International Student - Apply
An international student is a citizen of a foreign country interested in studying at ECC on an F-1 or M-1 visa. Students must be enrolled in a full-time degree-seeking program or in the Intensive English Program.
The college welcomes applications from international students interested in pursuing their education at ECC. Please allow at least three months prior to attending, to complete and send the required documents.
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:
- International Student Application and Financial Statement: English | Spanish | Chinese
- Complete all required fields and sign the last page. You must include the address where you will be residing while attending ECC.
- Non-Refundable $50 Processing Fee
- Submit cash or a check/money order payable to Elgin Community College.
- 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 at least $17,950 if a dependent student and $20,200 if an independent student for first-year expenses at ECC; exclusive of travel expenses.
- Certification of funds must be dated within 90 days of issuing the I-20.
- Tuition may increase annually.
- The bank account being used for evidence of financial support may be in the sponsor’s name.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-134)—Available at uscis.gov
- The I-134 must be completed by the primary sponsor and any U.S. sponsor (family or friend) that will provide the student with room, board and transportation during studies at ECC. If a student is completely self-funded, an I-134 is not needed.
- 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.
- Additionally, all students are required to complete ECC’s placement tests upon admission. The tests determine placement into proper academic courses. Learn more»
- Statement of Purpose
- All applicants must submit a typed, one-page statement describing their educational goals while attending ECC.
- 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.
- Photocopy of Passport, Visa(s), and I-94 Card
- 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 I-94 card 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.
- Transfer Release Form (if applicable)
- 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.
I-20 Issuing Deadlines
College Level Academic Program with an Appropriate TOEFL or IELTS score.
- Spring semester - November 1
- Fall semester - June 15
Intensive English Program with or without Planned Matriculation into a College Level Academic Program.
- Accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year
F-1 students currently in the U.S. who wish to transfer to ECC or apply for a change of status or reinstatement should contact the Office of International Student Services and Study Abroad for further information on application deadlines.
How It Works
Please allow seven (7) business days for ECC to process your application and issue an I-20 once all application documents are received.
- Once the required items are received, ECC will issue the Department of Homeland Security form I-20. The I-20 authorizes you to apply for an F-1 student visa at the local American Embassy or Consulate in your home country if you are applying from outside the U.S. Or file your change of status or reinstatement application with USCIS if you are within the U.S.
- Pay the $200 USD SEVIS I-901 fee at www.fmjfee.com/i901fee
- Arrange for a visa interview if you are applying from outside the U.S. Once the F-1 student visa has been approved, you will be ready to travel to Elgin.
- Once you have received your F-1 visa or reinstatement/change of status notification, please contact the Office of International Student Services and Study Abroad for an appointment.
- Make copies of all documents and keep for your records.
- Attend the orientation for all new international students. Orientation will occur the week prior to the start of classes.
- Direct all correspondence and documents to:
- Elgin Community College
ATTN: International Student Services and Study Abroad
1700 Spartan Drive, B105
Elgin, Illinois 60123-7193
Paying for College
Learn at ECC
Note: Not all programs are available to international students.
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