New International Students
New student deadlines
The OISS&SA must receive your application on or before:
- Fall Semester: July 1
- Spring Semester: November 1
- Summer Semester: April 1
If your application is completed after the deadline, you will automatically be considered for admission for the next available semester. If you do not want to be considered for the next semester, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply to HCC: New Students Living Outside the U.S.
Step 1: Online application, W and P numbers
If you already have an HCC student ID, make sure the information on your HCC account is updated and go to Step 3 below. If this does not apply to you, begin at Step 1. Do not use the Degree Seeking (ApplyTexas) application because it is not customized for HCC F-1 students.
- Click on online application for Admissions (In the case of an error message, choose a different browser)
- Go to “Start New Application"
- Select “F-1 International” application (the third option from the top) and click Next
- Enter your Names as they appear on your passport, Date of Birth, and your Email
- Set your Password (take a screenshot of the page and record your password)
- From the “New Account Created” page, click “Continue” to go to F1 Application steps.
- Choose “Yes” to confirm that you are applying as an F-1 student
- Choose New Student from “I am applying as”
- Select the Admit term/semester you want to start studying at HCC
- Complete all 9 steps of the application and submit
- You will receive your Conditional Approval Letter and an email with the next steps with your HCC student ID and your Assigned Number (starting with P)
Do not submit multiple applications! You need only one HCC student ID and we can work with you if you have to make changes. Multiple student IDs will slow your application process. Remember: You will keep the same User ID throughout your HCC career.
Step 2: Sign in to your HCC account
- Navigate to the Student System Sign In webpage:
- Visit www.hccs.edu
- Click the "MyEagle Student Sign-In" link found in the top left corner of the screen
- Select "Student 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.
- Log in with your HCC Student ID number (W00000000) and your password previously created
If you need additional assistance with accessing your account, please visit http://www.hccs.edu/resources-for/current-students/student-system-help/
Step 3: Prepare application documents
* All documents must be saved as PDF files with short names (less than 30 characters). The file name should not contain any invalid characters such as (*:"<>?). Bad quality or upside-down documents will be rejected. Please combine different document types in 1 PDF file. For example, if you have statements from different banks, save them as one file. To scan and convert a file to PDF format, you can also use free PDF scanner apps (Genius Scan - PDF Scanner, Fast Scanner: Free PDF Scan for Android, Tiny Scanner- PDF scanner, etc.) Upon uploading, the System will add automatically 3 or 4-digit code and your HCC ID number to the name of the document. Do not attempt to modify the document's name!
1. Complete the SEVIS Form I-20 Application This is a fillable .PDF document that is different from the online application.
Note: Type the information online and sign it. Electronic signature is acceptable. (This document may not show on the To-Do list if we have received it via email.) *Add additional page if more than 1 dependents.
2. Passport photocopy (biometric page only) *
* Provide this document for all dependents (spouse/ children under 21) who will accompany you, as well as marriage and birth certificates.
Note: If you have multiple documents, save them as 1 document in PDF format.
4. Application Fee (please save a copy of the receipt)
Pay the non-refundable application fee of $75 and save the receipt as a PDF.
How to pay the fee:
Online payments (preferred): You can pay the fee online using a credit card or funds transfer from your local bank. For online payments, refer to the International Payment Tutorial (Flywire) for instructions. Please note that you must have completed Step 1 and Step 2 before you can make a payment online.
Note: The payment term and entrance term may vary when paying the fee online. This is not a problem as the payment can be tracked by date.
Step 4: Upload documents to your F-1 Student Checklist
- Log in to your account on the HCC Student System
- In Student Homepage, click on Checklists
- Click on the F-1 Student Checklist to upload the required documents (If you do not see an F-1 Student Checklist, please send an email to email@example.com with your HCC student ID, "NEW," and the semester you're applying for, written in the subject line. Check your account again within 3 business days, and the F-1 Student Checklist should now be available.)
New applicants should wait about 2 hours after submission of the online application to access their F-1 Student Checklist.
* Monitor your F-1 Student Checklist for additional documents that may be required.
Step 5: Check the status of your application
Login to your HCC Student Sign-In and view your To-Do list. If the only item in your To-Do list is “I-20 In Process”, your application is under review by one of the International Admissions Advisors. If you see any other items in your To-Do list, you must upload the required documents so that your application can be reviewed.
Once you have uploaded all of your documents, you should wait at least 10 business days for processing of the SEVIS Form I-20. 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.
If you have not received any communication from our office within 10 business days, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to check the status of your application.
Step 6: Receive Your SEVIS Form I-20
Once the office receives all of your documents, you should wait at least 10 business days for processing of the SEVIS Form I-20. 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.
We are now sending the I-20 form electronically via email (per SEVP COVID-19 temporary policy). This action will eliminate any additional expenses for mailing, as well as help alleviate any uncertainty with receiving your I-20 in a timely manner due to postal service delays. Form I-20 cannot be picked up from our office or sent to you by mail. It will be sent to your preferred email listed on your student's account.
After Receiving your I-20
Please note: The United States government is responsible for overseeing each of the steps below. HCC cannot assist you with paying the I-901 Fee, visa interviews/denials, or entry at the U.S. border.
Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
Using the information on your I-20, submit SEVIS I-901 Fee payment here: www.fmjfee.com. Print your receipt to present during your visa interview and when you enter the U.S.
Obtain Your F-1 Visa
Apply for an F-1 Visa with your U.S. embassy/consulate. For additional information about this process, review Study in the States’ Five Ways to Prepare for Your Visa Interview.
Visa Denials: If you are denied an F-1 visa on your first attempt, you can re-apply with your U.S. embassy/consulate. If you will be unable to enter the U.S. by the Program Start Date listed on your I-20, you can defer your attendance to receive an I-20 for the next semester. Please note that you can apply for deferment only by the date listed on your acceptance letter. Applications received after that date will be processed as initial/new applications.
* Citizens of Canada and Bermuda are not required to obtain an F-1 visa. Upon arrival as F-1 students, their passports should show an entry stamp indicating D/S (Duration of Status).
Enter the United States
Once you have a valid F-1 visa, you are permitted to enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20. It is recommended that you arrive at least 2 weeks before the Program Start Date listed on your I-20 so that you have enough time to complete the steps required to enroll in classes. Classes can fill up so you need to arrive as soon as possible to ensure you are able to enroll in the required number of classes.
If you will be unable to enter the U.S. by the Program Start Date listed on your I-20, you should defer your attendance to receive an I-20 for the next semester.
All Initial F-1 students coming to the United States must be ready to present the following documentation when entering the U.S.:
- Original SEVIS Form I-20 – With valid Program Start Date and signed by the Designated School Official/International Student Advisor (DSO/ISA)
- Passport – Must be valid for at least six months after the date of your entry.
- F-1 Visa – Must be valid and designated for attendance at HCC.
- Proof of Financial Support – Information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.
- I-901 Fee Payment Receipt – Validating that the I-901 payment was submitted. The receipt can be reprinted at www.fmjfee.com.
Please review Study in the States’ Getting to the United States for additional instructions about your entry to the U.S.
Check-In with International Services & Programs Office
After you have successfully entered the U.S. on your F-1 visa, you must immediately report to Check-In with the Houston Community College Office of International Student Services by sending the Ckheck-in document via email@example.com email. You can find the documents required for Check-In here.