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Prospective International Students

Thank you for your interest in College of The Albemarle (COA). We’re international student friendly and would be happy to assist you in obtaining a student visa. It’s possible for you to obtain a student visa for three years to study at COA. COA doesn’t charge any fees for assisting students with the F-1 visa process but the student is ultimately responsible for gathering and submitting all the necessary documents to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To learn about COA’s application and enrollment process, select the situation that best applies to you:

How to Apply

If you’re currently in the U.S. on a valid visa other than F-1, we can assist you in the process to change your status to F-1 (student visa). The cost for applying for a change of status is $370 (I-539 form) and an additional $200 for the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) fee. COA doesn’t charge a fee to assist students with the change of status request.

If your change of status application is approved by USCIS, you’ll receive the benefits of the F-1 status, but you won’t receive an F-1 visa in your passport. An F-1 visa is required to re-enter the U.S.

If you’re interested in changing your status, please watch “How to Become an International Student at COA” and follow the steps below.

Apply Today

If you experience login issues or need assistance with your College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) account, please call 866-866-2362.

Receive assistance with your next enrollment step at a COA Connect session. Find out what we have to offer, create your COA login, prepare and sign up for placement testing, and confirm your information. After this session, you’ll be able to access your Gmail, WebAdvisor and myCourses (COA’s online education software).

Please complete the “Introduction to myCourses” in myCourses before registering for classes.

Reading/English and math placement testing is required for all international students. You’ll need to attend a COA Connect session to sign up for a placement test. International students must score a 117 or higher on the North Carolina Diagnostic Assessment and Placement (NCDAP) Test (placement into DRE 097) to be eligible to change your status to F-1 or receive an I-20. If you’re seeking an F-1 visa from your home country, you may take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
There are a number of documents necessary to complete a change of status. In order to proceed with a change of status request students should gather the necessary documents listed in the I-20 application and Study in the States website on the Change of Status Process. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with a DSO (Designated School Official) after you attend a COA Connect session. You can also contact a DSO at the campus you’ll be attending:

  • Elizabeth City Campus: 252-335-0821
  • Dare County Campus: 252-473-2264
  • Edenton-Chowan Campus: 252-482-7900
  • Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center: 252-453-3035

Change of Status Information

I-20 Application

Download Form I-539

How to Extend Your Status

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documentation, please schedule a meeting with a DSO to complete a change of status application. Please bring your valid visa to finish the process.

Form I-539 Application
How to Extend Your Status

Once you have taken your placement test and submitted your change of status application, please schedule an advising and registration appointment with a DSO to enroll for the next available term.
Those with current B-1/B-2 visa are not able to enroll in classes until their change of status application has been adjudicated by USCIS and must maintain a valid B-1/B-2 status. For more information, consult USCIS.


  • Boyce, Cherrie

  • Academic Advisor

  • Elizabeth City Campus: AE 133

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2281

  • Cross, Katie

  • Coordinator, International Student Services and Academic Advisor

  • Dare County Campus: 104

  • 252-473-2264 ext. 7011