Training for international students:


Plus optional time building programs, to obtain the flight time to meet your chosen airline’s requirements.

International Flight Students:
  • Read all the International Student Admission Process for M1 Visa
  • Follow the instructions, fill out the questionnaires door pay the CSA application fee of $500. It is non-refundable however a portion will be used towards your first ground school course ($250).
Once we have everything we will complete the I-20 and send it to you.
Thanks for considering CSA.
Susan Horstman


Cornerstone Aviation has trained hundreds of pilots from all around the world! Some of our students travel from countries such as China, Brazil, India, Iraq, Kenya, England, France, Germany, and South Korea.. Cornerstone has the experience and expertise to ensure that every international student has the resources available to accomplish their individual goal. We can either create a custom training syllabus for an individual student or enroll students in the CSA Traditional Training Program. Students interested in training at Cornerstone Aviation need to hold either a green card or an M-1 Student visa.

  • International students that already have foreign licenses can complete a FAA license conversion and may rent CSA aircraft. (NOTE: If an international student already has a commercial foreign license and just wants to convert to a US commercial they need to look at FAR Part 61.123. For further assistance please refer to the FAA website.

  • If you are an international student interested in flight training at Cornerstone Aviation, please review the Admission Requirements listed below and complete the required documentation.

  • There are answers to frequently asked questions listed at the end of the admission requirement section listed below. Read these prior to filling in application.

  • The Condensed Program has four start dates per year. If you already have a private with or without an instrument rating, you may join in at the level you need to accomplish your goal.

International Student Admission Process for M1 Visa

The following requirements for International Students must be met before Cornerstone Aviation can issue the I-20 form for you student M1 Visa:

  •  You must be able to read, write, and speak English
  •  Completed the on-line Cornerstone Aviation International Application at the end of the requirements.
    • There must be no blank sections on the Application.
    • To expedite the process, use our online application. You must also scan and email the forms and documents to CSA.
    • The following documents will need to be sent and/or emailed along with the application:
      -Color copy of Passport, including expiration date.
      -Signed copy of CSA application.
  • An official bank document showing that you have funds available for flight training desired and living expenses.
  • A Declaration of Finances form must also be completed and signed.
  • Application Fee of $500.00 which is payable by credit card of check.
  • Cornerstone Aviation will not process any paperwork (I-20) until the application fee has been received.
  • SEVIS Fee: Cornerstone Aviation will then mail the I-20 form to you. Once you receive your I-20 form, you will need to log into SEVIS and pay your I-901 fee.
    • Important: the information you enter on the Form I-901 must match exactly as is shown on the Form I-20.
    • The current cost for this is $350, please check the SEVIS website for up to date pricing. You may pay this fee by credit card online or you can print out the application and send it with a money order issued by an American bank. You will receive a receipt immediately after registration. Later you will receive your official receipt of payment in the mail. You must have this receipt when visiting the US Embassy to apply for your Visa (you will also need to show the receipt to CSA upon your arrival for flight training).
    • Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at

Next you must call the nearest U.S. Embassy for an appointment to receive approval of the M-1 Visa. The student will then go to the U.S. Embassy with the appropriate documents for a routine interview. Appropriate documents include: Form I-20; Passport; Financial Statements; Receipt for payment of Form I-901. The student will be notified as to whether they have been approved or disapproved. If all is in order, the U.S. Embassy will provide the student with a M-1 Student Visa, permitting the student to enter the U.S. The length of time for this process varies from country to country. It may be a good idea to practice your interview with a friend or family member and to research the aviation field in your home country.

Three of the most important questions asked by the Embassy are as follows:

  • Why you would like to become a pilot?
  • What assurance can you give us that you will return to your home country after completion of your flight training?
  • How do you know that you can obtain a position as a pilot after returning home?

Fill out application for a background check with TSA online. The application-processing fee for each course is currently $130, please check the TSA website for current pricing. The name on the credit card used must match the name on the application. If there is no fingerprinting agency located in your home country, you will need to have the fingerprint portion completed after entering the United States. You can verify if there is an agency in your home country by going to the link below and completing the form, after which, an email will be sent to you requesting fingerprints and you will be given access to a website that will show you all fingerprinting agencies.

The TSA fee does not have to be paid until after you have received approval for your M-1 Visa. If you are unable to process fingerprints in your home country, CSA can schedule an appointment for you locally. Please allow 5-7 business days for TSA fingerprint processing. Please note that you will not be able to begin your flight training program until your TSA fingerprints have been processed and CSA receives final approval from the TSA for your flight training.

When doing the online TSA application you will need the following information: Courses: Initial (for Private), Instrument, Multi-engine. Course numbers are 101 for Private, 201 for Instrument and 301 for multi-engine. CSA does not have a student ID number. You are also Category 3 (12,500 lbs or less). For the duration dates of the course always put one year….also put your start date as 30 days after making this application.

All International Students must purchase a “Medical/Accident” Insurance Policy prior to arriving in the U.S., for the length of time they are in flight training at CSA.

Time to pack your bags! After receiving an M-1 Visa, the student must provide CSA with the details of his/her travel arrangements before entry to the United States. Upon request, CSA can schedule a pick up service from the airport through the local shuttle service. CSA suggests you fly directly into the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Welcome to Cornerstone Aviation! Time for you flight training to begin!

Frequently Asked Questions

M schools include:

  • Community or junior colleges that offer technical or vocational instruction
  • Post secondary vocational or business schools
  • Vocational or other nonacademic high schools

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.

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.

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 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.

Form I-20

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.

Only an SEVP-certified school can issue a Form I-20. See the overview information above.

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

Prospective students must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Currently for F-1 and M-1 students the fee is $350.

The fee may be paid online at alternative methods of fee payment, see the FAQ on the SEVIS I-901 fee.

For more information see the FAQ on the SEVIS I-901 fee.

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.

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:

  • A valid Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
  • A receipt showing payment of the SEVISI-901 fee
  • Proof of financial ability to pay the amount shown on the Form I-20 (if applicable)
  • Evidence supporting the individual’s nonimmigrant intent

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.

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 website at 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. Each has directions for nonimmigrants applying for a student visa that includes how to make an appointment for a visa interview.

Visa application forms are available at
The EducationUSA website lists counseling centers that help nonimmigrants prepare for visa interviews.

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.

All applicants for an F or M student visa must provide:

  • Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students or Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students
  • A completed application, Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant, Form DS-156, together with a Form DS-158. Both forms must be completed and signed. Some applicants will also be required to complete and sign Form DS-157. A separate form is needed for children, even if they are included in a parent’s passport.
    An interview at the embassy consular section is required for almost all visa applicants.
  • A passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States
  • One (1) 2×2 photograph
  • A receipt to show payment of the visa application fee, a visa issuance fee if applicable (Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Table) and a separate SEVIS I-901 fee receipt. While all F visa applicants must pay the visa application (MRV) fee, including dependents, only the F-1 principal applicants must pay the SEVIS fee.

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:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.
  • Financial evidence that shows that the student or sponsoring parents have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study. For example, if the student or sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If the student or sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

Applicants with dependents must also provide:

  • Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.)
  • It is preferred that families apply for F-1 and F-2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

CSA International Student Admission Application

Before applying for a visa, all student and exchange visitor applicants are required to be accepted and approved for their program. When accepted, educational institutions and program sponsors will provide each applicant the necessary approval documentation, to be submitted when applying for a visa. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website:

Your information will be used to complete the M1 Visa I-20 form. With application please include passport photo, application fee, and financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study.

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