International Students

Questions for Prospective International F-1 Visa Students

Please see the following list of frequently asked questions, commonly referred to as "FAQ's". Many questions you have may be addressed below, along with a lot of other useful information. If your questions were not answered below, please feel free to contact our office... we would be happy to assist you!

Apply for admission to Estrella Mountain Community College as an international student by completing the Estrella Mountain Community College International Student Application Packet.

Once you complete the admission process and submit all required documents, your application packet will be reviewed. If approved, the Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status will be mailed to you.

The Form I-20 is an important document required when you apply for your F-1 student visa in your home country.

Please start by reading the International Admissions page where you will learn about the program and how to apply.

There are also helpful links in the Related Resources menu box on the right-hand side of the screen.

F-1 non-immigrant students who have been allowed to enter the United States agree to maintain their non-immigrant status by following strict guidelines.

Students are encouraged to read Maintaining Your Status on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) webpage, as you are responsible for knowing and understanding this information.

Also, when you arrive and check-in at EMCC, you will be asked to read and sign the Understanding How to Maintain Your F-1 Student Visa Status document. You will be required to read the document, initial each line beside each statement, and sign your name indicating that you understand what is written and agree to comply with each statement. This form will be completed and collected by your Advisor/Designated School Official (DSO) and kept in your official school file.

Failure to follow the F-1 guidelines may lead to forfeiture of your F-1 visa status and your required immediate departure from the United States.

Generally, no, not at EMCC.

The purpose of an F-1 visa is for an international student to study full-time with plans to return to their home country. In cases of unforeseen, qualifying, "extreme" financial hardship, you may be eligible for on-campus employment only, which may not be available. On-campus employment opportunities at EMCC are rare and highly competitive.

Please do not include being employed on campus as part of your plan to attend
EMCC or to contribute to your cost-of-living budget.

You may not engage in off-campus employment without first gaining proper authorization from Immigration and Naturalization Services.

Failure to follow the F-1 guidelines may lead to forfeiture of your F-1 visa status and your required immediate departure from the United States.

Please see the OPT link to learn about paid Optional Practical Training.

F-1 students must be enrolled in, and complete, a minimum of 12 semester credit hours each fall and spring semester. The summer term is an optional enrollment period.

Falling below 12 credits or not maintaining satisfactory academic performance can and will jeopardize your valid visa status.

Failure to follow the F-1 guidelines may lead to forfeiture of your F-1 visa status and your required immediate departure from the United States.

Unfortunately, non-immigrant students (F-1) are not eligible for state and federal programs, but may qualify for institutional scholarships. Scholarships are very limited, highly competitive, and may be specific to a certain department or program of study.

Please do not include scholarships when planning to attend EMCC.

A community college offers the first two years of a traditional four-year undergraduate degree (Baccalaureate) program, generally referred to as your freshman and sophomore years of college. Once a student completes these lower division courses at the community college, many students then transfer to a traditional four-year university.

A two-year community college offers many advantages including more individualized attention and smaller class sizes led by highly-qualified instructors. Many students complete the general studies (core) requirements at a community college before transferring to a university.

The cost of community college tuition is, normally, considerably less than university tuition.

Once you have applied and have been accepted to Estrella Mountain Community College, we will mail a Form I-20 and Acceptance Letter to you.

A Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in the SEVIS database. Once you receive your Form I-20, be sure to check all of the information against your passport to make sure all of the information matches, especially your name and date of birth.

Once you receive your Form I-20, you will pay your SEVIS I-901 fee.

SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, a web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and the F-1 students who come to the United States to attend those schools.

Estrella Mountain Community College is a SEVP-certified school and accepts applications for F-1 enrollment.