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At Your Service

Center for International Education and Programs
Bldg B, Room B105, ECC Campus
Tel: +1-847-214-7809
Fax: +1-847-931-4897

Prospective Students
internationaladmissions@elgin.edu

Current Students
international@elgin.edu

Important Documents & Information

If you need assistance completing a form or filing information, contact the Center for International Education and Programs.

Academic

Concurrent Enrollment Request

F-1 students are allowed to concurrently enroll at other SEVP approved schools, provided that the number of credits taken at ECC exceeds the credits taken at the other school. Concurrent enrollment is only recommended for those students whose classes would otherwise be unavailable at ECC. Download form

Early Program Completion

F-1 students are initially given 36 months (three years) to complete their program of study at ECC. Your program completion date is indicated on your I-20. When you anticipate that you will complete your program early, you need to apply for graduation through the Registration and Records Office. Download form

Reduced Course Load Request (RCL)

F-1 students may apply for a reduced course load (RCL) for medical reasons, academic difficulty, or final semester provided s/he meet certain criteria and provide appropriate documentation. An F-1 student who drops below a full course of student without the prior approval of the designated school official (DSO) will be considered out of status. Download form

Transfer Out Request

F-1 students planning to transfer to another school in the U.S. must request their SEVIS record be transferred to their new school. Download form

Health Insurance

ECC requires all F-1 international students to provide proof of individual health insurance. A minimum of $250,000 in coverage is required and must be valid during your entire stay at ECC. Proof of health insurance is required at new international student orientation and at the start of each subsequent semester. Failure to maintain health insurance will result in a hold being put on your student record, and you will not be allowed to register for classes. Acceptable forms of proof of health insurance include:

  • Copy of the front and back of your insurance card
  • Letter of verification of coverage from insurance company
  • Copy of policy and coverage verification

All documents must be in English or translated into English by a certified translator.

Social Security Numbers

If you are an international student in F-1 non-immigrant status and have received an offer for on-campus employment or other legally authorized off-campus employment, you may apply for a social security number from the U.S. social security administration. A social security number is a federal tax identification number used to file U.S. and state income tax forms and to apply for other federal benefits, however an SSN is also useful for opening a bank account, obtaining a driver’s license, etc. ReadHide qualification process

To qualify, students must prove one of the following:

  1. Student has received an offer for on-campus employment. You must present a letter from the DSO certifying your eligibility for on-campus employment (this letter is generated by the International and Programs Office and must be signed by the DSO) and a letter from your on-campus employer verifying employment (this letter is generated by the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office and must be signed by the director of financial aid).
  2. Student has been authorized by a Designated School Official (DSO) for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to engage in an approved cooperative education or internship program. You must present your SEVIS I-20 showing your authorization for curricular practical training on page three of your I-20.
  3. Student has been authorized for Optional Practical Training or Severe Economic Hardship by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You must present your employment authorization document (EAD) card issued USCIS.

If you meet one of the above requirements, you will need to prepare the following documents to apply for a social security number.

  • Complete a social security card application, form SS-5. You may obtain this from the Social Security Administration Office or download it from their website located at ssa.gov.
  • Obtain the proper employment authorization documents as indicated above.
  • Obtain a letter from the international student advisor verifying your F-1 status and full-time enrollment at Elgin Community College.
  • Current original SEVIS I-20 document.
  • Valid passport and one additional document establishing your identity.
  • Copy of I-94.
  • If you have changed your immigration status after entering the U.S., you will need to show your approval notice for change of status to F-1 international student.
  • If you have transferred your immigration status after entering the U.S., you will need to show your approval notice for change of status to F-1 international student.
  • If you have transferred to ECC from another U.S. college or university, you will need to show all original I-20 documents for any previous school attended.
  • Print-out of full-time registration for the current academic semester.

The nearest Social Security Administration Office to campus is:

790 Fletcher Dr.
Elgin, IL 60123
847-742-5096
ssa.gov

U.S. Employment & Training

On-Campus Employment

F-1 students in status are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours a week during school breaks. On-campus employment postings are handled through the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office; the International and Programs Office cannot be responsible for finding you on-campus employment. More»

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular practical training (CPT) allows F-1 students to seek authorization for practical training to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience in his or her field of study. Download form

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Allows temporary employment authorization for F-1 students to secure practical training directly related to their major area of study. Download form

Optional Practical Training Information and Employer Verification

In order to maintain your F-1 status, you must report any changes of employment to the International and Programs Office within 10 days of any change. You are still considered a student at ECC while engaging in OPT. It is your responsibility to ensure your contact information is up to date with ECC and the International and Programs Office. Download form

Economic Hardship

Allows F-1 students affected by certain conditions and who have suffered severe financial hardship to apply for off-campus employment. Download form

Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TDVL)

The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office issues a temporary visitor driver’s license (TDVL) for non-citizens of the United States who have been granted temporary, legal entry into this country and are temporarily residing in the state of Illinois and who are ineligible for a social security number (SSN). ReadHide qualification process

To be eligible a foreign national must be:

  • A non-citizen of the United States
  • Lawfully admitted to the United States
  • Residing in the state of Illinois
  • Be authorized to live in the country for at least one year

Applicants will be required to provide acceptable documentation when applying for a TVDL. This includes:

  • Name and date of birth:
    • passport or consular card
  • Verification of written signature from:
    • passport
    • consular card
    • mortgage/installment loan agreement
    • credit card
  • Current address (must provide 2 documents):
    • consular card
    • certified school transcripts
    • bank statement (issued within the last 90 days)
    • rental/lease agreement
    • insurance policy (homeowners or renters)
    • medical claim (dated within 90 days of application)
    • tuition involce or other official mail from a college/university (dated within 90 days of application)
    • utility bill (dated within 90 days of application)
    • official mail (received from state, county, village or federal agency that includes your first and last name and the complete current address)
  • Illinois residency (at least 12-months):
    • certified school transcripts
    • bank statement
    • insurance policy (homeowners or renters)
    • rental/lease agreement
    • medical claim
    • tuition involve or other official mail from a college/university
    • utility bill
    • official mail (received from state, county, village or federal agency that includes your first and last name and the complete current address)
Visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information at cyberdriveillinois.com.

How to apply:

  1. If between 18-20 years of age, you must present proof of successful completion of a 6-hour adult driver education and training course.
  2. Request letter of ineligibility (denial letter) from the Social Security Office. This step must be done no more than 90 days before applying for a TVDL.
  3. Obtain the required documentation. This includes one item from each of the categories listed above under required documentation and two documents verifying your current address.
  4. Prepare for your driver’s test. Do this by studying the 'Illinois Rules of the Road' section at cyberdriveillinois.com. If you would like to practice driving before your road test, you will need to apply for an instruction permit.
  5. Schedule an appointment one of the designated secretary of state facilities listed on the website above.
  6. Have a licensed driver bring you to the secretary of state facility location.

Additional things to consider: Be prepared to take the:

  • Written test
  • Vision test
  • Road test*

*Note: You will need to supply your own vehicle for the road test and this vehicle must be properly insured in the state of Illinois. Keep in mind that road tests are only available until sunset or 30 minutes prior to closing, whichever is earlier.

The TVDL is valid for three years or the period of time the individual is authorized to stay in the country, whichever expires sooner. The period of authorized stay for F-1 international students is indicated by the expiration date on the I-20 document.

Traveling

F-1 Travel Checklist

When leaving the United States to travel, all F-1 students should check his/her travel documents prior to departure. Download checklist

 
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