All international students wishing to live in the US while attending college must be admitted as full-time international students and maintain a full-time course load to stay in compliance with F-1/F-3 Visa requirements. Mexican students who reside in Mexico and commute daily to college may be allowed to enroll less than full time as an F-3/Border Commuter International Student, but there are important restrictions that must be followed to maintain the F-1/F-3 Visa. DHS uses the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS) to track and issue I-20's.
Proof of proficiency in the English language is required for enrollment into academic programs. The following may be used as proof of proficiency:
- Official transcripts reflecting graduation from a US high school.
- Official transcripts from an accredited US college or university showing completion of 12 semester – credit hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Official report on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 450 (paper-based), or 133 (computerized), or 45 (Internet) on the International version.
- Completion of the English Language program at EPCC.
Students not proficient in the English language must enroll in the English Language Program.
All transcripts from previously attended institutions, both U.S. and foreign, must be received by ISO prior to an I-20 being issued.
Foreign high school transcripts can be submitted directly to the ISO along with the admissions application. Original transcripts will be returned to the student. Transcripts issued by the high school that are not in English or Spanish must have a translation provided by an agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
A list of NACES agencies can be found at
Foreign post-high school (college and university level) transcripts from all institutions previously attended, including those in English and Spanish, must have a course-by-course evaluation from a NACES agency sent directly to EPCC.
SEVIS I-20/F-1 Visa
To apply for a SEVIS I-20 Form you must:
- Complete an EPCC Admissions Application Form
- Have a valid passport from your home country
- Pay a $25.00 (USD) admission fee
- Provide official transcripts
Additionally, students wishing to reside in the US while attending school full-time must submit a completed Financial Responsibility Statement, to include a current bank statement, indicating sufficient funds to pay living expenses and cost of school.
After receiving the SEVIS I-20 form and F-1/F-3 Visa, the following requirements pertain to both full-time and Border Commuter students:
- You must report to the EPCC International Students Office within 10 days of entering the US for the first time on your F-1/F-3 Visa.
- You must report all changes to your address and phone number to the International Students Office within ten (10) days.
- You must report to the International Students Office any changes in your schedule that causes you to be out of status, i.e., withdrawing from a class causing less than full-time attendance.
- You must report to the International Students Office and receive permission prior to registration if you wish to enroll for less than full-time.
- To extend your I-20 Form, you must report to the International Students Office for an extension four (4) weeks prior to the expiration date. If the I-20 is not extended or renewed prior to the expiration date, it will be terminated and the student will not be allowed to continue to study after the expiration date. The student will have to leave the US and re-apply for a new I-20 and get a new F-1/F-3 Visa.
- Contact the International Students Office immediately if you plan to transfer to another college or university. Another school will not be able to issue an I-20 to you unless EPCC first releases your SEVIS record.
EPCC has dedicated staff at each campus serving the needs of the international student from the admission application process through transfer or graduation. We understand that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations can be difficult to understand, but we are here to help the international student stay in compliance with DHS requirements while attending EPCC. For the convenience of students, EPCC has designated International Student advisers at all campus Counseling offices.