Experienced Student Visa Lawyer Services at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law – Houston

Office Locations

Proudly Serving Dallas, FT.Worth, San Antonio, Houston.

DALLAS

OFFICE 1700 Pacific Ave. #3750, Dallas, TX 75201

FT.WORTH

OFFICE 851 Grainger St. Ste 107 Fort Worth TX 76104

SAN ANTONIO

OFFICE 110 Broadway St. Ste 370, San Antonio, TX 78205

HOUSTON

OFFICE 815 Walker Street, Ste 945, Houston, TX

Guidance for Study Abroad Application 

Navigating the complexities of immigration law and pursuing higher education in the United States can be a daunting journey for international students. At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we are committed to serving the unique needs of those seeking to expand their horizons through study at American universities. 

Understanding the intricacies of student visas, particularly the F-1 visa for academic students, is essential for maintaining legal status and focusing on academic success without legal distractions. Our Houston-based firm provides professional, confidential advice and assistance, ensuring that each international student’s dream of studying in the United States is built on firm legal grounds.

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we bring experience, knowledge, and integrity to the forefront of our practice. Our firm has helped thousands of families navigate the U.S. immigration system, including international students contributing to the diverse educational environment. We handle each case with the care, passion, and determination needed to support students in achieving their academic and personal goals.

Understanding Student Visas

In navigating the complexities of U.S. immigration laws, it’s essential to understand the nuances of student visas. As professionals in immigration legal services, we recognize the critical nature of selecting the appropriate visa for your educational aspirations.

F-1 student visas are the most common for individuals engaging in academic studies. If you enroll in a university, college, or other academic institution full-time, this is likely the visa you will need. Requirements include enrolling in a SEVP-certified school, demonstrating sufficient funds to support yourself, possessing a valid passport, and holding an acceptance letter in Form I-20. The application process begins with the online Form DS-160 and includes payment of an application fee, providing a photo, and attending a consular interview.

F-2 visas are available for dependents of F-1 visa holders, ensuring that your family can accompany you during your studies.

Part of the process involves a thorough review of your transcripts, diplomas, degrees, and certificates. Furthermore, you must have proof of sufficient funds, often shown through bank statements, to cover your tuition and living costs. Our firm can help you provide the required documents and navigate any legal issues that might arise.

Showing intent to return home after studies is key, as student visas are not dual intent visas. Once ready, you will schedule an appointment and submit digital fingerprints at the consulate.

Eligibility Criteria for Student Visas

As immigration attorneys at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we understand that applying for a student visa can be a complex process. Our experiencee can help simplify the requirements of our clients. Here are the key eligibility criteria:

  • Acceptance by SEVP School: Initially, our clients must be accepted by an educational institution certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Maintaining student status is crucial, and SEVP certification indicates the institution’s adherence to certain standards and regulations. Keeping in compliance with these regulations and maintaining status is a continuous process throughout the entire period of study.

  • English Proficiency: We assist our clients in proving their proficiency in English, which is often a prerequisite for an academic program. Our clients may demonstrate this through standardized test scores or by meeting the accepting institution’s specific language requirements.

  • Financial Support: Our clients must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses for their planned course of study. This financial capability is a significant factor in student visa applications, ensuring the student does not become a public charge.

  • Ties to Home Country: Our clients must show strong ties to their home country. This includes proving intent to return upon completing their studies, which is a condition of the visa. Demonstrating ties can be through family, employment prospects, or property ownership, to name a few.

Application Process for Student Visas

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we navigate the intricacies of the student visa application process with precision and personal care. Our firm’s commitment to family-based immigration inspires us to assist students in achieving their educational dreams in the United States.

To secure a student visa, an applicant must first gain admission to a US educational institution certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Upon acceptance, the institution will provide a Form I-20, which is necessary for the visa application.

Documentation Required:

  • Valid passport

  • Form I-20

  • Admission letter from SEVP-certified school

  • Proof of financial support

  • Visa application forms and fee receipts

Next, applicants must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for the visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The key to a successful visa application includes careful preparation of the following steps:

  1. Complete the Online Visa Application (DS-160): Fill out the form meticulously and schedule your interview.

  2. Compile Documentation: Gather all required documents, including proof of your intent to return home after your studies.

  3. Prepare for the Interview: Demonstrate your intent to pursue education and show strong ties to your home country.

During the interview, it’s essential to be transparent and honest. Convey your educational plans and how they align with your long-term goals. Remember, the interview is a chance to show the visa officer that you are a genuine student with a clear purpose for traveling to the United States.

For detailed guidance on the types of student visas and application steps, you should refer to student visa information provided by official sources.

Understanding Your A-Number

Assisting with the intricacies of immigration law, we at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, recognize the significance of the Alien Registration Number (A-Number) for individuals pursuing their academic dreams in the United States. This unique identifier is a critical component of the immigration process, and comprehending its role is essential for any student visa applicant.

What is an A-Number?

An A-Number is a seven to nine-digit number that starts with an “A,” designating it as an Alien Registration Number. It is assigned by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or by an immigration judge, and it becomes a permanent part of an immigrant’s official record. It’s akin to a Social Security Number but specifically for immigration purposes.

  • Where can you find your A-Number?On most USCIS documents

  • On the Immigrant Visa

  • On the Form I-20 for students

  • Occasionally, on student visas

Why is it pertinent to have an A-Number? Our firm is versed in legal matters pertaining to immigration, and we stress the importance of knowing your A-Number. It tracks your case through the immigration system, including when applying for a student visa to study in the United States. This number is integral whether you are applying for the F visa for academic students or the M visa for vocational students.

How Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law Can Help

Our firm is dedicated to assisting foreign students navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and the specific challenges they may face with student visas.

Changing Visa Status

We offer guidance on changing from a tourist visa to a student visa, including a personalized legal strategy. It’s essential to understand the right approach to alter your status while adhering to the rules set by immigration authorities.

Maintaining Student Visa Status

We advise you on how to maintain your legal student status in the U.S. Our firm helps you understand the requirements, such as completing a full course of study, and avoid common pitfalls that could impact your status.

Work Opportunities for Student Visa Holders

We provide information on work opportunities available to student visa holders, including on-campus employment, Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). We ensure that you are aware of and remain compliant with all the legal restrictions that apply to your visa.

Extending Your Stay or Changing Your Educational Path

Our team assists with extending your student visa or changing educational institutions. If you decide to pursue further education or change your course of study, we help you understand how to adjust your status and ensure a smooth transition.

Why Choose Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law

When navigating the complexities of student visa applications, you need a law firm with experience and a deep commitment to achieving your educational aspirations in the United States. We at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, stand out as a beacon of hope for students around the globe, bringing an unwavering dedication to every case we handle.

Our Experience: At the heart of Houston, Texas, our firm is renowned for its kowledge in immigration law. We bring our extensive knowledge to assist with the following:

  • Immigration Appeals

  • Asylum Cases

  • Family-Based Petitions

  • Various Visa Applications

Customized Legal Strategy: Every student’s journey is unique, and so are our solutions. We tailor our legal guidance to suit your individual needs, ensuring the best possible outcome for your student visa application.

Proven Success: Our passion for family-based immigration extends naturally into the realm of educational pursuits. We’ve facilitated countless students in securing their visas and have a track record of navigating the immigration system with precision and care.

Client Testimonials: We’re humbled by the gratitude expressed by those we’ve helped, affirming our role in their successes:

  • “They guided me through the student visa process with such professionalism!”

  • “I couldn’t have secured my visa without Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law.”

Let Us Help: Contact us to launch your academic journey in the United States. Schedule a consultation for professional and confidential immigration advice.

Conclusion

In navigating the complexities of obtaining a student visa, the importance of maintaining proper immigration status cannot be understated. The labyrinthine interplay between the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the necessary legal pathways demand guidance. We at Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, stand as your steadfast advocates in this journey.

While each individual’s circumstances are unique, our methodology is consistent: a dedicated, meticulous approach that prioritizes your objectives. Here is what we pledge:

  • Personalized Attention: A tailored session to understand and address your specific requirements.

  • Experienced Guidance: Navigation through the application process to minimize errors and delays.

  • Comprehensive Support: Assistance from initial consultation to potential appeals every step of the way.

Reach out to us, Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law in Houston, and allow us the privilege to be part of your academic journey. Your future is important, and it is in capable hands with us.