, which will expire long before they complete their clerkship experience. This has proven to be particularly true in cases in which students who are not citizens of Antigua and Barbuda or of another country that is served by the US consul in Barbados apply for their visas to that consul. In these cases, the result is typically an outright denial of the visa. Students should apply early to provide enough time for the consular officer to review the application and complete any special clearances that may be required.
Please keep in mind that immigration regulations are ever changing and can be complex. Although it has been AUA’s experience that those of its students who require a visa and who follow our advice generally are granted their visas, AUA does not guarantee or represent that every student who applies for a visa will be granted one. There have been occasions when even students of AUA who follow our advice and recommendations have been denied visas.