Useful Links

Office of International Student Services United States Citizenship and Immigration Services U.S. Department of Homeland Security USCIS Case Status Search Visa Bulletin List of all U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions Visa Appointment Wait Times I-94 Lookup International Students and Social Security Numbers Change of Address Office of Graduate Medical Education


Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

As defined by USCIS, “Department of the executive branch of the U.S. government charged with homeland security. This includes: Preventing terrorism and managing risks to critical infrastructure; Securing and managing the border; Enforcing and administering immigration laws; Safeguarding and securing cyberspace; Ensuring resilience to disasters.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

As defined by USCIS, "A federal agency in the Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Its functions include: Granting employment authorization to eligible foreign nationals; Issuing documentation of foreign national employment authorization; Maintaining Forms I-9; Administering the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

As defined by USCIS, “An agency of the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for securing the homeland by preventing the illegal entry of people and goods while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

As defined by USCIS, “The principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE’s primary mission is to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.”


As defined by USCIS, “A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification, such as student (F), visitor (B) or temporary worker (H). A visa does not grant the bearer the right to enter the United States. The Department of State is responsible for visa adjudication at U.S. Embassies and Consulates outside of the U.S.”


As defined by USCIS, “The Arrival and Departure Record is the I-94, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to foreign visitors entering the United States.”

Immigrant Vs. Nonimmigrant

Nonimmigrant – As defined by USCIS, “A foreign national who is admitted to the United States for a specific temporary period. There are clear conditions on their stay. There are a large variety of nonimmigrant categories, and each exists for a specific purpose and has specific terms and conditions.”

Immigrant (Lawful Permanent Resident) – As defined by USCIS, “Any person not a citizen of the United States who is living in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant. Also known as “permanent resident alien”, “resident alien permit holder”, and “Green Card holder.”

What is the H-1B visa?

The H-1B Visa is a nonimmigrant status that is reserved for individuals who are/will be employed in a specialty occupation within the United States. A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that “requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation and which requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent.” The H-1B visa is not available for self-sponsorship. Only the employer (Howard University) may petition foreign nations for the designation, all inquiries should be directed towards Visa & Immigration Services.

What is the O-1 Visa?

The O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant status that is reserved for foreign nations who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Extraordinary ability is generally defined by USCIS as “a level of expertise indicating that a person is one of a small percentage who has risen to the very top of their field of endeavor.” The O-1 visa is not available for self-sponsorship. Only the employer (Howard University) may petition foreign nations for the designation, all inquiries should be directed towards Visa & Immigration Services.