International Services

International Services Office

Meharry Medical College’s International Services supports, and enhances the international students’, scholars,’ and families’ academic, cultural, and social integration at Meharry Medical College. Our office advises on and facilitates compliance with United States immigration regulations. We conduct orientation meetings & seminars along with other special programming that assists international students, researchers, and employees to integrate into and adjust to the academic, cultural, and professional life of Meharry, and the United States.

 

Serving as a liaison with United States government agencies, foreign embassies, sponsors, and educational foundations that support international students, researchers, and employees, our services contribute to the internationalization of Meharry by providing opportunities for growth through cross-cultural interactions.

 

Our office works with our international community to make their stay at Meharry, and in the United States a positive, enriching and fulfilling experience through essential information, cross-cultural academics and co-curricular programs and quality service.

International Vision

At Meharry, we are strongly committed to international education & programs as we have created robust international programs. International exchanges and participation have become an important priority for Meharry. Our office has increased visibility of Meharry’s international identity and engagement, making Meharry into an international resource for the larger community through our extensive knowledge and experience. We are also committed to integrating the internationalization agenda with administrative structures college-wide, pursuing international partnerships, enhancing engagement with international education partners.

Summary of Services

As a branch of General Counsel, the International Services Office serves our Meharry community in the following ways:

  • Providing information about and assistance with obtaining and maintaining legal status in the U.S. to international students, researchers, employees, and all departments & colleges of Meharry.

  • We assist the campus community with the retention of J, H-1B, TN, and Permanent Resident faculty and staff.

  • We serve as compliance liaisons between the campus community and the J-1 Research Scholar Exchange Visitor Program, provide training and advisement to campus stakeholders, and advocate for internationalization best practices.

  • Provide international graduate students the opportunity to participate in international and multi-cultural organizations and events that support an environment conducive to intercultural learning and exchange.

  • Assisting F, J and H nonimmigrant holders with numerous services, including travel signatures, new I-20s, international student orientation, letters to social security, visa extensions, and many other immigration matters.

Outline of Process for Onboarding F-1 Student Optional Practical Training (OPT):

Roles of Department, Human Resources, & Meharry International Services Office

1. Job Description

Department:

  • Determine if participating in pre-completion OPT or post-completion OPT and/or if qualified for a STEM OPT Extension;

  • Review funding, grant information, contract, etc. and determine the necessary task responsibilities;

  • Determine all specific duties for job/research;

  • Coordinate with HR to determine if there are any previous job position/description that satisfies the job/position requirements determined in the above step;

  • Once all of the task responsibilities are agreed upon within the department, send an email to HR and International Services describing the job/position requirements.

 

HR:

  • Compare the job/position requirements provided by the Department with any current or previous positions/description;

    • If there is not a job position/description that fits the job/position requirements provided by the department, then work with the Department create one.

  • Perform the standard initial screening.

 

International Services:

  • Will review the job/position description and necessary tasks as per the communications with Department and HR;

  • Will have final say on official job/position description in accordance with fulfilling the legal requirements of the application;

  • Will work with the Department to submit a recommendation to participate in OPT and/or for the OPT recommendation;

2. Funding

Department:

  • Determine the funding for the position;

  • Communicate said funding requirements with HR and International Services;

 

HR:

  • Gather documentation of employment;

  • Complete I-9.

 

International Services:

  • Will verify that any and all funding requirements are met with HR & Department.

3. Preparation of Application Packet

International Services:

  • Will file for Employment Authorization Document (EAD)—if necessary;

  • Will prepare application and/or the pertinent documents for the packet based upon the information and documents gathered above (regarding the job description and funding)—if necessary.

Outline of Process for Onboarding H-1B Non-Immigrant Specialty Worker

Roles of Department, Human Resources, & Meharry International Services Office

1. Job Description

Department:

  • Review funding, grant information, contract, etc. and determine the necessary task responsibilities to take on;

  • Determine all specific duties for the job/research;

  • Coordinate with HR to determine if there are any previous job position/description that satisfies the job/position requirements determined in the above step;

  • Due to the requirement of an H-1B as a specialty worker, job descriptions must meet requirements of USCIS;

  • Once all of the task responsibilities are agreed upon within the department, send an email to HR and International Services describing the job/position requirements.

 

HR:

  • Compare the job/position requirements provided by the Department with any current or previous positions/description;

    • If there is not a job position/description that fits the job/position requirements provided by the department, then create one.

  • Perform the standard initial screening;

 

NOTE: When creating the above-mentioned job description, refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

International Services:

  • Will review the job/position description and necessary tasks as per the communications with Department and HR;

  • Will have final determination on official job/position description in accordance with fulfilling the legal requirements of the application.

2. Funding

Department:

  • Determine the funding for the position;

  • Communicate funding requirements with HR and International Services;

  • Comply with DOL Labor Condition Application (LCA) regulations;

  • All H-1B Filing Fees are paid by the Department.

 

HR:

  • Gather documentation of employment offer;

  • Create a benefits package;

  • Complete I-9.

 

International Services:

  • Coordinate with the Department in order to ensure that funding requirements are met as per the H-1B Petition Requirements.

3. Preparation of Petition Packet

International Services:

  • Will prepare petition packet based upon the information and documents gathered above (regarding the job description and funding).

  • Will ensure completion of all immigration-based policies and requirements have been satisfied.

Outline of Process for Onboarding J-1 Researcher:

Roles of Department, Human Resources, & Meharry International Services Office

1. Job Description

Department:

  • Review funding, grant information, contract, etc. and determine the necessary task responsibilities;

  • Determine all specific duties for job/research;

  • Once all of the task responsibilities are agreed upon within the department, send an email to HR and International Services describing the job/position requirements.

HR:

  • Compare the job/position requirements provided by the Department with any current or previous positions/description;

    • If there is not a job position/description that fits the job/position requirements provided by the department, then create one.

  • Perform the standard initial screening;

  • Ensure all of the Department of State’s regulations are met.

 

NOTE: When creating the above-mentioned job description, refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

International Services:

  • Will review the job/position description and necessary tasks as per the communications with Department and HR;

  • Will have final review on official job/position description in accordance with fulfilling the legal requirements of the application.

2. Funding

Department:

  • Determine the funding for the position;

  • Communicate said funding requirements with HR and International Services;

 

HR:

  • Complete I-9;

    • Check with International Services regarding FICA on I-9 Processing.

 

International Services:

  • Coordinate with the Department in order to ensure that funding requirements are met as per the J-1 Application Requirements.

3. DS-2019 Production

International Services:

  • Will provide DS-2019 Application Checklist;

  • Will assist with completing and filing the DS-2019 Application.

4. DS-160 Production

International Services:

  • The J-1 candidate will receive “J-1 Process Outline and Instructions” and “Notice of Requirements for J-1 Research Scholars.”

5. As per the checklists

provided in the above-mentioned documents, International Services will aid with the candidate’s application and interview process at the Consulate/Embassy.

6. Packet sent to J-1 & Subsequent Meeting with J-1 After U.S. Arrival

Department:

  • Coordinate with HR to obtain a Social Security Number;

  • Either obtain a driver’s license or organize method(s) of transportation for duration of program;

  • Coordinate arrangements to pick up from airport upon arrival;

  • Arrange housing for the duration of the program.

 

HR:

  • Coordinate with Department to obtain a Social Security Number;

  • Complete I-9;

    • NOTE: This process will not be able to proceed without SS#.

 

International Services:

  • Will ensure completion of all immigration-based policies and requirements have been satisfied.

International Impact & Partnerships

International Week

As hosted by Nashville’s HBCUs including Meharry, Fisk University, and Tennessee State University, each university has created events and activities to represent each institutions’ international cultures and communities.

Asian Cultural Organization

This organization was established in 2021 to provide cultural understanding and awareness of Asian American and Pacific Islanders through engaging activities and speakers. Events hosted included movie nights, international events, and karaoke nights for all students to enjoy.

International Day Nashville

Tennessee Bar Association’s International Law Section “Meet & Greet”

Caribbean and African Dental Students Association

Launched in 2022, this dental student association has brought cultural understanding and awareness of Caribbean and African students. This association hosts movie nights such as bringing students to see to promote understanding and inclusivity.

Consortium Meeting for Study Tennessee

Meharry has participated in the Study of Tennessee Consortium meetings to enhance student/exchange visitor learning. These meetings allowed insight and assistance into creating solutions for educational challenges and how to enhance diversity amongst colleges and universities in Tennessee.

Kaohsiung Medical University of Taiwan Partnership

Meharry Medical College has a Memorandum of Understanding with Kaohsiung Medical University establishing an exchange of students and research for the School of Medicine for teaching cooperation, research exchanges, and talent cultivation.

Contact General Counsel

Office of General Counsel
Hulda Lyttle Hall, 3rd Floor, Suite 314
1005 Dr. D. B. Todd, Jr., Blvd.
Nashville, Tennessee 37208
Telephone: 615.327.6102