Visa Options for Clinical Observers

International clinical observers are usually individuals who have earned the U.S. equivalent of an M.D. degree and wish to visit UT Southwestern to observe medical procedures at the invitation of a UT Southwestern clinical faculty member for the purpose of advancing their knowledge in the field of medicine.

All international clinical observers must have an appropriate U.S. visa classification to engage in observation at U.S. hospitals and academic health science centers. The most common visa options for clinical observers in UTSW hospitals, and relevant visa and clearance procedures are outlined below.

B-1 “Visitor for Business” (or WB “Waiver for Business”) Visas:

  • To request authorization to observe under a B-1 or WB (or other
    non-J-1 category) visa:
    • Email Bradley Marple, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, at gme@utsouthwestern.edu, with an electronic copy to Melissa Perry and relevant International Affairs liaison including:
      • Name of observer
      • Name of responsible UTSW faculty mentor
      • Dates of proposed visit
      • Area(s) in which observation will take place
      • Specific procedure(s) to be observed
      • Attach copy of visitor’s C.V.
    • The Graduate Medical Education office will forward official authorization to visit under a B-1/WB visa to the requester and International Affairs.
  • Upon receipt of GME approval to visit under the B-1/WB visa, email Kathryn Kocurek in Medical Credentialing at kathryn.kocurek@utsouthwestern.edu to request instructions for clearance of the visitor to engage in observation.
    • When all clearance requirements have been met, Ms. Kocurek will send a confirmation email to:
      • Requester
      • Office of International Affairs
  • When the arrival date of the visitor is known, submit a PeopleSoft HCM “Add a New Person (Not Recruited)" form indicating a “Relationship” of “Observer” and “Job Code” of “OBS.”
  • When the form is fully approved and the visitor has arrived, access the Employee ID number in PeopleSoft HCM and coordinate with Human Resources to have a UTSW badge issued for the visitor.

J-1 “Short Term Scholar” Visa:

In rare instances, the prospective visitor will need to be issued a J-1 exchange visitor document. It may be that the organization funding the visit requires the J-1 visa, that the visitor is not able to obtain a B-1/WB visa, or for other reasons. 

When this is the case, follow these instructions:

  • Access the “J-1 Clinical Observer” checklist.
  • Forward the checklist to the prospective visitor and ask her to provide the “Items Needed from Visitor.”
  • Prepare the “Items Needed from Department.”
  • Forward scanned copies of all documents to the appropriate International Affairs liaison.
  • International Affairs will review the application for completeness, issue Form DS-2019, and send it via Federal Express to the visitor.
  • J-1 visa requests should be initiated a minimum of 2-3 months prior to the desired start date of the clinical observation.
  • After confirming that the visitor has received the DS-2019 form, been issued the J-1 visa stamp from the nearest U.S. consular post, and knows her date of arrival in Dallas:
    • Submit a PeopleSoft HCM “Add a New Person (Not Recruited)" form indicating a “Relationship” of “Observer” and “Job Code” of “OBS.”
    • When the form is fully approved and the visitor has arrived, access the Employee ID number in PeopleSoft HCM and coordinate with Human Resources to have a UTSW badge issued for the visitor.