Tennessee attracts a fair number of foreign visitors. Elvis, the international popularity of blues and country music, and the beauty of the eastern mountains bring people to the state from all over the globe.
Foreign travelers will find a warm welcome. Those in the tourist trade are used to dealing with all sorts of people, and will be pleased that you have come from so far away to visit their home. If you are not a native English speaker, it may be difficult to understand the local accent at first. Just smile and ask the person to say it again, a bit slower. Good humor and a positive attitude will help at all times.
Most citizens of a foreign country require a visa to enter the United States. There are many types of visas, issued according to the purpose of your visit. Business and pleasure travelers apply for B-1 and B-2 visas respectively. When you apply for your visa, you will be required to prove that the purpose of you trip is business, pleasure, or for medical treatment; that you plan to remain in the U.S. for a limited period; and that you have a place of residence outside the United States. Apply for your visa at the nearest U.S. embassy. For more information, contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (www.uscis.gov ).
Nationals of 27 countries may be able to use the Visa Waiver Program, operated by Customs and Border Protection. Presently, these 27 countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Take note that in recent years the United States has begun to require visa-waiver participants to have upgraded passports, with digital photographs and machine-readable information. They have also introduced requirements that even visa-waiver citizens register in advance before arriving in the United States. For more information about the Visa Waiver Program, contact the Customs and Border Protection Agency (www.travel.state.gov ).
All foreign travelers are now required to participate in U.S. Visit, a program operated by the Department of Homeland Security. Under the program, your fingerprints and photograph are taken—digitally and without ink—as you are being screened by the immigration officer.
Nashville  and Memphis  are international airports, with daily international flights. At the Nashville International Airport, you can exchange currency at SunTrust Bank near A/B concourse, or at the Business Service Center (Wright Travel, 615/275-2660) near C/D concourse.
The Memphis airport is well equipped for foreign travelers. The lone international airline, Northwest/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, provides interpreters for the Customs Clearance Facility and the boarding areas for international flights. They can accommodate Dutch, German, Arabic, Spanish, and French-speaking passengers.
International travel services are provided at the Business Service Center (Ticket Lobby B, 901/922-8090, Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Sat. 7:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m.). Here you can exchange currency, buy travel insurance, make telephone calls and send faxes, wire money, and buy travelers checks. An additional kiosk is located in Concourse B near the international gates (gate B-36). Here you can buy travel insurance and exchange currency. The hours are daily 4:30–7:30 p.m.
Memphis International Airport is a “Transit Without Visa” port of entry. This means that foreign travelers whose flight will connect through Memphis  on the way to another foreign destination beyond the United States no longer need a U.S. transit visa just to connect.