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!

Timing is important. Apply at least three months before you plan to travel. Your visa can only be issued 90 days prior to the start of your educational plan.

Please keep in mind, you are not allowed to enter the United States greater than 30 days before the first official day of the semester.

EMCC does not provide housing or housing referrals for students.

Estrella Mountain Community College is a two year community college. INS allows the Form I-20 to be issued for the length of study for the program as well as a grace period not to exceed one year. Therefore, it is possible that the Form I-20 may be issued for a maximum of three years (36 months), depending on the program being sought by the student.

Possibly. You must first have your transcripts evaluated by an approved professional credential evaluator. Please have the evaluation report sent to the Estrella Mountain Community College Admissions office, where transfer credit will be determined.

An English translation is required.

An International Transcript Evaluators List is provided on the International Student Admissions page.

If you plan to transfer to a university, be sure to check with their international office to ensure which of the evaluators on our list, they accept as well.

During your entire enrollment period as an F-1 student, you will be considered a non-resident for tuition purposes. F-1 status indicates a temporary status in the United States, which makes you ineligible to establish Arizona residency. Arizona residency is determined by establishment of 1 year of permanent residence in the state of Arizona among other requirements.

Non-immigrant students (F-1) will not qualify as Arizona residents regardless of the length of stay in Arizona because they are not considered to be permanently living in the United States.

Immigrant students (i.e. refugees, asylees, permanent residents) and United States citizens may qualify for in-state fee rates if they meet eligibility requirements.

It depends.

The TOEFL is required for admission only for those students who are from countries where English is not the primary language.

Have your most recent TOEFL score report mailed directly to Estrella Mountain Community College (DI Code 8238). A TOEFL score of 500, or 61 on the internet-based test is required for admission to EMCC. The TOEFL must have been taken within two years of the date for which admission is being sought. We also accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall Band Score of 5.5 or better or a minimum IELTS individual Band Score of 5.0 in each module.

All students are required to take a placement test, at no cost, upon your arrival to Estrella Mountain Community College. Depending on your English skills, you will take either the ACCUPLACER or the CELSA exam. The exam is not “pass” or “fail” but simply to place you in the appropriate courses that best meet your educational needs.

Please note: Although we offer ESL (English as a Second Language) courses, we do not have an exclusive ESL program suited for international F-1 visa students.

To maintain your F-1 visa status, you must be enrolled in a full-time course of study (12 credits or more) each semester. At this time, we cannot guarantee a full-time ESL schedule.

EMCC is one of 10 (ten) community colleges within the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). Please research the ESL programs at any of our sister colleges shown on this district MAP.

You need a score of 500 for the TOEFL paper-based test and 61 for the internet-based test.

You need a score of 5.5 Overall Band Score or Individual Band Score of 5.0 for the IELTS test.

Please note: Although we offer ESL (English as a Second Language) courses, we do not have an exclusive ESL program suited for international F-1 visa students.

To maintain your F-1 visa status, you must be enrolled in a full-time course of study (12 credits or more) each semester. At this time, we cannot guarantee a full-time ESL schedule.

EMCC is one of 10 (ten) community colleges within the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). Please research the ESL programs at any of our sister colleges shown on this district MAP.

No. Although we offer ESL (English as a Second Language) courses, we do not have an exclusive ESL program suited for international F-1 visa students.

To maintain your F-1 visa status, you must be enrolled in a full-time course of study (12 credits or more) each semester. At this time, we cannot guarantee a full-time ESL schedule.

EMCC is one of 10 (ten) community colleges within the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). Please research the ESL programs at any of our sister colleges shown on this district MAP.

International students may be required to file U.S. Federal Income Tax, even if you do not work. Please discuss this subject with your parents, guardian, or whoever is financially supporting your living and education expenses for guidance.

Please review the following IRS (Internal Revenue Service) website link for answers to some of your questions regarding your special filing requirements as an international student: F-1 Students & U.S. Taxes

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, nonimmigrant visas are issued to those who intend to remain in the United States for a temporary (less than permanent)
period. The period varies for different nonimmigrant categories. There are numerous nonimmigrant U.S. visa categories; each is used for a different, but very specific purpose.

If your original reason for coming to the United States changes, you may be required to
change your nonimmigrant status to a different one before you lawfully begin to
engage in the activities you want to pursue.

Please read the following guide, containing information on how to apply for a change from
your current nonimmigrant status to another nonimmigrant status while you are in the United States:

How Do I Change to Another Nonimmigrant Status?