International students on campus at University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasIf you’re an F-1 (student) or J-1 (exchange visitor) international student or scholar, we advise you on your compliance with U.S. federal regulations including guidance on:

  • How to apply for a visa while in your home country
  • Changing your visa status to F-1 if you’re in the U.S.
  • Maintaining lawful immigration status
  • Transferring between schools
  • Employment authorization matters

We’re not immigration attorneys. We only provide general information on F-1 and J-1 regulations and procedures.

Asian student in front of computer at University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasAll F-1 and J-1 international students will be automatically enrolled in the University's international student health insurance plan unless a student has obtained an approved waiver. After you register for classes, you will receive an email that prompts you to enroll in our university’s health insurance plan or submit a waiver request.

Insurance and Waiver Details

We’re on the 2nd floor (room 214) of the Crooker Center at the UST main campus. You're welcome to drop by the office during business hours; feel free to confirm our availability before you visit.

phone: 713-525-3503


In order to re-enter the U.S. after international travel, you must carry these items with you:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 visa (except for Canadian citizens)
  • Valid I-20 or DS-2019 with a recent travel signature

You must visit our office at least 2 weeks before you depart the U.S. to obtain a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019.

If you'll be traveling to a country that is not your home country, please consult your destination country’s embassy/consulate on their entry requirements.

If you're an F-1 or J-1 student, you can work on campus as early as your first semester at UST*, as follows:

  • Up to 20 hours a week during spring and fall semesters
  • More than 20 hours a week (full-time) during official school breaks

*J-1 students must be pre-approved by our office

You may apply for either with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and must have the following:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • Valid I-20 or DS-2019
  • Proof of residency for at least 30 days (rental agreement, utility bill, etc.)

Learn more about how to get a Texas driver's license or ID

If you're an F-1 or J-1 student, you can only apply if you've obtained one of the following:

  • Paid on-campus employment
  • CPT authorization for paid employment
  • OPT authorization

​You'll need a support letter from our office before applying.

F-1 students are granted a 60-day grace period upon completion of their academic program, during which you must do one of the following:

  • Depart the U.S.
  • Apply for OPT
  • Receive a new I-20 for a new program
  • Change your immigration status

J-1 students are granted a 30-day grace period to depart the U.S.