Information for International Students
International students are most welcome in Washington International Flight Academy!
WIFA is currently approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to issue the I-20 form, which allows students to apply for an M-1 student visa.
Please read through, and follow all steps below in order to become a WIFA international student.
Call our office at +1 (240) 2467529, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the name and contact details of a WIFA representative in your area. He or she will help you with the following preliminary steps:
a. Apply for an FAA medical certificate at medxpress.faa.gov
b. Apply for an FAA student certificate at iacra.faa.gov
c. Make an appointment with a certified FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)
d. Apply for a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) clearance at
2. Attend the appointment with the AME and get, at a minimum, a Second Class Medical Certificate.
a. Scanned copy of your passport
b. Bank statements that will allow WIFA to verify that the visa financial requirements are met. These
i. be written in English on bank letterhead;
ii. display the student’s or sponsor’s name as the owner of the account;
iii. be less than six months old; and
iv. show a minimum of $ 45,000.00 USD.
c. A receipt of a $1,000 transfer (click the Payment button below). This amount consists of a $150 non- refundable application fee + $850 deposit towards your flight training. The deposit will be refunded in full if the visa application is denied. A $500 refund will be provided if cancellation notification is received by WIFA up to two weeks prior to the planned start date. No refund will be provided afterwards.
4. Once admission and financial requirements are met, WIFA will create an initial SEVIS record, form I-
20. This will be sent to you by a courier service. You will receive an I-20 form for yourself and for your
dependents, if applicable. We will contact you if we are missing any information required for issuing
the I-20 form. Please monitor your email frequently in order to avoid delays.
5. Once you received the I-20 form, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee by visiting the following link:
https://www.fmjfee.com. Information on how to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee can be found here:
https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/i-901-sevis-fee-payment-tutorial. You only need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee
for yourself, not for your dependents.
Additional information may be found in this clip.
6. Make an appointment to apply for a student visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate in your home country.
You may find a link to the U.S. embassies/consulates on this website: https://www.usembassy.gov. Please
note that the U.S. embassy/consulate (not WIFA) has the authority to make the final decision on granting
the M-1 student visa.
7. On the day of the interview, make sure to be at the embassy/consulate at least 20 minutes before your
scheduled appointment. You will need to bring the following documents:
a. The original I-20 form, signed by a WIFA official.
b. The financial documentation showing evidence of your ability to pay tuition and living expenses.
c. A completed application form DS-160 (usually filled electronically on the embassy/consulate site when
making the visa interview appointment. You must print the form and bring it with you to the
interview). In some countries, you may be required to fill in forms DS-156 and DS-158, and possibly
form DS-157. Please consult the U.S. embassy/consulate website in your home country for additional
d. A passport valid for at least six months after the proposed date of entry into the U.S.
e. One 2-inch-by-2-inch photo. Instructions for obtaining an appropriate photo can be found here:
f. A receipt showing that you paid the SEVIS I-901 visa application fee.
8. Should the consul approve the visa, you will usually be notified on the spot, and the passport will be
mailed to you within a few days (depending on the local embassy/consulate regulations).
Congratulations! You are now a US M-1 Visa holder, and ready to travel to the US.
When traveling, you must take the following documents:
Your passport with the M-1 visa, and I-20 form (usually attached to the passport).
The financial documentation showing evidence of ability to pay tuition and living expenses.
A receipt showing that you paid the SEVIS I-901 visa application fee.
Your prospective address in the U.S., if you have one. If you do not have an address, please note the WIFA student apartment address: 8100 Chelaberry Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20879.
While the M-1 student visa does not have any insurance requirements set by the government, we strongly recommend that our international flight students have their own health insurance.
The recommended minimum coverage required Is:
Medical benefits of at least $50,000.00 per accident or illness.
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500.00.
Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $10,000.00.\
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
As a reminder, the insurance policy should not contain any statements or clauses which preclude you, the student, from coverage due to the nature of this program, which is flight training. Please note that the insurance requirements, as established under 22 CFR 514.14(a), must be met for each exchange visitor and accompanying spouse or dependent.
Requirement for maintaining the visa status
M-1 visa students are required to have 18 to 22 clock hours per week in their course of study. Other requirements may apply. Please consult a WIFA representative for additional information.
According to the Federal Aviation Regulations, in order to obtain FAA pilots’ licenses and ratings you must be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
While there are no requirements for taking an English test, in the meeting with your WIFA representative you should demonstrate you have the required English language skills. You may also be requested to have a phone interview with the WIFA Chief Pilot.