Office aides give student information


The OIAS seeks to address the needs and issues of international students from their very first contact with the university as a prospective student to as long as they have a student relationship with the university. Such needs includes information and help in regard to admission processes, immigration processes, federal regulations, customs/culture, social needs, housing, medical care, and other needs that help them to make a successful adjustment to the life as a student in the U.S.

The OIAS seeks to provide a social support system and leadership opportunities through the co-ordination of the International Student Association. Activities such as camping, culture nights, volleyball, fund raisers, and travel all give the international student the opportunity to grow, adapt, and become comfortable in his/her new environment. This association also serves as the voice of the UTPA international community to the university and also to the local area

Community volunteer groups work through the OIAS to also service the needs of the international students.

The OIAS also serves to keep both the university and the international student in compliance with federal regulations. It serves as the liaison for both the university and the student with all federal agencies. The OIAS conducts orientations, immigration workshops, and provides other education services to both the university and the student. The OIAS advises on all immigration matters that relates to both the university and the student.

Services Provided

  1. Admission Services to all students who are not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
    1. Initial contact
    2. E-mail
    3. Information
    4. Processing of applications
    5. Correspondence
  2. Immigration Services
    1. Issuing immigration documents
    2. SEVIS Reporting
    3. Filing of Immigration applications and advising in procedures for:
      1. Change of Status
      2. Optional Practical Training
      3. Reinstatement
      4. Work authorizations
      5. Extensions of Stay
      6. Changes of degree level
      7. Concurrent enrollment
      8. Etc.
    4. Evaluation of financial sources
    5. Serve as a resource about federal regulations and practices
    6. Authorization of employment
    7. Files and maintains current certification applications for the university with the Department of State and with the Department of Homeland Security
    8. File annual Exchange Visitor Report
  3. Advisement Services
    1. Immigration
    2. University policies
    3. Medical insurance
    4. Cultural adjustment
    5. Travel
    6. Employment issues
    7. Social Security
    8. Driver’s license
    9. Automobile Insurance
  4. Educational Services
    1. Produces monthly immigration newsletter
    2. Orientations
    3. Immigration workshops for both faculty and students
    4. Immigration seminars
    5. Immigration handouts
  5. Liaison Services
    1. Represent the university on immigration related issues
    2. Serve as liaison between OIAS and departments, government agencies, and businesses in concerns regarding international students
  6. Coordination of Community Services
    1. International Friendship Partners
    2. Cultural awareness classes
    3. Volunteer organizations serving the needs of internationals
  7. Social Services
    1. International student association
    2. International week
    3. International Activities
    4. Coffee Hours
  8. Financial Services
    1. Tuition Waiver for Mexican Nationals
    2. Good Neighbor Scholarship
  9. Referral Services
    1. Local immigration attorneys
    2. Local counseling centers
    3. Apartment referrals
    4. Volunteer agencies that provide services for international students