International Students

Are you a non-U.S. citizen interested in attending a top American community college on an F-1, J-1, or M-1 visa? Apply today to Elgin Community College (ECC)!

ECC is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from students outside the United States (U.S.). Our goal is to support your educational dreams whether you want to earn a U.S. degree, transfer to a top university, or improve your English. We will help you work toward a bright future. Applying to ECC as an international student is easy, and we have more than 138 degree and certificate options to choose from.

Why choose Elgin Community College?

  1. Guaranteed university transfer admission. Complete the first two years of your bachelor’s degree at ECC, and then such as UIC, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Arizona State University, among others.
  2. Affordable value. ECC offers tuition at a fraction of the cost of universities. 
  3. Full-time Intensive English Program. ECC offers for students that need to improve your English language proficiency. Students choose our Intensive English Program – join us today.
  4. Academic Excellence. Each of our 138 degree and certificate programs is rigorous, challenging, and focused on the real world. In small classes, you’ll work with faculty who are experienced professionals and dedicated teachers. And you’ll have access to dedicated academic and wellness support professionals if you need some help along the way.
  5. No TOEFL/IELTS required! No TOEFL or IELTS is required for admission. You can apply without test scores through a simple and quick admissions process.

F-1 Fact Sheet - Spanish Latin America - PDF

F-1 Flyer - Chinese - PDF

Once the Center for International and Programs receives and approves your admission documents, you will receive an acceptance decision within 3-5 business days. Please apply to the college in a timely manner to allow for visa processing.

As a student of ECC, you'll be able to enroll in academic credit courses or our full-time, Intensive English Program.

Interested in speaking to an international partner in your home country? Check out our international partners or find a local EducationUSA office near you.

Interested in speaking to an international partner in your home country? Check out our or find a local EducationUSA office near you.

Steps to Apply


Here are the steps to follow to apply for a Form I-20 (F-1 and M-1 students) or a DS-2019 (J-1 exchange visitors in certain categories from international partner universities/colleges only):

Application Deadlines

New, initial students outside the U.S.

We accept applications for international student admission on a rolling basis throughout the year. New, initial students outside the U.S. should apply by the priority deadline to allow time for visa processing. Students should plan accordingly to meet these deadlines. Please note that late applications received from new, initial students outside the U.S. will be deferred to the next available session date.

Program Start DatePriority DeadlineFinal Day to Submit Application and Required Documents
August (Fall semester academic courses begin; Fall Intensive English Program Session I begin) June 15 July 31
September (Fall Intensive English Program Session II begin) June 15 August 15
October (Fall Intensive English Program Session III begin) June 15 September 15
January (Spring semester academic courses begin; Spring Intensive English Program Session I begin) November 1 December 15
February (Spring Intensive English Program Session II begin) November 1 January 15
March (Spring Intensive English Program Session III begin) November 1 February 15
June (Summer semester academic courses begin; Summer Intensive English Program begin) April 1 May 15

Students in the U.S. Transferring from a U.S. Institution

Transfer students in the U.S. on a valid F-1 visa and in Active status in SEVIS may apply for admission up to the Wednesday prior to the start of classes. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at +1-847-214-7809. for orientation program information based on your program start date and intended program of study.

Special Situations


Students Seeking Reinstatement

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. Applications from students seeking reinstatement are accepted on a case-by-case basis throughout the year for enrollment at the next available program start date. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at +1-847-214-7809 for specific information and advice related to your individual situation. Once you have met with a DSO at ECC and received confirmation that you are eligible for reinstatement, you can submit an application online, you may begin the Reinstatement Application online or download and complete the Reinstatement Application. You'll have to submit additional documentation to USCIS. Questions? Call us at +1- or email at and we'll be happy to help.

Questions? Check out our Reinstatement FAQ page.

Students Seeking a Change of Status to F-1 Visa

If you are currently in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, you may be eligible to change your status to F-1 without exiting the U.S. Applications from students seeking a change of status are accepted on a case-by-case basis throughout the year for enrollment at the next available program start date. Please contact the Center for International Education and Programs at +1-847-214-7809 for specific information and advice related to your individual situation. Once you have met with a DSO at ECC and received confirmation that you are eligible for a change of status, you can submit an application online, you may begin your Change of Status application online or complete the Change of Status Application

Questions? Check out our Change of Status FAQ page.

Additional Resources


Learn more about maintaining your status, your rights and responsibilities as an F-1 student, and additional resources for international students.

Questions? Check our FAQ, or contact us. We look forward to welcoming you to Elgin Community College.