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HCC Main Campus
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
Gateway Business Training Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD, 21046
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Change of Status F1 Visa Applicants

Application Deadlines:
  • June 1st - Fall Semester (April 1st Preferred)
  • October 1st - Spring Semester

Step 1: Read the following important information for International (F1) Applicants

Step 2: Submit an F1 Application

Step 3: Submit the following documents to complete your admission

  • Howard Community College English placement exam
    Placement into ENGL-086/ENGL-096 or higher is required for admission.  Arrangements can be made to take the test after submitting the F1 application.
  • Current bank statement (checking or savings account) with a balance of at least $34,000*
    Payment is expected for duration of study at Howard Community College.  Financial documentation must be shown to verify that students can pay for their first year of academic and living expenses before they can be admitted.  These costs are currently $34,000* for a year of study (*costs subject to change).
    • tuition and fees: $9,300
    • books: $2,400
    • room and board: $17,100
    • personal expenses: $4,200
    • health insurance: $1,000
  • Financial/Sponsorship Forms
  • Official high school diploma or graduation certificate
  • Official college or university transcripts, if applicable
    • U.S. transcripts must be official (in a sealed envelope issued by the college/university, or electronic format sent directly to HCC by the college/university)
    • Students seeking transfer credit from outside of the U.S. must have their foreign transcripts evaluated by an accredited foreign transcript evaluation agency.
  • Current Visa Documents (Passport, Visa, I-94, and any other documents related to current visa status)

Step 4: After completing admission to HCC...

  • After completing admission to Howard Community College, an HCC Designated School Official will prepare the I-20.  Students are required to pay the I-901 fee ( and then submit an I-539 application ( to the USCIS.  HCC staff cannot provide I-539 filing guidance; we recommend seeking the services of an immigration attorney if you require assistance with the I-539 application.

    Please note the following important information regarding changing visa status:

    • I-539 applications currently require more than 6 months for processing.
    • Applicants with F2 status can begin classes before F1 status is approved, but are authorized only for part-time enrollment (11 credits or less per semester).  Applicants with J or H status can begin classes before F1 status is approved with no restrictions.
    • Applicants with B1/B2 status cannot start classes until the change to F1 status has been approved, which requires filing an additional application (and fee) to extend B1/B2 status.
    • Applicants with B1/B2 status who are approved for F1 status after the term has started must wait until the next starting term to begin classes (which can delay enrollment for one or two terms).
    • Students who are approved for F1 status do not receive an F1 visa.  The F1 status will be terminated the next time the student departs the U.S., and the student will not have an F1 visa to re-enter the U.S.
    • I-539 applications filed before the applicant is present in the U.S. for 90 or more days are generally denied.
    • Please see this website for full details about changing from B1/B2 to F1 status:
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