Steps to Apply for International Students on an F-1 student visa
New, Transfer, Change of Status International Students
International students refers to those who hold, or are seeking, an F-1 student visa. The application process for international students is different from U.S. resident students. Students seeking an F-1 visa may not apply online, but instead must follow the application requirements detailed here. Be sure to review all of the pages in this section to understand the basics of applying as an international student.
New - International student applying for F-1 visa from home country
Transfer - Currently hold F-1 visa and have recently studied at another institution within the U.S.
Change of Status - Currently in the U.S. on a visa other than F-1 and wish to change status to F-1 student status. View for more information regarding changing your status.
View the requirements here. Documents must be submitted by the deadline below to one of the coordinators by appointment or mailed to the campus you wish to attend.
***While campus locations are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, application documents can be accepted via email. Email the coordinator at the campus most convenient to your desired location.
Deadline Spring 2021 semester:
New Overseas students - Dec. 4, 2020
Change of Status students - Dec. 4, 2020
Transfer students - Jan. 8, 2021
Deadline Summer 2021 semester:
Transfer students – May 14, 2021
*Change of Status applicants – May 14, 2021 *Click here for change of status information
Expect two to three weeks for processing. Once all requirements are met, you will receive an acceptance letter.
If you are currently overseas, a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) will be mailed to the address on your application. Upon receipt of your Initial Form I-20, pay your SEVIS I-901 fee and make an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. consulate/embassy.
Once you have a valid Tri-C student ID number (S#) you can take the mandatory ESL placement test at a Tri-C campus Testing Center.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Placement Test: Students beginning the English as a Second Language program must take the ESL Placement Test to determine placement in Basic, Level I, Level II, or Level III. To prepare for the test, please visit the ESL placement testing webpage to access the ESL test preparation guide. You must read through the guide and answer the sample questions found at the end. Bring those answers when you visit a Tri-C campus Testing Center for your ESL placement test.
You are exempt from the English as a Second Language Placement testing if you have completed a college-level English course with a “C” or better from an accredited U.S. college or university OR if you have earned qualifying TOEFL, IELTS, ACT or SAT scores within the last two years. See qualifying scores for the TOEFL, IELTS, ACT or SAT tests here.
Academic Testing: Students who have qualifying scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, ACT or SAT tests or have taken the ESL placement test and tested into the third level of ESL classes are eligible to take the math placement test.
For more information about the ESL placement test, please visit the ESL placement testing website or contact a Tri-C campus Testing Center.
All new international students are required to attend a mandatory orientation hosted at the campus to which you were accepted.
During orientation, you will be introduced to Tri-C policies, procedures and resources, meet with a counselor and register for your classes.
If you are taking academic (non-ESL) classes, you should meet with a counselor.
Once you have completed all required academic testing or your transcripts have been reviewed by the Registrar (transfer students only), make an appointment with a counselor by calling the campus Counseling Office at 216-987-6000, choose option 4, or schedule an appointment online.
If you are a new student, you will be required to take the one credit FYE Success Seminar below. Transfer students are exempt if they have completed 12 or more credit hours and maintained a 2.5 GPA.
- New Student Convocation: This event is a formal introduction to the campus community. You will learn about campus life and college expectations. You will also connect with campus resources, faculty and other students in your program. You must register for this course during New Student Orientation.
- First Year Experience (FYE) Success Seminar: FYE Success Seminar is a one-credit course that develops lifelong learning skills and connects students to College support services. Course topics include time management, budgeting, study-skills development, career exploration and more. Students will also develop their academic plan. Learn more about FYE at www.tri-c.edu/fye.
- Note that New Student Convocation and First Year Experience Success Seminar are co-requisites. Students must register for both courses.
As soon as your application is processed, the College will generate your my Tri-C space account. Here, you will obtain important information regarding registration and course planning. Within my Tri-C space, you will also have an email account on the Student tab. The format of your email includes your personal “S” ID number and looks like: Sxxxxxxx@acad.tri-c.edu
Remember to check your email regularly for important updates.
- Go to my.tri-c.edu
- Click "Change Your Password" to create a new password
- Enter your Tri-C ID (S#) and click "Continue"
- Enter your date of birth as your old password. Enter in m/d/yyyy format with no leading zeros
- Create a new password. Re-enter the password
- Click the "Change" button. You will be redirected to the my Tri-C space login page
- Log in using your Tri-C ID and the password you just created. (You will need to create a new password every 120 days)
Schedule your classes on the Registration tab of my Tri-C space or in person at the Enrollment Center.
- F-1 students must register for and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester at Cuyahoga Community College in order to maintain their F-1 visa status. F-1 visa holders must register for 16-week or 14-week classes and are not permitted to take 8-week courses.
- Nine credits must seated in a classroom. F-1 visa holders are only permitted to register for one online course per semester.
Registration is not complete until you have paid or made arrangements to pay for your tuition and fees. Students who wish to make an international payment from any country, using any currency, can log on to My Tri-C Space and select the Pay My Tuition link. Cash and check payments can be made in person at the Enrollment Center. Credit card payments can be made in My Tri-C space on the Paying for College tab. View the deadline dates. There is a payment deadline for each term.
International students must pay in full at the time of registration. To arrange an installment payment plan, an international student must present their Social Security card or be accompanied by a co-signer who has a Social Security number. Go to the Enrollment Center to receive an installment payment agreement form and learn about the required documents.
In order to obtain a student ID (My Tri-C Card), you must be registered for classes. Come to the Enrollment Center to have your photo taken for your student ID. Your My Tri-C Card is necessary for conducting business at the College. A photo ID will be required. Your first ID is free; there is a fee for a replacement ID.
Buy your books at the campus bookstore (take your printed class schedule) or on the Tri-C bookstore website before the start of classes. The bookstore offers rentals, e-books, used books and new books.
You will receive a new Form I-20 from your Coordinator by appointment. Please bring your passport, a print-out of your I-94 record, and your current U.S. address to the appointment.
Go to your classes, meet new people, and begin your college career as a Tri-C student! Find information about engagement opportunities on our Student Life and Engagement webpage.