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International Students

Testing support Services

Step 1 – APply to TCC

Complete the free online application for admission.

  • Read all the application questions carefully and do your best to respond to everything accurately.
  • Skipping a response or giving an incomplete answer will create additional steps for you later. However, please skip the Social Security number question if you do not have one.
  • To qualify for general admission, you must have a high school diploma, its equivalent, OR be 18 years of age or older, and be able to benefit from a program of study at Tidewater Community College. Your high school diploma/transcript must be translated into English by an official translating service.
  • Please see the Form I-20 application for deadlines in step 3.

Step 2 – ESL Placement

Every international student must meet the English requirements regardless of native language or country of origin. If you have not met one of the exemptions below, please make an appointment with our Testing Office ( to take the ESL Placement Test. 

You are exempt from taking the ESL Placement Test if you have: 

  • successfully completed equivalent English Composition C or Higher in accredited U.S. College or University
  • successfully completed a degree from an accredited U.S. College or University
  • successfully completed all required ESL courses at TCC or another VCCS school
  • completed 9th – 12th grade coursework (4 years) in a U.S. High School and awarded High School Diploma
  • earned a score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Exam with in the past five years
    • should complete Informed Self-Placement (See Below)
  • earned a score of 95 (internet-based) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Exam within the past five years
    • should complete Informed Self-Placement (See Below)
  • earned the following scores within past five years on one of these exams:
    • ACT 18 or higher
    • SAT 480 or higher
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Step 3 – Complete I-20 Application Form

Email the Form I-20 Application and all supporting documentation to  Documents must be in PDF format to be accepted. Please email the complete package at one time. 

Deadlines for Overseas Applicants

Fall: April 1
Spring: August 1

Deadlines for F-1 Transfer students

Fall: August 1
Spring: December 1
Summer: April 1

If you are currently studying at another educational institution in the U.S. in F-1 status and wish to take some classes at TCC while maintaining status at your current school, please do not complete TCC’s Form I-20 Application. You will need to complete TCC’S online application, then obtain a letter of permission from your current DSO.  Please email your DSO’s letter along with a copy of your passport, F-1 visa, Form I-20, and I-94 to Always include your TCC student ID number in correspondence.

Step 4 – Log in to your MyTCC Portal

  • Log in to myTCC to check for any holds on your account.
    • Click the SIS icon
    • Click on My Student Information box
    • Your holds list will be listed on the right side of the window. Click on Details to view additional information for the item.
    • Follow the instructions shown on the screen to have the hold removed from your file. If you have questions, contact the department listed on the screen for more information. PLEASE NOTE: Your Visa Hold will not be removed until you obtain an F-1 visa and your ESL Hold will not be removed until you complete all ESL coursework (if necessary). 
    • Refer to the email you received after applying for your student number, username, and instructions for accessing your account. If you have trouble accessing your account, please contact us at 757-822-1111 or at
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Step 5 – determine your College Readiness

If you have met the ESL Exemptions, determine your College Readiness: Please complete the following questionnaire before connecting with an academic advisor. This questionnaire helps determine which English and math courses are you ready for.

  • If you graduated high school 6 or more years ago, please complete the Informed Self Placement Questionnaire.
  • If you graduated high school within the last 5 years, please complete the Recent Graduate Questionnaire. If you are currently in high school, please wait until receiving your senior mid-year grades to complete this form.

Step 6 – Apply for your F-1 Visa or transfer your SEVIS record to TCC

Instructions will be sent to you along with your Form I-20. 

International Students

That’s it! You’re ready to enroll in classes