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Visa Info

F1 Student Visa

Do I need an F1 Visa?

You need to apply for an F1 visa if you are looking to enter the United States to temporarily pursue full-time academic studies in a college, university or language school. All programs of 18 hours or more of study per week fall under the full-time category and therefore require an F1 visa.

At Brooklyn School of Languages, an F1 visa is required for all students who wish to study on the Intensive English Course of 30 lessons = 22.5 clock hours per week.

What is an I-20?

The I-20 form is a government form that tells the U.S. government that you are eligible for F1 Student Status. It contains information about the legality of your presence in the US: who you are, where you live, what you want to study, when your classes begin, how long your studies are going to take, and how you are going to pay for your tuition and accommodation while you are in school.

Once you have been accepted on an English course with Brooklyn School of Languages, we will send you the I-20 form. This is the first step in your student (F1) visa application process.

When do I need to apply?

The I-20 form can be created by the school anytime, however the interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can only take place up to 120 days prior to proposed program start date. We therefore recommend that you start your application with the school 4 to 5 months before you want to start your course at BSL.

F1 Student Visa Application Process

  1. Apply to BSL with the following documents:
    1. Completed/signed enrollment form
    2. Copy of passport
    3. Copy of bank statements or bank letter (issued within the last 90 days) as proof that you can support yourself in the US during the duration of your program – full tuition costs + $2,500 per month of intended study for accommodation/living costs. If your bank statement/letter is not in your name, you will also need to submit a completed BSL sponsor form.
    4. For students traveling with dependents, the additional documents need to be submitted:
      1. Completed BSL Dependent Form for each dependent
      2. Copy of each dependent’s passport (+ proof of relationship)
      3. An additional $750/dependent per month of intended study on bank statement/letter
    5. Tuition payment
      1. Deposit to be paid at the time of booking ($300 for course and $300 for housing)
      2. First 8-week session due at least 28 days prior to your start date
      3. Continued session payments: Each 8-week session payment is due before the start date of each 8-week session
    6. Express mail fee of $75 if courier service required (optional)
  2. BSL sends your enrollment confirmation packet:
    1. Signed I-20 form
    2. BSL acceptance letter
    3. BSL invoice / payment receipts
    4. Additional: Informational checklists/handouts (for interview, POE process, etc.)
  3. Pay the SEVIS (I-901) fee ($200): https://www.fmjfee.com/
  4. Schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country (https://www.usembassy.gov/)
  5. Complete the online visa application (DS-160)
  6. Pay the visa application fee ($160)
  7. Attend the visa interview
  8. Receive F1 visa
  9. Travel to the U.S. (no more than 30 days prior to the starting date on I-20)
  10. Check-in / Register at BSL within 30 days of program start date
  11. Maintain F1 status
Admission procedure initial F1 students PDF

How do I maintain my student status?

Students on an F1 visa are required to maintain a full course of study by maintaining at least 80% overall attendance in all classes. Students are also required to maintain academic good standing by maintaining a cumulative grade of at least 70% in all of their classes. Students failing to maintain their status may be put on probation and receive a warning from their DSO. After two warnings, students may be in danger of termination. Students in terminated status must stop attending school immediately and depart the U.S. within 15 days. Students in terminated status may be eligible to transfer to another F1 certified school and apply for re-instatement of their status.

What if my student visa application is refused?

Please check our Terms & Conditions for information on cancellations and refunds.

How do I transfer to Brooklyn School of Languages?

  1. Apply to BSL with the following documents:
    1. Completed/signed transfer-in form (please note: BSL does not accept students in terminated status)
    2. Completed/signed enrollment form
    3. Copy of passport
    4. Copy of current F1 visa and I-94 stamp/form
    5. Copy of current I-20 form
    6. Copy of bank statement or bank letter (issued within last 90 days) showing full tuition costs + $2,500 per month of intended studyfor accommodation/living costs.
      1. If your bank statement/letter is not in your name, you will also need to submit a completed BSL sponsor form.
    7. For students traveling with dependents, the additional documents need to be submitted:
      1. Completed BSL Dependent Form for each dependent
      2. Copy of each dependent's passport (+ proof of relationship)
      3. An additional $750/dependent per month of intended study on bank statement/letter
    8. Tuition payment:
      1. Deposit to be paid at the time of booking ($300 for course and $300 for housing)
      2. First 8-week session due at least 28 days prior to your start date
      3. Continued session payments: Each 8-week session payment is due before the start date of each 8-week session
  2. Register for class
    1. All transfer-in students must register for class within 15 days of their program start date. Registration must be done in person.
Admission procedure F1 transfer students PDF

Visa Waiver Program (No Visa needed)

Members of particular countries are permitted to enter the United States on the Visa Waiver Program. Countries participating in the Visa waiver Program are listed below. If you are a national of one of these countries, and you satisfy the three requirements below, you are permitted to enter the country without a visa:

  • Your core intention is to be a tourist.
  • You will participate in an English program that is less than 18 hours of class per week.
  • Your stay in the US will not exceed 90 days.

Visa Waiver Program - Member Countries :

Andorra Estonia Italy The Netherlands South Korea
Australia Finland Japan New Zealand Spain
Austria France Latvia Norway Sweden
Belgium Germany Liechtenstein Portugal Switzerland
Brunei Greece Lithuania San Marino Taiwan
Chile Hungary Luxembourg Singapore United Kingdom
Czech Republic Iceland Malta Slovakia  
Denmark Ireland Monaco Slovenia  

If you are NOT a national of one of these nations you do not qualify for a visa waiver. In addition, please be advised that if your core intention is to study full-time in the U.S., you should apply for an F1 student visa.

Specific details regarding the Visa Waiver Program are available on the U.S. Department of State Website or at your closest Consulate or U.S. Embassy.

Visitor Visa B1/B2

You can apply for a B1/B2 tourist visa if you fall into one of these categories:

  1. You wish to enter the U.S. for tourism but you are from a country that is NOT permitted access to the visa waiver program
  2. You wish to enter the U.S. for tourism and you hope to continue in the U.S. for more than 90 days
  3. * You wish to enter the U.S. for tourism but you are considering studying in the U.S.

*If you plan on entering the United States as a tourist and have a desire to participate in a short program, your B1/B2 Visa may be annotated for study. This is important if you are considering staying and transitioning into a full-time student at a University or language school.

How to apply for a Visitor Visa B1/B2

A B1/B2 Tourist Visa that is annotated for a short program of study permits applicants to merge tourism in the U.S with a short course of study (less than 18 hours weekly). All our courses are less than 18 hours per week and therefore eligible for such

  • After you apply, Brooklyn School of Languages will send you an acceptance letter detailing the program for which you have been accepted and the total of weekly hours. You will need to include this acceptance letter in your visa application.
  • You may then arrange a visa appointment with the consulate or U.S. Embassy in order to receive a B1/B2 visa with an annotation for a short program of study.

For additional information on "B Visas" get in touch with your local consulate or U.S. embassy.

Please be advised that if your primary intention is to study full-time in the U.S., you should apply for an F1 student visa.

The information posted here is strictly for informational purposes. For more up-to-date information, please review the Department of State and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services web sites.

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