About OISS

Our mission

Rice University's Office of International Students & Scholars' (OISS) mission is to enhance the experience of the international population (which includes all non-immigrant visa students, researchers, and faculty) through serving as the chief liaison office for: immigration advising, cultural adaptation, international compliance, networking/public connections, and academic support, with university departments, government agencies, and community advocates.

Our purpose

  • To provide international students and scholars with advice and documentation necessary to maintain their legal status in the U.S.;
  • To represent the university to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of State, and other governmental agencies dealing with international visitors;
  • To guide international students and scholars in their adaptation to the American culture and campus life;
  • To maintain university compliance regarding regulations concerning international students and scholars in accordance with Rice's Immigration and Visa Policy.

Services we provide

  • Serve as the key immigration liaison for Rice internationals, Rice departments hosting them, and with the U.S. government
  • Initial orientation for all international students and scholars
  • U.S. immigration advisement, documentation, tracking and reporting
  • Travel authorization and guidance regarding new visa applications
  • Authorize and advise international students, scholars and dependents on visa benefits, such as practical training and extension of programs
  • Advocate on behalf of internationals internally, locally and nationally
  • Liaison with U.S. and foreign embassies/consulates
  • Assistance with matters of cultural adaptation
  • Resource and referral to other offices and services within Rice University and in Houston
  • Reporting of Rice's international population to government agencies, Open Doors and the Rice community
  • Workshops, professional development trainings, and other critical informational and cultural events
  • Alternative health insurance policy information
  • Hospitality programming opportunities, including English language & culture classes, community friendship program, summer and winter events
  • Provide international student and scholar networks for support and friendship
  • OISS listservs

Please also refer to our list of OISS Key Contacts to see who handles what at OISS.