Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

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. Read moreless

ECC 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.

As a student of ECC you'll be able to enroll in academic credit courses and our full-time, intensive English program.

Admission Requirements & Procedures

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

Resources for F1-Students

Better understand how to maintain your status, your rights and responsibilities as an F-1 student, and general information about life in the U.S. More»


Have a question that is not answered here? Email us at or call 847-214-7809 for assistance.

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.

  • 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

Applications and supporting documents may be submitted online via our website, by email to or by mailing to:

  • Elgin Community College
    Center for International Education and Programs
    1700 Spartan Drive
    Elgin, IL 60123

ECC offers a variety of scholarships, and international students are encouraged to apply. Please visit our scholarships website at for more information.

Students can submit scanned or photocopies of documents. Bank statements or bank letters can be sent via email to All financial documents must meet the requirements as outlined in the International Student Application for Admission.

Many students often come to ECC to study only ESL in our award winning Intensive English Program. On your application for admission, please indicate you are planning to study in the “Intensive English Program only”. Students who indicate plans of only studying in the Intensive English Program are given an I-20 for 12 months.

ECC has on campus employment opportunities for students. On-campus employment is competitive and students are responsible for locating their own on-campus employment. For current job opportunities or for further information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

If you do not submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, you will be given an English language proficiency test upon your arrival on campus. Your score will determine your placement into the Intensive English Program or college major courses.

2+2 is a pathway for students to complete a bachelor’s degree by completing the first two years of that degree at a community college. The U.S. bachelor’s degree is traditionally four years long. The first two years can be completed at a community college, culminating in the award of an associate degree. Then, the final two years of the bachelor’s degree can be completed at a four-year university or college. ECC has many 2+2 agreements with universities across the U.S. The 2+2 pathway is an excellent way for international students to save money and enjoy all that the community college system has to offer.

Like most community colleges, ECC does not have on-campus residential halls. However, ECC does provide housing for international students on an F-1 visa through the International Student Homestay Program. The international homestay program coordinator can assist you in finding appropriate housing. For more information, please visit

Yes. ECC will advise and guide you through the change of status process. ECC charges no fee for this service, although you are responsible for all application and change of status fees that may be charged by the federal government.

Go to top