Foreign Student / M-1 Programs
An overview for foreign students flying at United Flight Systems
Registration with the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA")
The TSA has issued the Alien Flight Training/Citizenship Validation Rule to ensure that foreign students seeking training at flight schools regulated by the FAA do not pose a threat to aviation or national security. This rule only applies to training for:
1. Initial airman certificate, including private, recreational or sport;
2. Instrument rating; or
3. Multi-engine rating
The rule does NOT apply to flight reviews, proficiency checks, or other flight training not for the purposes of a new certificate or rating.
You must notify United Flight Systems (“UFS”) and the TSA that you are planning to begin training for a new certificate or rating. This process is as follows:
Step 7 of the TSA registration process relates to Training Details. Please use the following information to complete this section:
i. State: Texas
ii. Provider Name: United Flight Systems
iii. Course ID: 101
iv. Course Name: Private Pilot, Instrument, or Multi-engine
v. Category: Category III
vi. Aircraft Type: Cessna 172
vii. The student will also provide the estimated start and end dates of training.
After the application has been submitted by the student, UFS will acknowledge it after confirmation of student enrollment has been made. The student will then receive payment instructions from the TSA. Once this payment has been made, the student will receive another e-mail regarding Fingerprint Instructions. In most cases, the student will wait until they arrive in the United States to be fingerprinted at a local law enforcement office. The student’s flight training may begin only once they receive “Permission to Initiate Training” from the TSA.
Should the student require a visa to be issued by UFS for his or her training, the following procedures are necessary:
1. Complete the registration with TSA as outlined above. Call or email UFS to advise them of your intention to train at the school. In most cases you should expect a telephonic interview with the school to discuss your intentions and your particular requirements. In some instances you may be asked to document (a) your English proficiency and/or (b) your financial ability to meet your expected expenses.
2. Student will wire transfer $2,200 to UFS. These funds will be placed in the student’s account for use upon arrival at UFS. The $200.00 non-refundable processing fee is for required paperwork prepared by UFS prior to the student’s arrival, such as the I-20, admission letters and other necessary paperwork. If additional Dependent M-2 visas are required there will be an additional charge of $125.00 (non-refundable) for each dependent. Charges for document delivery (e.g., FedEx, wire transfer fees) will be at the student's expense and deducted off the initial deposit amount when these charges have been determined. Funds shall be transferred to the following account:
a. Account Name – United Flight Systems
b. Bank – Amegy Bank of Texas P.O. Box 27459, Houston, TX 77227
c. Account Number – 5791085987
d. Routing Number – 113011258
e. Swift Code (as of 9/23/2016)– ZFNBUS55
3. Once UFS receives an e-mail notification from TSA indicating that the student has completed the application, UFS will send the applicant an I-20. The I-20 will include your SEVIS number. You are required to send us your passport photograph (the one you uploaded to the TSA). In addition, please provide UFS with the following information to properly complete the I-20:
a. Family Name
b. First Name
c. Middle Name
d. Country of Birth
e. Date of Birth in (mm/dd/yyyy format) NOT (dd/mm/yyyy format)
g. Mailing Address (mail deliveries, NOT your e-mail address)
h. Telephone Number (required for FedEx deliveries)
i. Date you are reporting to school (approximate date will do)
4. Student will take the I-20 to the U.S. Embassy of their home country for completion of the M-1 visa process. The student should check with their appropriate embassy for their own rules and regulations regarding the M-1 application process.
Most consulates require appointments for visa interviews. The student must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before appearing for the interview with the embassy. This fee is generally $200.00 and should not be confused with our $200 processing fee discussed above. However, you can make an appointment for an interview before you receive your receipt. Using the Internet to fill in the Form I-901 at www.fmjfee.com and paying by credit card is the fastest way to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. You can print a receipt immediately.
5. If the M-1 visa is not issued for any reason the $2,000 deposit, less any delivery expenses, will be refunded. Once the student arrives in the United States to begin our training program, all funds in their account will become non-refundable. If the student arrives in the United States and the visa is subsequently cancelled for any reason, all funds in their accounts will become non-refundable as well. Additionally, students are required to maintain active status at the school by flying at least 6 (six) hours a month. When students start their training it is important that they maintain that status otherwise SEVP may terminate the student's lawful immigration status in the United States.