You’ve made the decision. Flying is in your future. Parents have been convinced, funding has been secured, and your are ready to crank that engine. The first thing in the road to becoming a pilot once you’ve chosen a school to go, is the enrollment process to be part of that program. These steps may not seem clear at the beginning, but here you’ll find them summarized in 4 quick steps that will help you going through the process.
1. Knocking on the Door
The first step in applying to a flight school is letting that program know you want to apply. Make contact with their admissions team. They will be your guides through the convoluted steps of the FAA, TSA, SEVIS, and many more government acronyms that involve aviation. A knowledgeable admissions counselor will simplify the process, help you understand the coursework, and make sure that you have everything ready when you arrived to the first day of flight school. Filling out a student pilot questionnaire and a session of pilot career counseling can be key for your future in the air. These tools are certain to help determine what you actually want out of this career.
2. Filling forms
Filling forms is an inevitable step in the enrollment process. Get your documents together. Scan your passport, locate proof of funds, and add up your logbook if you have previous experience. The information that the school is asking you for will prepare you for the embassy visit if you need a visa, or for the FAA designate that will validate your foreign license. It may also save you some money if you have good documentation of previous flight experience. As an International student, you’ll receive an I-20 form in order to apply for a visa to enter the U.S, as part of your enrollment package. Once filled online it will be sent vía DHL to you once your deposit has been made.
3. Visa request
Once you receive the physical I-20, you’ll need to take it along with your passport and proof of funds to the U.S Embassy in your country to start the request process for a M-1 visa. The time and procedures this step takes may vary depending on which country you’re located, so if in doubt contact your country’s U.S Embassy. It is important to demonstrate your English ability. The embassy will also request proof of fund for the entire course and living expenses. Budget $1,000 a month for housing, food, etc for flight schools in Florida.
4. Take flight!
Your M-1 visa has been approved and now all you need to do is to contact the flight school to inform them of this and confirm your seat in the next class available, so take flight!