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Visa Waiver 

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program of the United States Government which allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.
Citizens of visa waiver countries may travel for tourism, business, and for intensive language programs NOT to exceed 18 hours per week . Citizens of the following countries may enter the United States with no visa and remain in the United States for up to 90 days:

Visa Waver Country

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

Change of status

We can help you change your B-1 (tourist) status or J-1 (work) visa to an F-1 (student) status. Usually the whole process takes between 45 to 90 days to be completed. We will be with you step-by-step to make sure you do everything correctly.

1. Complete the essential information on the Online Application Form.

2. Send to San Diego English School an original bank statement of $3000 United States dollars.

3. Pay San Diego English School $350 regarding to Application and Placement Fee + change of status fee.

4. You need to pay $290 to USCIS, you can use check or money order.

5. You must go online and pay the “SEVIS fee” (I-901) at least three days before the student’s appointment at the American Consulate.

Q & A

Do I need a Student Visa to study at San Diego English School?

No, however if you come on a tourist visa, you may only study part-time (less than 18 hours per week). If your primary purpose for entering the U.S. is to study, it is in your best interest to get an F-1 (student) visa.

What is an F-1 (student) visa?

An F-1 visa is an immigration document that permits a foreign citizen to come to the U.S. to study full-time for a temporary period of time.a.

How do I get an F-1 (student) visa?

You must first apply to San Diego English School. If eligible for admission, San Diego English School will issue an “Initial Attendance” Form I-20. Upon receipt of Form I-20, you will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.fmjfee.com. Then you can schedule your visa interview. The SEVIS I-901 fee supports the system that tracks students and ensures they maintain their visa status while in the U.S. After paying the fee, you will then need to visit the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country to get an F-1 visa.

When will I get my I-20?

From the time San Diego English School receives your application fee, it takes 1-3 weeks for you to receive the I-20 documents via regular international mail. If you request that we expedite your I-20 (recommended), it will be sent via FedEx. Please refer to Tuition and Fees for current FedEx charges.

What should I do once I get my I-20?

Upon receipt of Form I-20, you will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.fmjfee.com.Then you can Schedule your visa interview with the US embassy/consulate. Please make sure you submit the application form found online: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/

What should I do when my visa has been approved?

Email us at info@sandiegoenglishschool.org to let us know that you are coming.

What if my visa is denied? Who should I contact?

Please contact us. If needed, we can re-issue another I-20 so you may schedule another visa appointment. Please email us at info@sandiegoenglishschool.org

How long will my I-20 be valid for?

The length of time printed on your I-20 is pre-determined by the course you are taking and not by the number of weeks you will be studying with us. If you end your course before your I-20 expiration date and do not re-enroll, your I-20 will be shortened to reflect your early end date. If you want to stay for the full length of your I-20, you will have to pay for an extension of your course and continue to maintain full-time studies during the extension. After your last day of study you will be permitted a grace period of 60 calendar days to transfer to another school or depart the U.S.

Can I work with an F-1 (student) visa?

According to U.S. government regulations, you are not eligible to work with an F-1 visa.

When can I enter the U.S.?

You have up to 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20 to enter the U.S.


The following is a step-by-step description of the F-1 Student Visa application procedures. Please follow the instructions very carefully, click on the links below or visit the websites for more information. Let us know if you need any assistance.

Make copies of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents. The fee must be paid online at least three business days prior to the interview date to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS. The interviewing officer at the Consulate or Embassy will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing the SEVIS system.

During the interview, remain calm and answer all the visa officer’s questions openly and honestly.

Form I-20

You must sign and date item 11 on page 1 of the Form I-20.

Pay the SEVIS Fee

SEVIS is a web-based Immigration system for maintaining information on international students. Your Form I-20 was issued in the SEVIS system and has a unique SEVIS ID number in the upper right corner of page 1.

To pay the SEVIS fee online:

• Go to http://fmjfee.com

• Complete the Form I-901 online and provide the necessary credit card information to pay the SEVIS fee.

**Important: write your name exactly as it appears on your Form I-20!

• Print a copy of the online receipt.

Complete the Visa Application Form DS-160

The electronic visa application form can be found online at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/It is important to follow the instructions very carefully and make sure to save your data regularly.

Pay the Visa Application Fee

Follow the instructions on your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website to pay the visa application fee.

Schedule the Visa Interview

Contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your area and follow their instructions to schedule an interview for your F-1 visa interview. A list of U.S. Consulates and Embassies can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov

Visa Interview

Here is a checklist of all documents you need to prepare and bring to your visa interview:

• Your passport (must be valid for at least six months from your expected arrival date in the U.S.)

• Original Form I-20

• Letter of Acceptance

• Form DS-160 (confirmation page)

• One 2×2-inch (5.08×5.08 cm) passport photograph in the correct format: htp://passport_correct_format

• A receipt for the visa application fee

• A receipt for the SEVIS fee

• Financial evidence (bank statement, etc.) that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study.

• Any information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community, letter from your employer or school, etc.

When can you enter the United States?

After you receive the F-1 visa, you can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the starting date on your I-20, but no later than that date. Contact us immediately if you need to change the starting date.

What is the Form I-94?

The Form I-94 is the Arrival /Departure Record, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and border Protection (CBP) Officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. After April 30, 2013, most Arrival/Departure records will be created electronically upon arrival. Instead of paper form, the visitor will be provided with an annotated stamp in the foreign passport. If provided a paper form, the admitting CBP Officer generally attaches the I-94 to the visitor’s passport and stamps the departure date on the form.