Studying in the United States
The Houston area boasts excellent institutions of higher education. Rice University is consistently one of the top-ranked schools in the nation. The University of Houston is Tier One research institution. Smaller schools, like the University of St. Thomas and Houston Baptist University, have excellent programs. And the Texas Medical Center includes exceptional medical schools, like the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Students come from around the world to attend the schools here. When they come, they require visas. The U.S. immigration system has special visa categories for those seeking to travel to the United States to study.
Houston Student Immigration Lawyer
If you are seeking to attend a college or university in the Houston area, a Houston student immigration lawyer can assist you in obtaining the proper visas and address any other issues you might have. To attend the school of your dreams, you will have to navigate through the immigration system. An experienced attorney can guide you through this complex system.
Kathryn Karam takes on difficult challenges and complicated problems and determines an innovative solution. She can assist you with your student immigration matters. Call Karam Immigration Law today at (832) 582-0620 to schedule a consultation to discuss your issue.
Kathryn Karam can assist potential students seeking to attend school at any of the institutions in the Houston area. She can also assist students graduating and considering their immigration options going forward.
Student Immigration Information Center
- Process of Applying For a Student Visas
- Working During School
- Spouses and Children of Students
- Attorney Helping International Students Attend School in Houston
Before you can apply for a student visa, you must already have been accepted into the school of your choice. The school should provide you with a Form I-20. You will complete the form and bring it with you, along with other necessary documentation, to an interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country.
The interview is likely to be in English, and will involve a variety of questions. Your immigration lawyer can help prepare you for the interview.
If you have been denied for a student visa, know two things: First, denials are common. About a quarter of F-1 student visa applications are denied. Second, you can try again. An attorney can help determine what may have gone wrong so that you can address the issue.
There are two types of visas for students:
- F-1: An F-1 visa is for students who plan to attend a university, college, high school, private elementary school, conservatory, seminary or any institution that is primarily academic.
- M-1: These visas are for students seeking to attend a vocational or training school.
School is expensive, but a student visa is intended for studying and immigration officials are very strict about visa holders doing anything outside the intent of their visas. For any type of work, including internships, work-study and on-campus employment, you will need to seek special permission.
If you have an F-1 visa, you may seek an Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization. Students may work for up to 12 months in their field of study, either during school or after completing their program. In addition, a students who are in their 12-month OPT period after completing their degree who are applying for H-1B status may be able to extend their OPT period beyond its expiration to allow time for the Immigration Service to make a decision is made on their H-1B petition.
Students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) programs may seek a 17-month extension of their OPT status in some situations. Your immigration attorney can assist you in determining if you qualify for the 17-month STEM OPT extension.
If you are a student with a spouse and/or children, it may be a priority to make sure they can accompany you to Houston. Fortunately, immigration law allows for the family members of students to apply for visas to accompany them to the United States during their studies. The visas will be either F-2 or M-2, depending on whether you have an F-1 or M-1 visa.
Your minor children will have the opportunity to attend school in the United States. However, your spouse must seek separate authorization to work.
If you are seeking to attend a university or other academic program in the Houston area, it's important to you be prepared with the right visa. Houston immigration lawyer Kathryn Karam assists students with obtaining the appropriate visas. Call today at (832) 582-0620 to set up a consultation.