International Student

Welcome to Central Community College! Navigating the process of international study in the United States is a complex process. We are here to guide you through the progression.

An international Student is any student whose country of citizenship is outside the United States of America and who is present in the U.S. because he/she possesses a current F-1 or M1 Visa. Check out the international student lifecycle to further your understanding of applying for a visa to study in the U.S.

Regional Information

Central Community College campuses are in the central area of the state.  Towns include: Grand Island, Hastings and Columbus Nebraska. 

The climate of the area consists of four distinct seasons. Summer days in July warm up to an average of 87° Fahrenheit (30.5 Celsius) while January brings colder temperatures, averaging 31° Fahrenheit (-.5 Celsius).

Central Nebraska's major industries include agriculture, agriculture-related businesses, steel manufacturing, food processing and healthcare.

Grand Island, Nebraska:

Hastings, Nebraska

Columbus, Nebraska

Dates and Deadlines for F-1 /M-1 Students

We recommend international applicants seeking a F-1/M-1 Visa from your consulate begin the application process six months prior to the deadline date shown below. The Admissions Office must receive all application materials by the following deadlines to allow time for processing and for you to complete paperwork needed to travel to the U.S.

Application Deadline

The final application must include all documentation.

  • Fall term (August through December): July 1
  • Spring term (January through May): December 1
  • Students must be on campus by the end of the first week of classes or risk termination of your SEVIS record.

Application Steps

Your Designated School Official will assist you in understanding and complying with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration regulations and required documentation.  DHS requires the college to create and maintain your Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) immigration record.  U.S. regulations require you to keep us informed of any changes to your academic status or your immigration status, so we can update your SEVIS record in a timely fashion. 


How to Apply - First Time College Student
  • Apply to Central Community College
  • In one email, submit the following documents to:
  • International Student Supplementary Application
  • Financial Affidavit Form
  • Copy of Passport
  • Language scores from either: TOEFL (61), IELTS (6.0), Duolingo English Test (90) and/or appropriate ACT/SAT/NWEA MAP test scores
    • CCC’s codes are: TOEFL: 6584 (original TOEFL document required)
    • Students from the following countries do not need to submit scores: Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Common Wealth Caribbean, Ireland, New Zealand or United Kingdom.
  • A copy of your Visa will be required after your I-20 is issued. 
How to Apply - Transfer Students Coming From a College or University Within the United States
  • Apply to Central Community College
  • In one email, submit the following documents to:
  • International Student Supplementary Application
  • Financial Affidavit Form
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Visa
  • Language scores from either: TOEFL (61), IELTS (6.0), Duolingo English Test (90) and/or appropriate ACT/SAT/NWEA MAP test scores (minimum scores listed)
    • CCC’s codes are: TOEFL: 6584 (original TOEFL document required)
    • Students from the following countries do not need to submit scores: Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Common Wealth Caribbean, Ireland, New Zealand or United Kingdom.
  • Copy of your I-94
  • Copy of your Social Security Card (if applicable)
  • Send official college transcripts electronically to Central Community College. Once the transcript is received, CCC will evaluate the courses for possible use towards your program at CCC.
  • Transfer to CCC Form
How to Apply - Guest Students (Course Only)

*Guest students are currently sponsored by another organization or business or an F1 student at another institution*

How to Apply :
  • Complete Central Community College Application.
  • In one email, submit the following documents to:
  • Copy of your Visa
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of your I-20 / DS - 2019
  • If there is a notation on your I-20 / DS - 2019 that allows concurrent enrollment at a college, that will be all we will need.
  • If the notation is not included, you will need to secure a letter from your sponsoring organization that indicates you are allowed to take a course at Central Community College.

In order for you to enroll in classes, you must submit these documents 7 days prior to classes starting.    

Eligible Programs for Study

Campus Housing

  • On-Campus Housing is available in Columbus and Hastings only. These facilities often fill to capacity.
  • All athletes are required to live on campus.
  • Apply here for housing

Off-Campus Housing

  • Students who wish to live off campus are responsible for finding their own housing.
Before You Arrive

You have received your acceptance letter and I-20, now what?

  • Pay SEVIS Fee
    • Once you receive your I-20 you will need to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for your F-1 Visa.
  • Apply for a Visa and request an appointment
  • Prepare for your Visa appointment
  • Communicate with your DSO as soon as you receive your F-1 Visa
  • Book your flight and notify your DSO of your arrival date. Please note that CCC does not offer transportation to and from the airport.
Maintaining Your Status

Your DSO can assist you with information you may need to maintain your status.  However, it’s in your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the following

Code of Conduct

Unfamiliarity, misunderstanding, and legitimate cultural differences will not excuse an international student from adhering to CCC’s policies of student conduct. Be aware that standards are strict and can affect an international student's immigration status. To experience success at our college, familiarize yourself with the Student Code of Conduct

Academic Integrity

Central Community College students are expected to uphold academic standards while attending college.  To experience success at CCC, familiarize yourself with our Academic Integrity standards.

Academic Standing

All students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA). At CCC, students are required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 to be in good academic standing. If you fail to meet the required GPA, you could lose your academic standing which will affect your immigration status. There are resources available on campus to help you achieve academic and personal success. A complete list of resources can be found under Student Services.

Enrollment Requirement

As an international student in F-1 or M-1 student status, your priority is full-time study. All students in F-1 or M-1 student status must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours) and make sufficient progress in their degree program. Students in F-1 or M-1 student status must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours of in-person instruction.

Change of Major

During the course of your schooling, you may decide to change your major. Contact the Designated School Official to assist with this process.

  • A change in major requires a SEVIS update and must be completed concurrently with (or before) the change in college records.

While You Are Here

Please be aware of the complex details you’ll need to know in order to continuing studying In the United States while at Central Community College.


Reporting to Campus

In order to have your SEVIS record registered when you arrive on campus, you must report to the DSO for mandatory check-in.  Students must report in person no later than the first week of classes. Failure to do so could result in a termination of your SEVIS record, and jeopardize your legal ability to remain in the U.S.

Tuition and Payment Information
  • Tuition payment is due the first day of class.
  • International Students are required to pay out of state tuition. Click here for tuition costs.
  • Please contact Student Accounts at 402-562-1226 if you have further questions.
Maintain Health and Accident Insurance

F-1 students are responsible for purchasing and maintaining healthcare insurance. Central Community College does not provide health insurance or offer a healthcare clinic for its students. Students are liable for their own medical expenses.

Traveling Outside the United States

If you have plans to travel outside the United States, bring your Form I-20 to your DSO at least 7 days prior to traveling to see if an updated signature is required. A new form may need to be issued. If you will be traveling and applying for a new visa, you will also want to request a letter proving you are registered for classes from your DSO to verify you are a full-time student.  Ensure dates are correct on your Form I-20 before leaving the United States.

Program Extension

Inform your DSO if you need to extend the Program End Date on your I-20 because you will not be graduating on the agreed upon date. Requests for an extension may be submitted up to thirty (30) days before your Form I-20 expiration date. Once received, your DSO will provide the update to the federal government.

  • You do not have to pay a fee for a program extension.
  • Only the DSO can extend your program end date in SEVIS.
  • To be approved for a program extension, you must have maintained F-1 status and must have a compelling reason, such as academic or medical, which can be substantiated by documentation.
    • Examples can be a change of major or a documented illness.
  • Delays in completing your program caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension approval.

Once your program extension request is complete, your DSO will:

  • Prepare a Form I-20 indicating your new completion date.
    • Be sure to keep the new I-20 and all previous I-20 forms you have been issued.
    • They must be submitted on request to an immigration officer when you travel outside the U.S.
  • If you are past the program end date on your Form I-20, or you do not meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a program extension, you will need to file for reinstatement to F-1 status, for which the USCIS will charge a fee. Please note, CCC cannot support you in this process.
  • Failure to request a program extension before your program end date is a violation of F-1 regulations; heavy penalties may occur.
Visiting Home

While studying at CCC, you may want to visit home periodically. You must ensure you are prepared with all the information you need to have successful travels.

Documents to travel with when visiting home while enrolled:

  • I-20 form with a signature from a Designated School Official (DSO) on page 1 and page 3. The signature on page 3 must not be older than 1 year with respect to the date of reentry.
  • You also must carry all your previous I-20s.
  • A valid passport. While you are in the United States, your passport must always be valid for at least six months before it expires.
  • A valid U.S. visa (unless you are Canadian). The visa should not expire before your date of reentry to the U.S. If you plan to obtain a new visa in your home country, you need to carry your latest transcript in addition to the other items mentioned in this section.
  • I-94 form.
  • The latest version of the financial documents covering the expenses stated on your I-20.
  • A letter from the college stating you are in good standing will be required if you plan to renew your visa or if your country requires it.


Documents to travel with when visiting home after graduation and/or during OPT

  • I-20 form with a signature from a Designated School Official (DSO) on page 1 and page 3. The signature on page 3 must not be older than 1 year with respect to the date of reentry. You also must carry all of your previous I-
  • A valid passport. While you are in the United States, your passport must always be valid for at least six months before it expires.
  • A valid U.S. visa (unless you are Canadian). The visa should not expire before your date of reentry to the U.S. If you plan to obtain a new visa in your home country, you need to carry your latest transcript in addition to the other items mentioned in this section.
  • I-94 form.
  • A valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD card).
  • A letter from the employer stating that you are currently holding a position with them.


If you have any questions regarding visiting your home country, please contact your DSO.

Grades of Incomplete (I), or Failure (F) and Your Immigration Status

If you receive an "incomplete" for a course, it is very important you complete the coursework by the deadline both you and your professor agree to. If you do not complete your coursework, your incomplete will be turned into a failing grade.

If you receive a failing grade that results in your cumulative GPA dropping below 2.0, you may be academically suspended or dismissed for poor academic performance. If this situation occurs, you would be considered out of status. You would need to visit your DSO to discuss options.

Transfer Out

If you are in F-1 or M-1 status and wish to transfer to another school within the United States, CCC will help facilitate the transfer of your SEVIS record to your new school.

To be eligible for a SEVIS transfer, you must

  • have written confirmation of your acceptance to another school
  • provide current DSO with transferring school’s SEVIS ID number and DSO contact information.
  • maintain your F-1 or M-1 status
  • be in good academic standing through the transfer release date.

Once CCC releases your SEVIS record to another school, we cannot undo the transfer. Therefore, be fully decided about the school and release date before you submit any forms to our office.

 Release Date

The release date will usually be a day between the last day of the semester at CCC and the first day of classes at the new school. 

The release date is your choice, but is subject to the following conditions:

  • It cannot be prior to the end of the current academic term for which the student is enrolled at CCC, unless the student's new program start date will begin prior to the end of CCC's term.  Students in this situation should coordinate with the CCC Designated School Official (DSO) and the new institution's DSO to choose an appropriate release date.
  • For F-1 students completing their program at CCC: The transfer release date must be within the 60 days grace period following completion.Also, the academic program at the new school must begin within five months of completion of your CCC program or end date of OPT.


Once the release date arrives, your record is transferred to the new school, and you may no longer attend CCC. Once your SEVIS record has been transferred, you should coordinate the receipt of your new Form I-20 with the new school.


If you choose to seek employment while in the United States, please familiarize yourself with the following details.

As an international student, you are only allowed to work on campus in part-time (less than 20 hours a week), non-work study jobs. Employment is not guaranteed.

Steps to attain on-campus employment:
  1. Receive job offer from on-campus supervisor for PT employment and meet with DSO.
  2. DSO will prepare documentation allowing the student to apply for a Social Security number.
  3. Notify your DSO upon receipt of your Social Security Number.

It is against the law to work off campus while in F-1 status without authorization/permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If a student uses his/her social security number to become employed by an unauthorized employer, then his/her F-1 student Visa status is void.

Curricular Practical Training

Central Community College does not support students seeking Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Optional Practical Training

After the student has been in F-1 status for at least one academic year, they may qualify for an authorized paid training off-campus position. The paid position MUST relate directly to his/her course of study. The student is required to obtain permission before he/she can begin work and complete all required steps. You can find out more about OPT here.

Completion of Studies at Central Community College

When you have finished your program of study at Central Community College, you will have 60 days until your I-20 will be deactivated. You have the following options:

  • Continue studies at CCC in another program. An updated I-20 must be issued to reflect these changes; speak to your DSO for details.
  • Transfer to another college or university. You will need to provide a letter of acceptance and a SEVIS transfer form from the transfer college or university. These must be given to your DSO before your I-20 will be transferred.
  • Apply for Optional Practical Training at least three months prior to completing your degree. Make an appointment to speak to your DSO.
  • Return home (leave the U.S.) within 60 days of the program end date.
Key Terms

Annual Vacation

Students must complete one academic year before they become eligible to take one term of vacation.

Consulates and Embassies

Students may apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate, located in national, provincial, or regional capitals around the world. Click here to find the nearest US embassy or consulate.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

DHS has a broad range of responsibility including preventing terrorism, securing U.S. borders, administering immigration laws, and overseeing the student visa system.

Department of State

A federal agency that issues visas at U.S. consulates and embassies and offers useful information for students on its websites.


A student’s spouse and/or minor child (unmarried and under 21 years old). Dependents may legally accompany you to the United States or join you in the country while you study. They must apply for an F-2 visa.

Designated School Official (DSO)

A school employee dedicated to assist F students enrolled at a school. Email them at

Evidence of Financial Support

Proof a student provides to their designated school official of their ability to finance their studies in the United States. Examples of evidence include bank statements, letters from a sponsor, or a scholarship letter. 

F-1 Status

A visa status for students eligible to enroll in academic programs in the United States including at colleges or universities awarding bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or professional degrees.

F-2 Status

Nonimmigrant visa status required for dependents (spouse or minor children) of F-1 visa holders to enter the United States. (See Dependent

Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status”

A form issued to accepted nonimmigrant students from their Student and Exchange Visitor Program-certified school that is required to pay their I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System fee, apply for a visa, enter the United States, apply for benefits, and use for employment authorization or travel.

Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record”

An electronic Department of Homeland Security form issued to all nonimmigrants upon entry to the United States that is evidence of their admission and is used to document legal status in the United States, including length of stay. Click here to print your I-94.

Full Course of Study

A requirement for students to maintain their student status by enrolling in a full course of study every academic term. 12 credit hours reflects a full course of study   Your DSO can provide more information.

Grace Period

F-1 students’ grace period is 60 days after the program end date. Then they must do one of the following:

1-      Transfer to Another School

2-      Apply for a Change of Level

3-      Apply to change to another nonimmigrant status

4-      Depart the United States

 If an F-1 student is absent from their course of study, they are permitted a 15-day grace period to depart the United States.

I-901 SEVIS Fee

A fee that all F students must pay before the Department of State can issue a visa. Students pay this fee after receiving their Form I-20.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, ICE helps secure the foreign student visa system. 

Leave of Absence

A DSO authorized absence from class that allows a student to suspend enrollment in a program of study and leave the United States, but the student intends to return and resume the program of study within five months.


A person who is admitted to the United States for a specific temporary period of time.

Online/Distance Learning

F students may count one online course towards their full course of study. 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Employment authorization must relate to a student’s major or course of study. To participate, students must receive approval from their designated school official and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. OPT may occur before or after the program end date, but participants may only work for 20 hours per week while school is in session.


A government-issued travel document that certifies the identity and nationality of its holder for the purpose of international travel.

Port of Entry

An arrival point at a U.S. international airport, seaport or land border crossing, where a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will determine whether students can enter the United States.

Primary Inspection

At the port of entry students will present documents to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer who will determine if they can enter the United States.

Program End Date

The date listed on a student’s Form I-20, when they will complete their program and must either transfer to another school, apply to change education level, apply to change to another nonimmigrant status or depart the United States within the grace period.

Program Start Date

The date listed on a student’s Form I-20 when they must enroll in a program of study. Students can enter the United States no more than 30 days before this date and need to contact their Designated School Official no later than this date to inform them they are in the country.

Secondary Inspection

If the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at primary inspection at a port of entry cannot verify a student’s information, or if they do not have all the required documentation, a CBP officer may direct them to an interview area known as “secondary inspection.” Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify information without causing delays for other arriving passengers.


SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, an Internet-based system that SEVP uses to maintain information on SEVP-certified schools, Department of State-certified exchange visitor programs, F, M, and J nonimmigrants, and their dependents.


A unique identifier printed on each Form I-20 in the top right corner, which consists of an alpha character (N) and up to 11 numbers (for example, N0002123457)

Social Security number

A nine-digit number assigned by the Social Security Administration to approved students who are eligible to apply for employment in the United States.  

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)

SEVP helps the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State monitor school and exchange visitor programs, nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors, and their dependents.


The process of a student leaving one program to enroll in another. Students may be eligible to transfer to another school if they have continuously maintained their status and follow proper procedures.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

USCIS authorizes benefits for students and exchange visitors, such as employment, extending their stay, or changing status.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP secures the borders of the United States, including airports, land borders and seaports. When entering the country, students go through inspections with CBP officers and must present proper documentation.


A document issued by the Department of State that enables a student or exchange visitor to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter the United States.

Visa-Exempt Country

Certain countries, including Canada and Bermuda, whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States and may apply at the U.S. port of entry for F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status. Citizens of these countries must still:

  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee
  • Receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Maintain status

For more immigration terms refer to the Study in the States Glossary