Current Students Resources
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 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 C.F.R. 214.2(f) (9) (i) and HCC’s internal policy, 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Houston Community College (HCC) does not have housing facilities. All HCC students live off-campus and must arrange their own housing options prior to enrollment. HCC does not recommend any particular housing option, but below are a few options available for students' consideration (please contact the vendor directly):
- $200 Placement fee
- $575 minimum per month (room only)
- $750 minimum per month (room with continental breakfast and dinner)
- $210 refundable room deposit
Ms. Barbara Land
Address: 8511 Hiawatha Drive
Houston, TX 77036
Note: Airport pick-up can be arranged. Please contact the service provider at www.homestayhouston.com
Hotels can provide students with short-term or, in some cases, long-term options for housing in the Houston area upon their immediate arrival in the U.S.
One option is an extended-stay hotel, which is a serviced apartment complex that uses a booking system similar to hotels. The accommodations are similar to apartments, and there are no fixed contracts.
Another option is a conventional hotel, which students and their families can use upon their immediate arrival to the U.S. for a short term while they locate a permanent housing option.
1. Below is an extended-stay hotel that is offering a discounted rate for Houston Community College students:
(Located within 13 miles of three HCC campuses, including Katy, Spring Branch and Alief-Hayes)
- 1 - 6 nights ($69.99 nightly + tax)
- Weekly ($309 + tax)
- Call Hotel for Monthly Rates
121 Baker Road
Houston, TX 77094
Reservations: To reserve, call general manager Janice Todd-Jordan at 281-599-8872.
2. Below is a conventional hotel that is offering a discounted rate for Houston Community College students and their families:
(Located within 10 miles of seven HCC campuses, including Central, West Loop, Gulfton, Coleman, South, Eastside and Southeast-Felix Fraga, and less than 5 miles from HCC's Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad)
- $92.00 nightly + tax
1616 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
Reservations: To reserve, visit the Holiday Inn Houston Downtown's booking website.
Apartments are another alternative for students seeking housing arrangements in the Houston area, and many reasonable options can easily be found. Students can rent apartments prior to arrival by contacting an apartment locator, such as those at the Houston Apartment Association, who can help them find an apartment within their price range. For more information, please contact the Houston Apartment Association at:
The information presented above on the HCC Office of International Student Services & Study Abroad's website is intended as a resource to assist students with locating housing and should in no way be construed as an official endorsement of the aforementioned vendors. HCC does not have an official business relationship with any of these vendors and is not to be held liable for their business practices. As such, students are solely responsible for business agreements entered into with any vendor, and HCC bears no responsibility for making sure these agreements are carried out.
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
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
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.