Embassy English

Visa Advice for
English Language students

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Do you need a visa?

That depends on your nationality and country of residence, where you want to study and how long you will be staying. Here's a brief overview.


When to apply?

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website recommends students contact the US Embassy or Consulate in their country 90 days in advance of their arrival in the USA. Please consider this when applying for a course at one of our schools in the USA.

What is the I-20 form and why do you need one?

The I-20 form proves you have been offered a place at a language school and have enough funds to support yourself during your time in the USA. You need the I-20 form when you apply for a Student Visa (F1) for the USA.

Embassy English can issue your I-20 form, but before we can do this, we need:

  • Your course application
  • USD 1,000 or more towards the costs of your course (this ensures we only provide the document to genuine students.)
  • A copy of a current bank statement as proof that you can support yourself
  • Your full home address including the postcode

What is the SEVIS fee?

The SEVIS fee is paid to the US Department of Homeland Security. All foreign nationals arriving to the United States to study are required to pay the SEVIS fee except those arriving on an ESTA or Tourist Visa. The SEVIS fee is separate from and additional to any visa application fees.

Students can pay the fee one of two ways:

  1. Online: Complete the form I-901 at the FMJ Fee website and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. Your name must be typed exactly as it is appears on the I-20 form. Once you have completed the I-901 form print a copy of the online receipt to take to your visa interview.
  2. By post: Download and print out the form I-901 from the FMJ Fee website OR request it by phone at 1-800-870-3676.

If you are unable to obtain this form by any of the above means please contact your Embassy IAC representative to request a copy.

Other points to note about SEVIS:

  • When you complete the form please ensure your name is written exactly as it is written on your I-20
  • Send your cheque, international money order or foreign draft (US bank only) made payable to "The Department of Homeland Security" along with your form to the address provided.
  • You will receive an I-797 receipt notice in the mail within 3 days of processing the fee.
  • You will not be given a visa interview unless you have paid the fee.
  • Make sure you take the receipt to the your interview. Most embassies or consulates will be able to verify the fee payment without a receipt if the fee is paid far enough in advance of the interview, but to be on the safe side we recommend that you always take a copy of your receipt with you.
  • If you require further information please see US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.


Students need to apply for a visa before arrive in the UK unless you are a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) national. Find out if you need a visa on the GOV.UK website.

Type of visas:

  • Short Term Student Visa (6 Months): Study in the UK for up to 6 months with these visas, for applicants aged 18+
  • Short Term Student Visa (Child): Study in the UK for up to 6 months with these visas, for applicants aged under 18
  • Short Term Student Visa (11 Months): Study in the UK for up to 11 months with these visas, for applicants aged 18+
  • Standard Visitor Visa: This visa permits study at Embassy English for up to 30 days providing that study is not the main reason for the visit to the UK.
  • Tier 4 General Student Visa: For applicants aged 16 and over wanting to study a long-term programme for more than 11 months.

Note: Note: If travelling to the UK on a different type of visitor visa, such as tourist, academic or business visa, you can study English for up to 6 weeks. If, however, your main reason for coming to the UK is to study, then you need to apply for the relevant student visitor visa, see above.


For information regarding a Student Visa please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website:br /> www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/stud


All Students studying in New Zealand on a programme of more than 3 months’ duration must have a student visa.
For courses of less than 3 months, you may need a visa, depending on your nationality. For more detailed information, please refer to the New Zealand Immigration website: