US Student Visas
Flying Academy USA (Silver Express) is approved by the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS – formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service) to accept international students for full-time training. Admission into the United States to participate in the "M-1 Vocational Student Visa Status Program" requires the issuance of a BCIS I-20 form by the Academy. Once an I-20 form is issued, students can apply for an M-1 Visa at the US Consulate in their home country.
To obtain an I-20 form (used to apply for the M-1 Visa), an applicant must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Document at least 12 years of academic education by providing an official copy of a high school diploma or equivalent, translated into English.
- Document financial ability to fund tuition expenses and personal support for the duration of the program. This documentation MUST be in the form of a official letter from your bank showing the amount of funds available, in US Dollars, sufficient to finance all training, housing, personal expenses, etc., while in the United States.
- Demonstrate the ability to read, write and understand English language.
In addition, the US BCIS requires:
- Full time participation of at least 22 training hours per week. Flying Academy USA (Silver Express) requires that a minimum of 10 hours of this be Flight instruction
- Demonstration of financial ability on a continuous basis.
Each applicant is required to provide full and complete information on the application for admission and to submit all documentation with a non-refundable application fee prior to receiving the I-20 Form. Once the school receives the required documentation, an I-20 form will be sent by express delivery. Under an M-1 Visa, international students will not be permitted to work in any capacity, paid or unpaid, while in the U.S.
In some cases a student may be able to transfer an existing M-1, F-1, or tourist visa to Flying Academy (Silver Express). Requests to transfer visas or transfer schools require adherence to the policies and procedures of the US BCIS. For more information on visa and school transfers, please see the website: BCIS
The decision to issue an M-1 Visa is a collaborative effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. BCIS, and the US Department of State. Training is conducted under Parts 61 and 141 of the FAA Regulations
How to Apply
There are 5 steps in the process of enrolling in the flight training program at Flying Academy USA (Silver Express):
- Complete the online application. We will send you a confirmation of your acceptance once we have processed your application.
- Once you receive confirmation that you are accepted for admission, create your user account and pay the enrollment fee ($650.00) online. Once the fee is paid, we will process and send by express service your I-20 and fee payment receipt.
- Make an appointment with the US Consulate in your country to complete the visa application process. When you call, provide the number from the payment receipt. You don't have to pay it again. The consulate will provide a list of the documents necessary to process your application. Have these documents ready when you arrive for your appointment. You may find a local travel agent helpful in preparing your documents. A full description of the VISA process is available on the US State Department web site.
- Complete the online TSA application, choosing Silver Express as your flight training provider. This requires payment of $130.00 online by credit card for processing your security clearance.
- Once you have the appointment with the US Consulate, notify us and we will schedule your flight course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I qualify for a Student Visa?
The Immigration and National Act has specific requirements which must be met by applicants for the student visa. Consulates will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet student visa requirements including:
· Live in a residence abroad, with no immediate intention of abandoning that residence
· Intend to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study
· Possess sufficient funds to pursue the proposed course of study.
When should I apply?
Embassies/Consulates can issue your M1 student visa as early as 120 days before the start date on your I-20 form. Students are encouraged to apply for their I-20 early to provide enough time for visa processing. It is recommended that you wait until you receive your Form I-20 before you make an interview appointment at the U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate. Students can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the study start date shown on your I-20 form
What is the I-20 form?
The I-20 form shows that you are eligible for M-1 Student status. The I-20 form is issued by the school (Silver Express). The M1 visa is issued by the US Consulate/Embassy.
What about my spouse and/or dependents?
It is possible for qualifying spouses & dependents to join M1 students in the US as M2 visa holders. Please contact our school official for information.
Do I need health insurance?
Yes. Students are responsible for obtaining health insurance. Here is one option.
Is it possible to take vacation as an M1 Student?
Yes, the amount of vacation depends on your length of study.