Group 3 Aviation is authorized to enroll and provide flight training for non-immigrant international students. We are able to do provide helicopter training for international students through the M-1 visa program. Group 3 Aviation welcomes applications from qualified students from around the world. The general admission requirements are identical for all applicants, regardless of citizenship. However, immigration regulations, varying educational backgrounds, and financial considerations require additional procedures necessary for international students.
Recently, the U.S. updated its visa policies to increase security for our citizens and visitors. It will likely take you longer to get a visa than it used to, and you will find that a few new security measures have been put into place. For details that may apply specifically to your country, see information posted by your nearest consulate or embassy at http://usembassy.state.gov. While individual differences may differ slightly, here are the basic steps you should follow and what you can expect throughout the process:
M-1 VISA PROCESS
1. Contact Group 3 Aviation via email or phone as to your flight training needs. Complete and return Group 3 Aviation Enrollment Forms.
2. Once Group 3 has received your completed forms, we will contact you via email to set up a phone interview. Once the phone interview has taken place, Group 3 will notify you in the following 48 hrs to confirm enrollment.
3. Once you receive written enrollment confirmation, go to http://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov and complete the online form for the TSA. By the time you get to this step you will have been given all of the information that you need from Group 3 Aviation to complete it. You will need to provide many details and fingerprints. The fee for each course is $130.00. Do not proceed to step 3 until Group 3 Aviation advises you to do so.
4. Please have your banking institution send a letter on official letterhead stating that you have the funds in your bank account to cover the cost of flight training and accommodations for the length of your stay (we will assure you know what that total amount needs to be well in advance). Do not proceed to step 4 until Group 3 Aviation advises you to do so.
5. Please wire $500 for registration and administrative fees and a $2,500 training course deposit to the account number that Group 3 Aviation will provide to you. Once Group 3 Aviation has received the wire transfer and approval from the TSA, an I-20 form for your M-1 Visa will be sent to you.
6. Complete the Student and Exchange Visitor Program I-901 form online. Be sure to print a receipt from your computer. There is a $100 fee payable when you fill out the form. An official receipt will be mailed to you.
7. Make an appointment with a U.S. embassy or Consular office for an interview. Take the following forms with you to your meeting: Form I-20, passport, financial statements, and receipt for payment of Form I 901. You will be notified whether or not you have been approved for a visa. If approved, the U.S. Embassy will provide you with an M-1 visa, permitting you entry into the United States.
8. If you do not already have it, purchase Accident/Medical Insurance that will cover you in the United States. International students must have proof of Accident/Medical Insurance with coverage within the United States.
9. Purchase travel and provide Group 3 Aviation with the details of travel and arrival in the United States. As no assurances can be given regarding visas in advance, we highly advise against purchasing travel until the visa is issued.
10. International students must check in at Group 3 Aviation upon arrival.
All applicants should also be prepared to provide:
- 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. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsors own a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
- You may be asked to provide TOEFL test scores for English proficiency.
Your Passport and Visa
Unless previously cancelled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States
Entering the U.S. – Port of Entry
A visa allows a international citizen coming from abroad to travel to the United States and request permission to enter the country. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.
If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it’s very important to keep them in your passport. Student visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program.
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
The TOEFL test opens more doors than any other academic English test. More than 6,000 institutions and agencies in 110 countries rely on TOEFL scores to select students with the English skills needed to succeed.
What Is the TOEFL Test?
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings. The TOEFL test is offered in different formats depending on a test taker’s location.
The Internet-based TOEFL Test
The TOEFL Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The test helps students demonstrate that they have the English skills needed for success. TOEFL iBT also emphasizes integrated skills and provides better information to institutions about students’ ability to communicate in an academic setting and their readiness for academic coursework.
For more details and test locations and fees please go to http://www.ets.org/toefl
I-901 Form Fees
This form is used to pay the fee to support the F, M, and J nonimmigrant reporting system authorized by Public Law 104-208, Subtitle D, Section 641. If you are subject to this fee and do not pay it, you will not be issued an F, M, or J nonimmigrant visa or be admitted to the United States. If you are in the United States and apply for a change of status, you are subject to this fee. If you do not pay it, your application will not be processed.
For SEVIS I-901 Fee Frequently Asked Questions please visit: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901
Advantages/Privileges of the M-1 Visa
- You may be issued an M-1 Visa for up to one year to study in the United States. Extensions beyond one year may be granted under certain conditions.
- Visas are available for accompanying dependents.
Limitations of the M-1 Visa
- You are not permitted to change your course of study.
- You and your dependents may not work in the U.S.
- You may not be granted more than one leave of absence during your training and it may not exceed 30 days.
- You must enroll in a full course of study and train on a full-time basis.
- You must complete your program within 150% of the specified training time (i.e., a 30 week program must be completed in no longer than 45 weeks).
- Proof of English language proficiency is required.
- Maintain health and accident insurance.
To learn more, please visit United States Visas , an official source of information about U.S. visa policy and procedures. This site offers more information about the visa application process, current requirements, and updates on recent developments.