International Students

Steps to Start Your International Student Application

Application Type Fall:
Aug–Dec
Spring:
Jan–May
Summer:
May–Aug
(Intensive English Only)
Outside the U.S. February 1–May 1 August 1–October 15 February 1–March 15
Change of Status Inside the U.S. February 1–May 1 August 1–October 15 Not Eligible
Transfer From Another U.S. Institution February 1–July 15 August 1–December 10 February 1–March 15

F-1 applicants are required to demonstrate financial support for one academic year through one or more sponsors. If you are self-funding or planning to bring dependents, please note that the required amount will be higher. For detailed information, please review the Financial Statement Form.

Program Costs

  • Intensive English Program: $26,530 USD
  • ESL Pathway/Associate Degree Program: $29,886 USD

NOVA offers three F-1 programs, and eligibility is determined based on English language proficiency. Below are the details for each program:

  1. Associate Degree Program
    • Program Description: Admitted directly into a degree program for full-time academic coursework. I-20 given for 3 years.
    • Program Length: 4-6 semesters
  2. ESL Pathway
    • Program Description: Take English language + some academic coursework with the goal of starting a full-time Associate’s degree program. I-20 given for one year.
    • Program Length: 1-2 semesters
  3. Intensive English Program
    • Program Description: Full-time, non-academic English language program. I-20 given for one year.
    • Program Length: 1-5 semesters (only offered at Annandale or Alexandria)

All international applicants are required to submit an English test score to determine their placement in the F-1 program, regardless of proficiency level unless they are citizens of a country found on this list.

NOVA accepts the following standardized English test scores, which can be taken online from home in a secure environment or at a local testing center available in most countries. Students from our approved list of English-speaking countries will automatically be placed into the associate degree program.

Test If You Scored… You May Enroll In… F1 Program
TOEFL iBT 92+ ENG 111 Degree
76-91 ENG 111 + ESL 95  Degree
59-75 ESL 51 + ESL 52  ESL Pathway
43-58 ESL 41 + ESL 42  ESL Pathway
42 or less Non-credit English Intensive English
IELTS 7 + ENG 111 Degree
6.5 ENG 111 + ESL 95  Degree
5.5-6 ESL 51 + ESL 52  ESL Pathway
5 ESL 41 + ESL 42  ESL Pathway
4.5 or less Non-credit English Intensive English
Duolingo 125+ ENG 111  Degree
110-120 ENG 111 + ESL 95  Degree
95-105 ESL 51 + ESL 52  ESL Pathway
80-90 ESL 41 + ESL 42  ESL Pathway
79 or less Non-credit English Intensive English
Oxford ELLT ** 7-12 ENG 111 Degree
SAT-Reading/Writing 480+ ENG 111 Degree
400-470 ENG 111 + ESL 95 Degree
International Baccalaureate (IB):
English Language A: Language/Literature or English Language B (Higher Level)
4+ ENG 111 Degree
NOVA Accuplacer Test * Level 7 ENG 111 Degree
Level 6 ENG 111 + 95 Degree
Level 5 ESL 51 + ESL 52 ESL Pathway
Level 4 ESL 41 + ESL 42 ESL Pathway
Level 3 or below Non-credit English Intensive English

* If you are in the U.S., you can take NOVA’s Accuplacer English placement test in place of the above tests at no cost. The test must be taken in person at any NOVA campus Testing Center. First, complete the online application, and then visit a NOVA Testing Center with your student ID number and passport.

** Use promo code NOVA10 to receive a discounted test rate.

  • Passport: Copy of the biographical page.
  • Proof of High School Completion: Provide evidence that you have completed the equivalent of a US high school education by submitting one of the following:
    • Certified copy of your secondary school diploma or certificate equivalent to a US high school diploma.
    • Evidence of your attendance in college or university-level studies.
    • Participants in a J-1 Au Pair or Summer Work Travel program may provide a copy of their DS-2019 in place of a diploma.
    • If you are still in high school but will graduate soon, ask your school to provide an official letter stating the date by which you are expected to complete your studies. You must complete your secondary education before you begin classes at NOVA.
  • Financial Statement Form 125-067: This must be completed by your financial sponsor. You may have more than one in the US or abroad.
  • Sponsor Bank Statement(s): All bank statements must be in English or an English translation showing the account owner’s name, statement date, balance, and type of currency.
  • English Test Score: TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, IB, SAT, ACT, or NOVA placement test (can only be taken in person after the online application is submitted).
  • $75 Application Fee: Payment can be made with a US credit card, check, money order, or wire transfer.
  • Dependent Documents: If you plan to bring your spouse or children with you to the US.
    • Passport copies.
    • Birth certificate (for unmarried children under 21).
    • Marriage certificate for a spouse.
    • Documents must be translated into English.
    • Financial Support must add $6,898 for a spouse and $3,450 for each child.
  • Current Visa: If already in the US, a copy of the current visa.
  • I-94 Entry Record: If already in the US, a copy of the latest I94 entry record.
  • Current I-20: If on another F-1 status, the current I-20 showing “Continuing Status” and signed.
  • Change of Status Acknowledgment form: COS applicants must agree to NOVA’s policy found here.

Submit your application online using the link below. Be sure to indicate that you are applying as an F1 student. At the end of the application, you will be asked to upload the required documents.

ID Verification Requirement: In order to provide a safe and secure learning environment, admission to NOVA requires that all new applicants verify their identity. Applicants will need access to a camera through their computer or mobile device to provide a real-time photo of themselves (Liveness Check) as part of the application process. Applicants must also upload a document that matches their identity (preferably their Passport, driver’s license or other government-issued Identification card). If this cannot be completed during the application, then the applicant will need to submit it separately following the instructions provided in the application. The application cannot be submitted until this verification has been completed.

Apply to NOVA

Within 24-48 hours of submitting your online application, your account will be charged a Non-Refundable Application fee of $75. You can pay this fee through your MyNOVA account using a credit card, via bank wire transfer, or in person at the Annandale campus Business Office.

Once you have submitted the online application and paid the application fee, NOVA will review your application for completeness. If approved, you will receive an email from the International Office with your International Admissions letter and I-20 document.

If you are overseas, you will need the I-20 document from NOVA in order to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee and make a visa appointment at a US embassy or consulate.

If you are studying at another US institution, you must provide the admissions letter to your international office and follow their transfer out process.

If you are applying to change your visa status from within the U.S., you must pay the I901 SEVIS fee and submit an I-539 application to USCIS with the required documents.

If Overseas:

  • Once your visa is approved, please email oiss@nvcc.edu to receive the next steps.
  • You can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date noted on your I20.

If Transferring from Another Institution:

  • You will receive NOVA’s I-20 once your current school releases your F-1 record to NOVA.
  • Check-in is allowed up to 30 days before the I-20 program start date.

If Changing Status:

  • Check-in is possible once USCIS sends you the I-797A Approval Notice.
  • If you are not approved before the start of classes, you will be automatically deferred to the next semester.

  • Complete F-1 Enrollment modules and take quizzes in Canvas.
  • Check in online using the F1 New Student Check-in Form. You will need to upload your visa, signed I20, and I94 entry record.

Upon check-in with NOVA, you will be assigned an international student advisor to support you with any immigration and academic needs. You can schedule an appointment with them via the Navigate app or walk-in through our virtual queue.

For step-by-step instructions, please visit our Register for Classes page.

Register to attend an F-1 new student orientation when you check in online with the International office. Attendance is optional and provides the opportunity to meet with OIS staff, learn about F-1 regulations and NOVA policies and procedures.

International Applicants

In Person: The International Admissions office is located on the Annandale campus - 8333 Little River Turnpike, Mark Warner Building, Suite 112, Annandale, VA 22003. Log into the International queue upon arrival.

Virtual Options: Log into the International queue Monday through Thursday 8:30-4:30pm EST to receive either a phone call (US numbers only) or a Zoom link.

Find queue by clicking here or scan the QR code below using your phone’s camera.

Email: oiss@nvcc.edu 

International Students Interested in Health Science & Nursing Programs

All Health Science programs, including Nursing, require a second competitive application that can only be submitted after the student has completed a set of required prerequisite courses. If an applicant selects a Health Science program as their program of study in the online application, the assigned program will automatically default to A.S. Health Sciences.

Due to the high demand for NOVA’s Health Science programs and as a public institution, students are admitted based on a competitive application with priority given to (1) legal residents domiciled in the cities and counties in NOVA service areas, (2) other Virginia legal residents, (3) out-of-state applicants, and (4) international students on F-1 and other non-immigrant visas.

International students may want to consider studying an Associate degree such as Science, Biology or Health Sciences that will transfer to a Bachelor level Health Science program as an alternative option. For more information on NOVA’s Health Science programs and application process, please review the information here.