The Office of International Students Services & Study Abroad (OISS&SA) will provide exemplary services for international students that include enrollment, registration, orientation, counseling, aid with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules and regulations, and other social integration needs. OISS&SA is committed to assisting international students and other non-immigrants as it relates to their student and immigrant status at HCC. OISS&SA is a reliable, knowledgeable and professional resource for international students engaged in learning and skill development.
Services and Forms
Change of Status
F-1 Students wishing to transfer to another college or university are advised to contact the college or university they wish to transfer to in order to complete the steps necessary for admissions and transfer in.
Steps to transfer out from Houston Community College (HCC).
- Submit an advisor report / transfer in form from your future college or university to the Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad (if applicable).
- Be in good standing with the HCC bursar’s office and have a zero balance.
- Submit proof of acceptance from the transfer in college or university such as an acceptance letter.
- Complete and submit the HCC Transfer out form including the student’s signature.
Withdraw from HCC
Graduating and Permission for Below 12SCH
Change of Education Level
Students who have completed their academic program at HCC have the option to pursue a new major. You must apply for a change of education level within 60 days of completing your current program or OPT.
Steps for Change of Education Level are the same as applying as a new student, bring the following documents to the OISS&SA:
In accordance to 8 CFR 214.2(9)(i), F-1 students are eligible to be employed on-campus as long as they are considered in good standing and making satisfactory progress. Students can work at all HCC locations up to 19.5 hours during the spring and fall semester and may work full-time during official vacation periods and holidays.
The F-1 on-campus employment eligibility expires once the student transfers to another institution or graduates (unless he/she continues his/her education at HCC for a secondary program in the following semester), is considered in violation of F-1status, or has changed his/her legal status.
In general, international students on F-1 status are not permitted to work off-campus without prior authorization. Any unauthorized employment is considered illegal and can cause serious consequences.
However, there are certain benefits made available by the Department of Homeland Security to F-1 students that pertain to employment opportunities as part of the educational program. Students must be in F-1 status for at least one full-time academic year before they are eligible to work off-campus.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
In accordance to 8CFR 214.2 (f)(10)(i), CPT is a specific work/training authorization issued by the Designated School Official (DSO) that allows F-1 students to pursue a part-time employment or training based on academic requirements. Such authorization is issued per semester and is only granted if the employment or training is documented as an academic necessity to complete program requirements (internship, cooperative education or field training classes etc.).
Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)
In accordance with the 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii), OPT is a specific work authorization granted by the Department of Homeland Security to allow students to obtain training in their field of study. In most cases, this application is filed as post-completion OPT in the graduating term of an Associate Program, and, if approved, grants the student a full-time work authorization for up to 12 months in a field related to his/her program of study.
- Reinstatement to F-1 Status Guidelines
Traveling Out of the Country
F-1 Students travelling out of the country must have the 3rd page of their SEVIS Form I-20 signed by a Designated School Official/ International Student Advisor. If you are planning to travel out of the country please visit the OISS&SA with the following documents at least two weeks before departure.
- Current SEVIS Form I-20
- Current Passport (valid for at least 6 months)
- Current F-1 Visa - your F-1 Visa must be valid for re-entry into the United States
If your F-1 Visa will be expired when you plan to return to the U.S., you will need to renew your VISA at a U.S. Embassy abroad while travelling. To do so, you will need to bring your SEVIS Form I-20 and a Good Standing Letter from OISS&SA to the embassy.
If your SEVIS Form I-20 is going to expire prior to completing your program plan, you may request to extend your SEVIS Form I-20 end date.
You must request to extend your SEVIS Form I-20 60 days before the end date marked on your SEVIS Form I-20. (60 days before the I-20 will expire)
To extend your I-20, bring the following documents to the OISS&SA:
- Current Financial Documentation (dated with-in the last 3 months)
- If you are using the same sponsor, you are only required to bring a new affidavit of support signed by your sponsor within the last 3 months.
- If you have a new sponsor, you are required to bring all new documents as outlined by the OISS&SA Financial Requirements.
- Copy of your Academic Advisement Report or Degree Plan from an academic advisor on campus
- Copy of the first page of your most recent I-20
In order to receive or renew a Texas Driver’s License or Texas Identification card (ID), you will need to present the following documents in person at a
Department of Public Safety (DPS) office.
- Your SEVIS I-20 Form with the port of entry stamp
- I-94 (if you do not have an I-94, you may print it at www.cbp.gov/i94 )
- Visa and passport
- 3 documents that show proof of residency in Texas for at least 30 days (such as: electric bill, bank statement, cable bill with your name and address. If your name does not appear on your bills, your roommate may accompany you the Department of Public Safety (DPS) with proof of their residency and sign an affidavit form stating you live with them.)
For more information please visit the DPS website: Department of Public Safety Website
Proof of Meningitis Vaccination
The Texas Senate Bill 1107, passed in May 2011, requires that new HCC students and former HCC students returning after an absence of at least one fall or spring semester who are under the age of 22 present a physician-signed certificate showing they have been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis. The immunization must be received at least 10 calendar days before the start date of your classes and must have been administered within the last five years.