Visa Application Process For International Students
- You should begin the visa application process with Epic Helicopters at least 60 days prior to your requested flight training start date to ensure your visa is issued in time. Some visas can be issued within 21 days, others up to 60 days.
- All international students seeking flight training in the U.S. must enter the U.S. with an M-1 student visa.
- You must be able to read, speak, write and understand English. If you have any concerns regarding your English ability, please schedule a phone or Skype call with us. We will assist you in determining your English ability.
Step 1: Apply
Once you are ready to apply for enrollment to Epic Helicopters' Training Academy and to undergo the visa process, first contact us and request the Initial Application Package. Then, send by mail or email to Epic Helicopters the following items:
- I-20 Application Form. Complete the I-20 form sent to you by Epic Helicopters.
- Affidavit of Financial Resources Form. This form is required by law to demonstrate the student has personal or family funds in sufficient amount to cover the cost of training and living while in the U.S. It will be sent to you in your Initial Application Package.
- Passport. Color scan of your passport clearly showing your picture, passport number and expiration date.
Pay the Visa Application Fee
A $200 U.S. dollars non-refundable fee for the administration of your visa application and I-20 processing should be paid to Epic Helicopters.
Payment may be made by wire transfer or via PayPal. Please select the method of payment you wish to use on the Affidavit of Financial Resources (part of your Initial Application Package).
Step 2: TSA Background Check
- Complete the TSA application. This background check is required by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
- Wait for Epic Helicopters to accept the application. If your application has not been accepted within 1-2 business days, please contact us.
- Receive payment instructions. TSA will send payment instructions to the email address you registered with the TSA.
- Pay the TSA fees. Epic Helicopters will be automatically notified by the TSA when you have paid your fee to them. The application processing fee for each course is $130 and is paid directly to the TSA.
- NOTE: The name on the credit card used must match the name on the application.
Step 3: Receive I-20 Form & Acceptance Letter
- Pay to Epic the training course costs. Pay at least half of the full course cost by wire transfer or via PayPal. While only half of the course cost is required, full payment of the course cost is strongly encouraged.
- Wait for forms in the mail. Upon receipt of your deposit in our account, Epic Helicopters will mail your I-20 Form and Acceptance Letter to the address listed on your I-20 Application Form. These documents cannot be emailed.
Step 4: Complete Form I-901
You must complete this step prior to scheduling the Visa interview appointment with your local embassy or consulate.
- Go to https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/
- Print your online receipt for confirmation.
- You will need this receipt when applying for your Visa.
- The cost for this is $350. Later you will receive your official receipt of payment in the mail. Important - the information you enter on the Form I-901 must match exactly as you entered on the I-20 Application Form.
Step 5: Schedule Your Visa Interview
- Contact your local embassy or consulate immediately after receiving your I-20 form to schedule an appointment.
- Notify Epic Helicopters of the date of your interview appointment.
- Gather the following documents and take them with you to your appointment:
- Form I-20 (this will be mailed to you by Epic Helicopters. You must sign the I-20 form and make sure the Epic Helicopters school official has signed the form)
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students.
- Visa Application Forms. Complete the required Visa application forms for your country at http://evisaforms.state.gov. In addition, you may check with the Embassy Consular section of the site to determine if you need to print hard copies of the forms.
- A passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States.
- One 2x2 photograph. Go to the following website for directions on how to supply a proper photograph: Instructions for photograph
- Your Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee receipt to show payment of the Visa application fee (required) and the Visa issuance fee (if applicable and based on your country of origin). Please consult the following website to confirm fees you need to pay: Search for Fees
- SEVIS I-901 fee receipt. You must pay a SEVIS I-901 Fee to the Department of Homeland Security for each individual program. The fee may be paid either through a special website, via Western Union, or by mail. The website to pay your fee is www.fmjfee.com.
- Financial evidence providing your financial ability (or that of your parents and/or sponsor). This evidence must show that 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 sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
Step 6: Visa Issuance
- After receiving an M-1 visa, the student is responsible for providing Epic Helicopters with the details of his/her travel arrangements. This includes arrival date and time at DFW International Airport and what airline and flight number.
- Prepare to arrive at Epic Helicopters 2 days prior to flight training start date.
- Upon request, Epic Helicopters can provide transportation service from the airport free of charge.
Step 7: FAA Medical Certificate
- You must obtain either a First Class or Second Class FAA medical certificate prior to leaving your country.
- A list of FAA Aviation Medical Examiners (AME) for your area can be obtained at: http://ame.cami.jccbi.gov.
- Provide Epic Helicopters with a copy of your medical certificate prior to arrival.
SUMMARY OF FEES
- Visa Application Fee. Paid to Epic Helicopters. Non-refundable.
- SEVIS Fee / Form I-901 Fee. Paid to ICE through fmjfee.com website. Non-refundable.
- TSA Fee. Paid to TSA to complete the background check. Non-refundable.
SUMMARY OF DOCUMENTS
- M-1 Visa - temporary student visa issued by the United States.
- Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) - Required to study in the U.S. You will need this form to pay your I-901 fee, applying for your visa at your embassy or consulate, entering the U.S. (must present it to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry), applying for a driver's license or social security number in the U.S.
- Affidavit of Financial Resources - This form is supplied by Epic Helicopters as part of the Initial Application Package. This is required to prove that you have the financial resources to pay for the tuition and living expenses for the duration of your visit to the U.S.
- Acceptance Letter - Issued by Epic Helicopters.
- Form I-901 - Immigrations and Customs Enforcement form that is used to pay the SEVIS fee.
SUMMARY OF AGENCIES
- SEVIS - Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. SEVIS is a web service to administer visa applications.
- SEVP - Student and Exchange Visitor Program. This program administers the SEVIS website.
- DHS - Department of Homeland Security.
- ICE - Immigration and Custom Enforcement. This agency is part of DHS.
- TSA - Transportation Security Administration. This agency is part of DHS and will conduct your background check.
- Embassy / Consulate - Your country will have one or more U.S embassies or consulates that will assist you in getting your visa. You can search for the one nearest you.