Steps to apply - International Students
New and Transfer Students CLICK HERE: hccs.edu/f1applynow
Refer here for Helpful Links to navigate our website.
F1 Services and Forms
The Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad is committed to providing the best service possible for our students.
To make your next visit to our office more efficient, please review this list of services and bring the appropriate required documents outlined here to ensure quick and effective service.
Services and Forms
Change of Status
You must be admitted into a full-time program of study at Houston Community College (HCC) and obtain the SEVIS Form I-20 from the Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad (OISS&SA).
Step I: Online Application
Complete the online application for Admissions to HCC
- Select “Semester Credit Hour” and click Next
- Enter your date of birth (leave the Social Security Number space empty)
- Under the “Biographical Data” section, check the first box for F-1 students
- Complete the rest of the application and submit
- Record your HCC ID number (starts with “W”) and P number
Step II: Set up your HCC account
- Navigate to the Student System Sign In webpage:
- Visit www.hccs.edu
- Click the "STUDENT SIGN-INS" link found in the top right corner of the screen.
- Under "PeopleSoft," select "Student System sign-in"
- You are now on the Student System Sign In page. You will need to re-visit this page often, so it is a good idea to save it as a favorite in your internet browser.
- Create your account
- On the Student System Sign In page, click "First Time User"
- In the SSN field, enter your Assigned Number / P-number. Your P-number will be sent to your email after you submit the online application.
- Enter your Date of Birth
- Click "Retrieve ID/PWD"
- You will be provided with your User ID and temporary password.
- The next time you log in, you will be prompted to change your temporary password.
- If you need additional assistance with accessing your account, please visit this website: http://www.hccs.edu/district/students/student-system-help/
Step III: Request a COS appointment
Step IV: Attend the assigned COS information session
- Prepare the COS application documents and bring them to the information session
- Change of Status Application Checklist (for Spring 2017)
- Change of Status Financial Documentation Checklist
- Legal Waiver and Release Form
Step V: Receive your COS SEVIS form I-20 from OISS.
Step VII: Send your COS package to DHS
Step VIII: Obligations to OISS&SA as a change-of-status applicant
If you are unable to obtain the F-1 student visa, or, for any other reason, are unable to report on time for the semester you initially applied for and wish to defer your attendance to the next available semester, you must submit a deferred attendance request in order to process a new SEVIS Form I-20 for the next term.
Submit the following completed documentation to:
Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad
Houston Community College
3100 Main Street, MC 1138
Houston, Texas 77002
- Complete the Deferment Request Form
- Complete the SEVIS Form I-20 Application
- Proof of financial support. (see Financial Requirements International Students ) All financial documents must be original and dated within the past six months.
However, if your previous documents on record are dated within the past six month, no new documents are required.
- Submit a deferment fee of U.S. $50.00
Note: The preferred payment method is an online payment using a credit card.
Students must print the receipt at the end of the transaction and submit it as proof of payment with your application.
Alternatively, money orders payable to Houston Community College can be mailed to OISS&SA or submitted in person at the HCC cashier's office on campus.
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
When you apply for graduation, you should notify your DSO. You may do so by turning in the Completion Verification Form Below at the begining of your graduating semester.
Also, students who are graduating and need less than 12 semester credit hours to complete their program may use this same form to request permission to take less than 12SCH for their final semester. Make sure to turn in the form at the beginning of the semester.
The Completion Verification Form should be filled out by an academic advisor at the campus or at the OISS&SA.
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:
Employment - On-campus, Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
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.).
Employment - Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (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. Please see the tutorial below for more information below on how to apply for OPT.
Traveling Out of the Country
F-1 Students travelling out of the country must have the 2nd 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.
- F-1 Student Program Completion Verification Form
- 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
Please note: NEW Students, Transfer Students, Change of Education Level Students, Change of Status Students - you will not show up in the DPS system until you have been registered in SEVIS - which will occur after the beginning of second start of your first semester at HCC. To see when second start is, visit the HCC calendar.
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.
Lost or Stolen I-20: Need Re-print
Current students who have lost or stolen their I-20 may request a new I-20 in person at the Office of International Student Services& Study Abroad.
To get a re-print of your lost or stolen I-20, you must bring the following items:
- Police Report - students need to report lost or stolen I-20's to the police. You may call 713-718-8888 or visit the police office behind the Office of International Student Services to obtain a police report number.
- Valid photo ID - drivers license, passport or HCC ID will work to identify you as the student whose name is on the I-20
- $50 reproduction fee - check or money order
Receiving My I-20 and Express Mail
Once the office receives all of your documents, you should wait at least 10 business days for processing. This time will vary depending on when the application is submitted and how many applicants there are at that time. Applications are processed in the order they are received.
Once the I-20 is processed, we will mail it to the mailing address you provided on the I-20 applicatoin.
There are 2 options available for the mailing of your acceptance letter and I-20 which are as follows:
- Send by Regular Overseas Mail - Overseas mail takes 4-6 weeks. If you want your I-20 sent by regular overseas mail, no response is required. Your I-20 will be sent by regular overseas mail to the address indicated on your application. Please do not e-mail to confirm your overseas address.
- Send by Express Mail to receive your I-20 within 5 days after processing. Express mail is at the expense of the student.
To select express mail, follow this link: International Express Mail