ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN AN M-1 VISA.
WE HAVE SUPPLIED THE INFORMATION BELOW TO TRY AND MAKE THE PROCESS
OF OBTAINING THIS VISA AS UNDERSTANDABLE AS POSSIBLE FOR YOU.
Familiarize yourself with the process at the US Department of State’s website under Student Visas. Contact the U.S. embassy to find out if you need to apply in person or if you may send in your forms. Canadians are visa exempt but will need to present their documentation and fees at the border. Each embassy is different so please ask them as many questions directly as possible. The School of Leadership can not provide you with all required information, as every embassy’s procedures are different. When the application forms refer to an I-20, this is in reference to a form the School of Leadership will issue on your behalf. We are authorized by the U.S. Gernment to issue these forms for non-immigrant alien students. You can not obtain an M-1 or M-2 (for families) visa without this form. Please note that the School of Leadership must register all lost forms.
Upon acceptance, we will send you an electronic form to complete with information from your passport and regarding your financial situation. Your passport must be valid through to the end of the school year. Ask your embassy to send you all the necessary requirements for preparing for your appointment and any forms for the M-1 visa pplication, prior to receiving the I-20 from us. Some of this may be available online – please ask them.
We encourage you to begin filling out these forms immediately and gathering supporting information. For further instructions, see the section below titled: What to Bring to Your Embassy Appointment.
You will need to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee ($200 US) and obtain a proof of payment receipt prior to your interview. You must have a SEVIS ID number from the School of Leadership in order to make your payment. Visit the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program website to find out more about the I-901 fees required by SEVIS.
The fee must be paid in time to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview. The interviewing consular officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS.
To allow for adequate processing time the fee must be paid: At least three business days prior to the visa interview date if paying electronically. At least 15 business days prior to the scheduled visa interview if submitting payment through regular mail. (This time frame allows adequate time for the fee payment to be received at the DHS address listed on the Form I-901, deposited, and recorded in SEVIS.) Be sure to add local mail processing time to this processing estimate for accuracy.
If required, schedule an appointment – allowing 2-3 weeks for the School of Leadership to complete and mail your I-20 form. Ask your embassy how long it takes to process your request (typically 4 – 6 weeks), keeping the school start date in mind. Find out if they will mail you the visa, if granted, or give it to you at the appointment. Some countries send it by courier after the appointment, which results in more time needed to get your visa in hand and more costs.
They really want to know you have reasons to come back. Bring letters from employers, school, from the
leader if you serve on a worship team or in ministry – anything that shows you are active in your country, planning
to return and thinking about it now – and anything related to property or things of financial value – or even a letter
from your parents / relatives to show family bonds and that you are welcomed back there.
Contact the School of Leadership if you don’t know what to bring for this.
The website states it this way: “Proof of strong ties abroad, including but not limited to proof of permanent
employment abroad, meaningful business or inancial connections, close family ties, and/or social or cultural
associations, which will indicate a strong inducement to return to your country of origin;”
Bring a brochure and a weekly schedule. Print off pages from our website if you
can’t get a brochure in time (pages that talk about classes, dates of school year, etc.)
They tend to prioritize this issue, so please be prepared with the supporting documentation
about your finances and able to explain how you’ve prepared, as you know you can
not work in the States during your time at the school of Leadership.
Yes. Spouses and children of an M-1 visa holder are called “dependents.” They must apply for an
M-2 visa and be granted this visa in order to enter the U.S. Evidence of the ability to support
them financially without working in the U.S. will be required for visas to be granted for all.
No. Dependents can not hold any type of employment with an M-2 visa. This includes payment for
baby-sitting, nanny positions or working for other forms of payment, such as food or lodging.
Dependents can not study at the school without applying individually for an M-1 visa .
The M-1 visa can only be obtained for one year at a time for the period of the program’s start to end dates as stated
on the I-20 form. However, some officers have assigned the visa dates according to the date of your appointment.
For this reason, we recommend scheduling June and July dates at the embassy where possible.
M-1 and M-2 visas allow for 30 days in the country before and after the start and end program dates stated on the I-20.
However, the financial and housing arrangements with the School of Leadership only allow for a few days before and
after the program dates. If you wish to arrive earlier or stay later in Kenosha, you will need to approve this with the
School of Leadership’s directors and have the financial ability to fund any extra time here.
Yes. Students are allowed to leave and re-enter provided that they are still a full-time
student with our school and their visas remain valid. You will have to have your valid passport and a new I-20,
issued by the School of Leadership, when traveling.