Navigating the Visa Process: How to Study Abroad at Pureflight Flight School

Feb 16, 2024

If you’re interested in international flight training, you need to know about US student visa types, the US student visa process, and more. It can all be fairly complex — but we’ll help you understand the path forward.

In this post, we’ll cover key aspects of how to get a US visa for flight school including:

  • Regulations involved in training
  • Obtaining certification to fly in different countries
  • The requirements, costs, and potential challenges of international flight training

You’ll fly away from reading this article with the information and resources you need to start making informed decisions about your aviation education and career paths.

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Why Study Abroad at Pureflight Flight School?

Getting your aviation training in the US can have tons of distinct advantages. Students flock here from all around the globe because they know they’ll get:

  • Top-notch education. The US boasts some of the best aviation training schools in the world. Students here have access to a wide range of programs featuring experienced instructors, well-reputed and rigorous curriculums, state-of-the-art facilities, and a focus on practical training.
  • Diverse training environments. Studying abroad provides exposure to different airspaces, regulations, and flying conditions, preparing students for a global aviation career.
  • Internationally recognized certification. American pilot licenses enable you to fly in many different countries, expanding career opportunities for US flight school graduates.
  • Incomparable networking opportunities. Students can build a multi-national network of aviation professionals and peers, which can be valuable both professionally and personally.
  • Access to an important aviation hub. Some of the world’s largest airlines, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies are in the US. Studying here puts you in the middle of this major center of industry and activity. 
  • Cultural immersion. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, fostering personal growth and global awareness. Plus, it’s a great way to sharpen your English language skills.
  • Personal development and enjoyment. Being a young, flight student in a foreign country is probably going to be a transformative experience. It can help you develop your independence and adaptability. Studying abroad can also be a fun adventure that broadens your horizons and gives you a deeper understanding of other cultures.

Pureflight Has Its Perks

Better still, when you attend Pureflight, you’ll see even more benefits. Pureflight has an industry-leading reputation. We’re well known for our high-quality training and successful track record of instructing international students.

Foreign students love coming to Pureflight. They see our commitment to providing comprehensive resources and support for international students sets us apart in the aviation training industry. They know they’ll get superior flight instruction (on planes or helicopters), exposure to and practice on cutting-edge technology, and facilities that support their training goals. Plus, we make meeting US student visa requirements as simple and stress-free as possible. 

Understanding the Visa Requirements

There are specific US student visa requirements for non-American citizens who want to do their flight training here. The first thing to know is that there are two main US student visa types available for international flight school attendees: the F-1 visa and the M-1 visa.

The F-1 visa is for students who want to pursue academic studies or language training programs in the US. This type of visa lets you enroll in a full course of study at an accredited academic institution or language training program.

On the other hand, the M-1 visa is for students who want to do vocational or nonacademic programs, including flight training. This visa is tailored to students who’re pursuing a full course of study at an approved nonacademic institution in the US.

You can enroll at Pureflight with US student visa types F-1 or M-1. As an F-1 visa flight school, you can study here in the US and remain in the country after certification to pursue advanced training or work opportunities. The F-1 visa option is only available through our partnership with Klamath Community College

Pureflight is also an M-1visa flight school, which is ideal for those who want to study in the US and then return to their home country right after finishing their training.

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Preparing Your Visa Application

Unsurprisingly, the US student visa process can be complicated or confusing. But, by understanding the visa requirements, you can get through the process more efficiently and set yourself up for a successful aviation education experience.

US Student Visa Requirements

When applying for either the F-1 or M-1 visa for aviation training, there are specific requirements laid out by the US Department of State and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you’ll need to fulfill. These typically include:

  • Proof of acceptance by a qualified school
  • Evidence of financial support to cover the cost of the program and living expenses
  • A valid passport
  • A completed visa application form
  • Payment of the visa application fee
  • Demonstrated intent to return to your home country after completion of the program
  • Documentation of your educational background
  • Proficiency in the English

How To Get US Visa for Flight School

The exact process will probably vary depending on the flight school you’re attending. So, we’ll use Pureflight as an example. Other programs will likely have a similar protocol.

When you’re ready to apply for a US student visa, you’ll:

  1. Contact us and let us know if you’re interested in an F-1 or M-1 visa.
  2. Go through our application process. Upon acceptance into our program, you’ll get a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).
  3. Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (I-901 SEVIS) fee on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website. Be sure to print and save your receipt!
  4. Complete your Form I-20 and make an appointment at the closest US consulate to apply for your student visa.
  5. When you go to your appointment at the consulate, bring your Form I-20, passport, SEVIS fee receipt, proof of financial means, proof of home-country ties, and anything else requested by the consulate.
  6. Before leaving the consulate, check the visa placed in your passport to make sure you were issued the proper visa. If there’s an issue, let them know immediately.
  7. As soon as you have your M-1 or F-1 visa, you can make travel arrangements. You’ll be permitted to enter the US within 30 days of the start date on your Form I-20.

Documentation Tips

There’s a lot of paperwork involved so staying on top of your required documents will save you some headaches.

  • Keep copies of everything. Even if that means taking screenshots or pics with your phone.
  • Save all receipts and confirmation notifications.
  • Keep a record of all transactions — what you did/submitted, to whom, and when plus what responses you got, from whom, and when.
  • Designate a single place to store all your documents and correspondence, like a particular folder in your desk drawer.

Additional Resources for International Flight Students

As an international student, the following items will be of interest as well:

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Pureflight, Helping You Through the US Student Visa Process

The visa application process to attend a US flight school as a non-citizen can be daunting. But don’t worry! A little preparation goes a long way. Plus, you can contact Pureflight with any questions.

You’ll have the best possible flight training experience with Pureflight. Not only will you get high-quality aviation education from us, but you’ll also receive the support services, resources, and personal assistance you need before and after admission. Get started today!