Front Office at OIAS

Frequently Asked Questions

I forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the country, what do I do?
When you leave the country, turning in your I-94 is your way of notifying the United States that you are returning to your home country and have no plans of staying in the United States past the allotted time. If you forgot to turn in your I-94 at the time of your departure, it is possible that your departure was not recorded properly and thus needs to be corrected. For more information on how to do so, visit the following link: I forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the country, what do i do?


How can I get a job?
If you are under an F-1 visa, you are permitted to work on campus for 19 hours each week. In order to find a job, you will first need to contact UTPA's Career Services. They will help you build your resume and help you create an online profile that potential employers can review when you've applied for a position within the University. For more information about Career Services, visit the following link: Career Services

How can I get a Social Security Number?
Once you have received a job offer, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. In order to dso, you must come to the office and request a form that your department will follow in order to start the process of attaining an SSN. Please keep in mind that you are not eligible for a Social Security Number unless you have a job offer and you have been present in the United States for 10 days.

How can I get a Driver's License?
There are several items you need in order attain a Driver's License. To get a list of what you need as well as directions, please visit our office for one of our forms. There you will find detailed instructions that will help you obtain your Driver's License.   You may also contact the department of public safety at

What is the PASE Re-certification and when is it due?
In order to maintain your PASE, you must file a Re-certification every year due on April 15 of each year. This Re-certification allows the office to keep track of each student on the PASE and make sure that each student maintains their GPA level as well. To pick up a PASE Re-certification form, please visit our office or visit our webpage at the Forms page of the OIAS website And download a form.

I just changed my address. Now what?
SEVIS requires that all non U.S. Citizens report a change of address within 10 days of moving. F-1 and J-1 students are required to complete this requirement by reporting your change of address to the OIAS. To pick up the form, please visit our office or simply visit our website at the Forms page of the OIAS website and download a form.

I want to change my major. What should I do?
If you change your major, you will need to update the change at the Registrar's. After you update the Registrar's Office, you will need to come to the Office of International Admissions and Services to fill out a "Request new SEVIS I-20 for F-1 student" so that we may update your major on your I-20. For more information, please contact our office or download the form at the Forms page of the OIAS website.

I've lost my immigration documents. What now?
If your immigration documents have been lost or stolen, there are several steps you need to follow in order to be eligible to apply for new documents. Please contact the OIAS as soon as it happens, and file a police report with the corresponding police department.   Once the police report is ready, please bring the police report to the OIAS for further instructions.  Make sure you do not travel outside of the country.

Am I required to purchase the insurance provided by the school?
UT Board of Regents requires all visa holders to obtain medical insurance, excluding Mexican nationals.. Due to this policy UTPA automatically charges you for medical insurance per semester.  If you are covered by a family member's medical insurance or would like to purchase your own separate medical insurance, you can stop by the office and fill out a medical insurance waiver.  If your medical insurance meets the minimum medical insurance requirements, the school will waive the medical insurance charge.   Please check with OIAS for waiver submission deadlines.  You may obtain your medical insurance waiver at the Forms page of the OIAS website.

As an F-1 student, can I study part time?
U.S. immigration law requires that all international students on F1 student visas maintain full-time enrollment. To be considered full time, undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours. Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours to be considered full time.

As an F-3 student, can I study full time?
F-3 students are eligible for full time and part time study. 

What is an F-3 student?
F-3 students are Canadian and Mexican citizens who study part time or full time in the United States but who live in their home country and commute to classes in the U.S. To be qualified as a part-time or full time border commuter student, a student must:
• Be a Canadian or Mexican Citizen
• Be registered as a border commuter student
• Attend a U.S. college or university located within 75 miles of the border
• Pursue a "full course of study" (i.e. be pursuing an academic goal) but be pursuing it part time or full time
• Maintain actual residence and place of abode in the country of citizenship and commute through a land border port-of-entry to the U.S. for study.

Can International students apply for Financial Aid? 
International students are not eligible for Financial Aid. They can, however, apply for scholarships! To learn more about what scholarships are available through the University of Texas Pan-American, visit Mexican nationals are encouraged to apply for the PASE (Programa de Asistencia Estudiantil). The PASE program allows you to pay the tuition corresponding to a Texas resident. For more information, please visit our office to pick up an application.

How long does it take to receive my I-20 once my application is complete?
Once all your documents have been received and you have been accepted, your case is placed on a queue within our office and the length of time that passes depends on the amount of international students that are in front of you on the queue. If getting your VISA will be time consuming or you feel that you will need more time, please consider applying EARLY to ensure you have enough time to receive your I-20.