International Students - FAQ's

Students walking at the Main Campus Park

Frequently Asked Questions for International Student Admissions

1. What is "F-1" full time student status?

"F-1" status is a nonimmigrant status granted to individuals whose main purpose for entering the United States (U.S.) is to complete a full course of study and then return to their home country upon completion of their studies. Full time study or a full course of study consists of being enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits for the Fall and Spring semesters.

 

2. What is a form I-20?

The form I-20 is a U.S. government form on which Passaic County Community College certifies to the United States government that an individual is eligible for F-1 student status. To receive a form I-20, a student must be accepted for admissions to Passaic County Community College, must have declared a major course of study for a degree program, must intend to study full time, and must have the financial resources to study and live in the U.S. without working illegally or suffering from poverty. A form I-20 is only issued by the school you plan to attend when you enter the United States.



3. Why do I need a form I-20?

A form I-20 is required to obtain an F-1 (full-time student) visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country. A form I-20 is also required to keep lawful F-1 status when transferring or changing schools in the United States.

 

4. Can I study in the United States with a B nonimmigrant visa?

The U.S. government prohibits a B nonimmigrant (both B-1 visitors for business and B-2 visitors for pleasure) from enrolling in a course of study. If you use a B visa to enter the U.S. to attend school, you could be guilty of a fraudulent entry, and be refused permission to stay longer than six months or to extend or change your status.



5. When can I apply for an I-20?

You can apply for an I-20 for the fall academic semester between January 15 & June 15 and, for the spring academic semester between June 15 and October 15. You can contact the PCCC Admission Office at (973) 684-6868 to request an admissions packet and I-20 application.



6. Once I have my I-20 and Student Visa when can I enter the country?

If you are applying from outside the United States, you will not be able to enter the United States until a month (30 days) before the semester begins, and you MUST report to the Admissions Office to speak with the International Admissions Counselor.



7. How can I get an admissions packet & I-20 application, and what can I get ready prior to receiving the packet?

Request an admissions packet & I-20 application from our Admissions Office. You can do that by emailing Maritza Davila, our Assistant Director of Admissions  at mdavila@pccc.edu; or by writing to: Ms. Maritza Davila, Assistant Director of Admissions,  Passaic County Community College, One College Boulevard, Paterson, New Jersey 07505. While you’re waiting for the packet to arrive, request an official copy of your grades and proof of graduation from your high school or secondary school. This must be an official and original copy and must be translated into English by a certified translator. You can also determine who will be your sponsor (the person paying for your expenses while studying in this country).

 

8. Who should be my sponsor?

The United States government requires that you have enough financial support to cover the full costs of your studies, both academic costs and living expenses. Academic and living expenses are detailed in the PCCC International Admissions Packet. There are documents a sponsor must fill out to prove financial responsibility. These are also included in your Admission Packet.

Anyone can be your sponsor, including yourself, as long as financial requirements are met. It is also possible to have more than one sponsor. You might have one sponsor for your academic costs and another sponsor for your living expenses. A sponsor should promise only as much money as he or she is able to give you.



9. What happens when the completed international admissions packet is returned to the Admissions Office?

The papers will be reviewed to check for completion of your application. If your application is complete and you are found to be eligible, the I-20 will be processed in SEVIS and submitted electronically to immigration. A letter of acceptance to our college will be sent to you along with further instructions to follow.  If you are outside the United States, you will need to contact the United States Consulate in your country and follow the necessary procedure to apply for an F-1 Student Visa. It is extremely important that you contact the PCCC Admissions Office immediately upon entry to the United States.

 

10. What are the main Immigration requirements for an F-1 student while studying at Passaic County Community College?

You must be admitted to a degree program, must register full time (minimum of 12 credits) for the Fall and Spring semesters, and must attend all your classes. Abandoning a class without prior approval from your international student advisor will result in you violating your status. For more information, please see section entitled “Maintaining F-1 Status”.

 

11. Will I be given any tests when I come to the college?

You will need to take the English as a Second Language (ESL) Placement Test. This test is used for course placement purposes and is not an entrance examination. If you are presently attending a college/university in the U.S. and have already earned college level credits that you plan to transfer, the Placement Test may be waved.


12. Once I register for classes how do I pay my bill?

Students attending PCCC on an F-1 STUDENT VISA are responsible for payment IN FULL within 48 hours of registration- failure to do so will result in courses being deleted.
Failure to be registered as a full-time student (fall/spring) is a violation of Federal Regulation [8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)] pertaining to your F-1 status and will result in the termination of your I-20 and the notification of your non-enrollment to the Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.