Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

At Your Service

International Student Services and Programs
Bldg B, Room B105, ECC Campus
Tel: +1-847-214-7809
Fax: +1-847-214-7484

International Student - Apply

Students who are citizens of a country other than the United States and intend to pursue studies in the United States while on a visa are considered international students. Students who wish to pursue full-time study as a non-immigrant on an F-1 student visa must complete all international admission requirements to be issued a Form I-20. ECC offers F-1 students academic credit courses and a full-time, academic Intensive English Program.

Elgin Community College is committed to diversity and welcomes applications from students outside the United States who are interested in furthering their education. Please allow ample time for application processing. Once all documents are received and verified, the turnaround time for an acceptance decision is seven (7) business days. Please apply to the college in a timely fashion to allow for visa processing.


Initial (New) & Transfer Students

If you are applying from outside the U.S. as an initial (new) international student or as a transfer student, please submit the following:

  1. International Student Application: English
    • Complete all required fields and sign the last page.
    • Include the address, if known, where you will reside while attending ECC. If you are participating in the International Student Homestay Program, leave the address blank.
  2. International Student Financial Agreement
  3. Non-Refundable $50 Processing Fee
    • Submit cash or a check/money order payable to Elgin Community College.
  4. Evidence of Financial Support 
    • All prospective F-1 students must submit financial documentation certifying access to funding for the duration of their studies pursuant to 8 CFR § 214.2.
    • Students must submit an English language, official, original bank statement or letter on bank letterhead certifying the account holder’s name, type of account, current balance, and date of statement.
    • Certification must show available funds of $21,000 for first-year expenses at ECC, exclusive of travel expenses.
    • Certification of funds must be dated within six months of issuing the I-20. Tuition may increase annually.
  5. Affidavit of Sponsorship: International Student Affidavit of Sponsorship
    • All sponsors contributing financially to your education must complete an Affidavit of Sponsorship.
    • Please reference the International Student Financial Requirements (page 16) for complete details.
  6. Proof of English Proficiency
    • Students who need English language instruction do not need to submit proof of English proficiency.
    • Students not yet proficient in English will be tested upon arrival at ECC and placed into the appropriate level in the Intensive English Program.
    • Students who believe they satisfy the English language proficiency requirement as required by federal law must present proof of such proficiency by submitting one of the following:
      • Minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 79 (internet-based);
      • Minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 6.5;
      • Proof of graduation from a high school where English was the language of instruction; OR
      • Successful completion of college-level English composition where English was the language of instruction.
      • Additionally, all students are required to complete ECC’s placement tests upon admission. The tests determine placement into proper academic courses. Learn more»
  7. Statement of Purpose
    • All applicants must submit a typed, one-page statement describing their educational goals while attending ECC.
  8. Certified Transcripts from All Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions
    • Students must submit official, original, certified, English-translated copies of high school and college academic transcripts.
    • Translation or evaluation services may require an additional fee to an outside credential evaluation service.
  9. Photocopy of Passport and Visa(s)
    • Submit a copy of your biography page and identity page with photograph from your passport.
    • If you are currently in the U.S., please include a copy (front and back) of your hard copy I-94 card or a printout of your electronic I-94 record (available at and current visa or visa stamp.
    • If you have applied for a change of status, please submit a copy of any I-797 forms received from USCIS.
    • Students must show proof of age in the form of a valid birth date on their passport.
    • Students must be at least 17-years-old by the start of classes to be issued an I-20 by ECC.
  10. Transfer Release Form (if applicable): International Student Transfer Release and Verification
    • If you are transferring from another U.S. school, you must have your school complete the transfer release form.

Change of Status to F-1 Visa

If you are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, you may be eligible to change your status to F-1 without exiting the U.S.

Note: In addition to the requirements above, change of status students must submit additional documentation to USCIS.


If you are currently in the U.S. and out-of-status on your F-1 visa, ECC may be able to help you regain your F-1 status. USCIS allows F-1 students who have fallen out-of-status to apply for reinstatement if certain conditions are met. ECC is pleased to offer reinstatement services to qualified F-1 students.

Note: In addition to the requirements listed above, reinstatement students must also submit documentation to USCIS.

Application Deadlines

Admissions applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. However, students are
encouraged to apply by the following deadlines to allow ample time for visa processing:

  • Fall semester: June 15
  • Spring semester: November 1
  • Summer term: April 1

Paying for College

Learn at ECC


Note: Not all programs are available to international students.

Homestay Program

The homestay program offers international students studying at ECC the opportunity to live with local families. Students have the chance to be immersed in American life and customs, improve their English and engage in activities in the community. Learn more»


What is a community college?

A community college is a higher education institution that provides a two-year curriculum leading to an associate’s degree or certificate. The associate’s degree is the first two years of a U.S. bachelor’s degree

What are the benefits of attending a community college?

  • Smaller class sizes
  • Tuition is more cost-effective and affordable than a four-year university
  • Ability to earn a credential or certificate in less time than at a four-year institution
  • Ability to transfer to a four-year institution