Information about the step-by-step U.S. visa application process for F-1, J-1, and M-1 undergraduate student visa types.
For F-1 visa application:
Intensive Program (20 hours per week)
This is the Full-time ESL program you need to take in order to apply for a student visa. Classes are 4 hours a day (mornings or afternoons depending on the level)
Visa application process:
Fill out the Application For Enrollment Form (Provided by your Advisor)
Make sure to put your permanent home address!
Send us a copy of your PASSPORT
Express Mailing Fee (optional- if you want to organize the shipment of your I-20 on your own, you don’t need to pay for it)
Pay initial fees (via bank transfer/credit card payment/online)
Registration Fee Educational Resource Fee Express Mailing Fee (optional- if you want to organize the shipment of your I-20 on your own, you don’t need to pay for it)
Send us a Bank statement showing:
For Midtown: $5,500 (for 0-3 months of study) $11,000 (for 3-6 months of study) $22,000 (for 6-12 months of study) For Upper West Side or Jackson Heights: $5,000 ( for 0-3 months of study) $10,000 ( for 3-6 months of study) $20,000 (for 6-12 months of study) * If you have a sponsor who will cover your expenses, they will need to fill out the Affidavit of Support form (provided by your Advisor)
F-1 Transfer students
If you are attending a college or university or language schools in the United States, you must obtain a Transfer Form from New York English Academy. Be sure to complete the Transfer Form from the current school (or the school you last attended).Your SEVIS record must be released from your former school to the New York English Academy.
Do I need a student visa?
Prospective CISL students who are not citizens of the United States will generally need to obtain either (1) a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay or (2) an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Most CISL students are in the United States for a temporary stay with either a student (F) visa or a visitor (B) visa. Individuals who need to apply for a non immigrant visa and plan to come to the United States with the primary intent to study in a full-time course (18 hours or more per week) should apply for a student visa. Individuals who will come to the United States for a temporary stay for tourist reasons and to take a part-time course (less than 18 hours per week) should either (1) apply for a tourist (B) visa or (2) participate in the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of Visa Waiver Program participating countries (see list of visa waiver countries) may review the requirements and apply for authorization to travel to the United States without a visitor’s visa at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.
How long may I stay in the U.S. with my student visa?
When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full-time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in the United States. After you have completed the course of studies shown on your Form I-20, you may stay in the United States for an additional 60 days to prepare for your departure from the United States.
Can I extend my stay after I start my course?
F-1 students should request program extensions before the end date listed on their I-20 if they would like to continue studying full-time at CISL. If the request is approved, the school will issue a revised I-20 to the student with the new study dates listed. Students must be in good academic and financial standing to be eligible for course extensions (note: attendance rate must be at 85% or higher to be eligible for a course extension).
Can I transfer to Ecole if I have an I-20 from a different school?
F-1 students may request to have their SEVIS records transferred from one school to another school. Ecole applicants with I-20s issued by other schools should complete the Ecole application and send a copy of their current I-20, passport, and financial documents to Ecole. Please contact the NYC school at firstname.lastname@example.org or the NYC school at email@example.com for more information and requirements for I-20 transfers.
Important Notes about ESTA
Whether you’re travelling on an ESTA or on a visa, always avoid doing anything illegal. You may not be able to travel to the United States in the future.
- The validity period is two years after application. If you are applying for ESTA for the first time, it is recommended that you apply around two weeks before you travel. (You must apply within 72 hours of boarding your flight at the latest.)
- If your passport expires within the two years of the ESTA validity, your ESTA will also expire.
- Having an ESTA does not guarantee entry to the United States. There are certain prerequisites for entering the country, and the immigration inspector will examine each person’s possibility for entry.
- The period for ESTA is 90 days. Staying in the United States beyond that is illegal. You will be able to depart if you stay longer than 90 days, but you may be denied entry the next time you enter the United States.
- The application procedure is simple, so it’s possible to use a smartphone, but it is recommended to apply from a PC since you need to answer important questions.
For travel on a student visa
- If you receive a 60-day grace period after your Form I-20 has expired, you must complete the transfer process within 60 days or leave the United States.
- If you drop out, you will not receive the 60 days’ grade period, so please check with the DSO at your school.
- All criminal activities, such as illegal work, fraud and theft
- Drunk driving
- Be careful with your school selection.
- If your Form I-20 is terminated by the school, leave the United States immediately to avoid staying illegally.
For travel on an ESTA
- Staying beyond ninety days
- All criminal activities, such as illegal work, fraud and theft; and illegal sexual activities
- Drunk driving
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