The following requirements for International Students must be met before Cornerstone Aviation can issue the I-20 form for you student M1 Visa:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
3.3. What are M schools?
M schools include:
3.4. How do nonimmigrants apply to attend an SEVP-certified school?
The application process varies from school to school. Prospective nonimmigrant students should contact schools directly. Most schools have application information for nonimmigrant students on their website. Look for sections that refer to international or foreign students.
3.5. Who at an SEVP-certified school helps with immigration related issues?
Every SEVP-certified school has at least one designated school official (DSO) who is authorized to deal with immigration related issues. The DSO generally works in the international student office or the registrar’s office. The DSO is responsible for entering data into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the system used to issue Forms I-20 and monitor nonimmigrant students.
3.6. Is there an organization outside the United States that can assist nonimmigrants that want to study in the United States?
Yes. In many countries, there are free Education USA centers (associated with the U.S. DoS) that advise prospective international students and other audiences on higher education and study opportunities in the United States.
In addition, the DoS has a website at http://www.educationusa.state.gov that provides information on attending United States colleges and universities. This website provides detailed information on searching for U.S. schools, costs, and application processes.
Also, private businesses in many countries offer assistance to prospective international students. The U.S. government does not sanction these services. Prospective nonimmigrant students must use them at their own discretion.
3.7. Proof of acceptance
The Form I-20 is an official U.S. government form. A prospective nonimmigrant student must have a Form I-20 issued by an SEVP-certified school in order to become F-1 or M-1 student.
Only an SEVP-certified school can issue a Form I-20 to students that have been accepted for enrollment. It acts as proof of acceptance and contains the information that is needed to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee; apply for a visa or change of status, and admission into the United States.
The Form I-20 has the student’s unique SEVIS identification (ID) number on the upper right hand side directly above the barcode. SEVIS ID numbers are an N followed by 9 digits.
Old Forms I-20 without the barcode and the SEVIS ID number are obsolete and cannot be used.
3.7.1. How does a student get a Form I-20?
Only an SEVP-certified school can issue a Form I-20. See the overview information above.
3.7.2. How does a student get a Form DS-2019?
Forms DS-2019 are issued by DoS-designated sponsors to J-1 exchange visitors by their DoS approved Exchange Visitor Program. For more information see the DoS website at http://exchanges.state.gov/.
4. PAYING THE SEVIS FEE
Prospective students must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Currently for F-1 and M-1 students the fee is $200.
4.1. How do nonimmigrant students pay the SEVIS I-901 fee?
4.2. Where can I find out more information about the SEVIS I-901 fee?
For more information see the FAQ on the SEVIS I-901 fee.
5. OBTAINING A VISA
5.1. Do nonimmigrants need a visa to become a student in the United States?
Yes, most nonimmigrants need a student visa. The exceptions are those who are exempt from visa requirements or already in the United States and plan to file for a change of status.
5.2. Which nonimmigrants are exempt from visa requirements?
Citizens of Canada, Bermuda or residents of certain other islands described in 8 CFR 212.1(a), do not need a visa. These applicants may apply at the POE for student or exchange visitor status. They will need:
For more information, refer to the Arriving at a U.S. POE — Student Process: Steps 4-6.
The DoS website has additional information for Canadian students at http://canada.usembassy.gov/visas/information-for-canadians.html
5.3. How do F or M nonimmigrants obtain a student visa?
Visas can only be obtained outside the United States.
After receiving a Form I-20 from a school, the prospective nonimmigrant must apply to the local consulate or embassy for a visa appointment and interview. The SEVIS I-901 fee must be paid prior to the interview.
As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the embassy or consulate.
Advance planning may be needed to ensure the individual will have the visa in time to travel to the United States. The DoS website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html gives the typical wait time for visa interview appointments and the wait time for a visa to be processed. Prospective nonimmigrant students may apply for a visa up to 120 days prior to the program start date on their Form I-20.
DoS strongly encourages making visa applications early but applying early and providing the requested documents do not guarantee that the student will receive a visa.
Prospective nonimmigrant students who have been accepted by more than one school must use the Form I-20 from the school they intend to attend to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and to apply for a visa.
Prospective nonimmigrant students should check the embassy or consulate websites at http://usembassy.state.gov/. Each has directions for nonimmigrants applying for a student visa that includes how to make an appointment for a visa interview.
No one can promise a visa will be issued before the DoS has fully processed the visa application. Therefore, do not make final travel plans or purchase nonrefundable tickets until a visa has been issued.
5.4. What does a prospective F or M nonimmigrant student need to bring to a visa interview?
All applicants for an F or M student visa must provide:
Because each student’s personal and academic situation is different, two students applying for the same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. For that reason, the guidelines that follow are general and can be changed by consular officers overseas, depending on each student’s situation.
All applicants should be prepared to provide:
Applicants with dependents must also provide:
Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. embassy or consulate worldwide is available on the DoS website at Visa Wait Times, and on most embassy websites.
During the visa application process, usually at the interview, a quick ink-free fingerprint scan will be taken. Some applicants will need additional screening, and will be notified when they apply.
For additional information, see the DoS website at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html#need.
5.5. Where can I find more information about student visas?
See the DoS website at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.
7. APPLYING FOR A CHANGE OF STATUS
7.1. What are the requirements for a nonimmigrant to become an F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant student?
The person must be in the United States in a valid nonimmigrant status. He or she cannot have entered under the visa waiver program.
An SEVP-certified school must have accepted the individual and issued a Form I-20 for a change of status. The nonimmigrant must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee to SEVP. Then he or she must file a Form I-539, along with the fee and supporting documents, with USCIS.
USCIS will adjudicate the application. If denied, the nonimmigrant must be prepared to exit the United States.
If approved, USCIS will update the student’s SEVIS record to reflect the change of status, send an approval notice to the student, and issue an updated Form I-94.
7.2. Can a nonimmigrant change status from a visitor/tourist (B-1/B-2) visa to a student F, M or J visa?
Yes, however, if the adjudicating officer finds grounds to believe that the person initially entered without disclosing his or her intent to become a prospective student, USCIS may deny the application for change of status. It may also be denied if there is a significant gap between the expiration of the nonimmigrant’s current status and the date the academic program starts. Nonimmigrants may wish to file for an extension of their current status if they run the risk of that status expiring while the change of status application is pending with USCIS.
A nonimmigrant who wishes to enter the United States and visit schools with the intent of possible attendance should declare his or her intention and have Prospective Student noted on the Form I-94. Otherwise, if a B-1/2 nonimmigrant wishes to change to an F-1 or M-1, he or she must provide evidence to explain the change of his or her primary purpose Section 7 for entering the United States.
7.3. Can a nonimmigrant start classes while a change of status to F-1/M-1 is pending?
It depends on the nonimmigrant’s current status. Nonimmigrants in F-2, M-2, B-1, and B-2 may not begin taking classes until the change of status is approved.
Other classes of nonimmigrants may begin attending school but their SEVIS record will not be activated until the change of status is approved. F-1 and M-1 benefits do not start until the change of status takes effect.
We recommend that nonimmigrants contact their DSO if USCIS has not adjudicated the change of status at least 15 days before the program start date on their Form I-20. The DSO can defer the program start date. Not deferring the program start date may result in termination of a SEVIS record and a denial of the change of status application.
7.4. Is a nonimmigrant that is pending a change of status to F-1 or M-1 entitled to student benefits?
No. Nonimmigrants with pending change of status to F-1 or M-1 are not entitled to any nonimmigrant student benefits (such as on-campus employment) until the change of status takes effect. Until that time, they do, however, retain the benefits for their current nonimmigrant status. So, for example, an H-1b must continue to work while a change of status is pending.
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