Visa - United States visa

United States visa

You may need to apply for a visa when studying at Kaplan International English.  It is your responsibility to apply for a visa, as visa application is a US government process; however, we may be able to provide you some helpful information and resources to guide you through the process.

Part 1: Obtaining an I-20

You can change your start date any time before entering the U.S.; however, you must contact Kaplan International English to confirm your new start date and there must be time for us to send you a revised I-20.  It is required by U.S. law that you enter the U.S. with an accurate I-20 for your studies, failure to abide by this can result in problems at the U.S. Port of Entry and/or U.S. Embassy/Consulate and may result in denial of entry to the U.S.
Once you enter the U.S. you cannot postpone your start date, there are no exceptions to this rule; however, if you want to begin studies before your start date, this may be acceptable.  Please note, U.S. law does NOT permit entry to the U.S. more than 30 days before your I-20 start date.

Last updated: 08 December 2015

You can change your start date any time before entering the U.S.; however, you must contact Kaplan International English to confirm your new start date and there must be time for us to send you a revised I-20.  It is required by U.S. law that you enter the U.S. with an accurate I-20 for your studies, failure to abide by this can result in problems at the U.S. Port of Entry and/or U.S. Embassy/Consulate and may result in denial of entry to the U.S.
Once you enter the U.S. you cannot postpone your start date, there are no exceptions to this rule; however, if you want to begin studies before your start date, this may be acceptable.  Please note, U.S. law does NOT permit entry to the U.S. more than 30 days before your I-20 start date.

Last updated: 08 December 2015

The I-20 is the document showing you have been accepted into a SEVP-certified school for full-time study.  You will need the I-20 to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  You will also need to bring your signed I-20 with you, when you travel to the U.S.

Last updated: 27 May 2016

Please see Kaplan International’s document called Instructions for F-1 Student Applications for a complete list of documents required to get an I-20 from Kaplan International English.

Last updated: 08 January 2016

Once a completed application is submitted and payment is received, it will take approximately 2 weeks for you to receive your I-20 via courier service or express mail.  It is very important that you first obtain your I-20 before making a visa appointment.

We strongly recommend that you refrain from making travel plans until you have your I-20 and received your passport and visa.

 

Last updated: 14 January 2016

Kaplan International has rolling admissions, which means there are no specific deadlines. However, you should allow at least 2 weeks for Kaplan International to process your application and to issue your I-20. The process may take longer if you originally submit an incomplete application. Once you receive your I-20 you should allow 2 months to receive your F-1 visa.

Last updated: 01 February 2016

The I-20, also called a “Certificate of Eligibility”, confirms that a non-immigrant has been admitted to a U.S. school that is approved by the U.S. government to enrol non-immigrants. The I-20 is issued by the Designated School Official (DSO) at the school the student intends to study at and is required by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate to obtain F-1 visa status. In addition, F-1 students must maintain a valid I-20 by studying full-time to remain legally in the U.S. after their start date (please see “What are the study requirements of Kaplan International Centers?” for further information), and communicate regularly with their DSO to ensure they maintain legal status while in the U.S.

Last updated: 29 February 2016

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. The length of the I-20 varies as follows:

English language and/or TOEFL ®  ® - 13 months 
Academic Semester/Academic Year - 13 months 
GMAT ®  ® for International Students - 6 months 
GRE ®  ® for International Students - 6 months 

If you end your course before your I-20 expiration date and do not re-enrol (as in most cases), your DSO will shorten your I-20 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/repeat 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.

Last updated: 08 January 2016

If you believe you need to continue studies after your I-20 end date, you can speak to your DSO to see if you qualify for an extension. However, I-20 extensions are not common and require you to meet very specific criteria. Given this, it is important that you pace yourself during your studies to ensure you meet your academic goals in a timely manner and hence complete your studies with Kaplan International by the end date listed on your I-20. Please note, all requests for I-20 extensions must be made to your DSO before your last day of study. I-20 extensions will not be granted if requested after your last day of study. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Last updated: 29 February 2016

You may receive your I-20 by regular mail or by courier/express mail.  In general, there is no additional mailing fee for regular mail service.  If you choose courier or express mail service then there is a courier fee.  We strongly recommend using a courier/express mail service for international shipments, in order to track your shipment.   If you apply to Kaplan International English within 4 weeks or less of your proposed start date, then your I-20 will be sent via courier/express mail service and you will be charged for this fee.

Last updated: 05 September 2016

You can change your start date any time before entering the U.S.; however, you must contact Kaplan International English to confirm your new start date and there must be time for us to send you a revised I-20.  It is required by U.S. law that you enter the U.S. with an accurate I-20 for your studies, failure to abide by this can result in problems at the U.S. Port of Entry and/or U.S. Embassy/Consulate and may result in denial of entry to the U.S.
Once you enter the U.S. you cannot postpone your start date, there are no exceptions to this rule; however, if you want to begin studies before your start date, this may be acceptable.  Please note, U.S. law does NOT permit entry to the U.S. more than 30 days before your I-20 start date.

 

Last updated: 31 May 2016

If you have not received your F-1 Student Visa, you may be able to change your Kaplan International English centre location.  You must contact us to confirm the new location and to obtain a new I-20; note, a change in school locations will require a new I-20 and new SEVIS ID # and you will be required to pay the SEVIS fee for the new I-20. Your original I-20 will be cancelled which means you cannot use it to obtain a visa or enter the U.S. If your visa has already been issued, you can change locations; however, you will need to consult with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate to find out if you will need a new visa, as U.S. law requires that the name of the school on your I-20 match the name of the school on your visa for successful entry to the U.S.  If the school names do not match, you may be denied entry to the U.S.  

For questions regarding paying the SEVIS I-901 fee or transferring a previously paid fee to a new I-20, go to https://fmjfee.com. Kaplan cannot assist you with the SEVIS fee.

Last updated: 05 September 2016

USA visa information

A non-immigrant visa is an immigration document that permits a citizen of a foreign country to enter into the U.S. for a temporary period of time. It also determines what a non-immigrant is allowed to do while in the U.S. There are many different types of visas, depending on the reason for coming to the U.S. For instance, 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. For more information about obtaining a visa, please visit the US Department of State website.

Last updated: 29 February 2016

 Yes, it is your responsibility to apply and obtain the proper visa to study at Kaplan International, as visa application is a US government process; however, we may be able to provide you some helpful information and resources to guide you through the process.

Last updated: 14 January 2016

No, we will need a program start date to process your application and issue you an I-20.  Also consider giving yourself enough time to obtain a visa and secure accommodations before entry to the U.S.

Last updated: 14 January 2016

Part 2: Obtaining an F-1 (student) visa

An F-1 student visa is a travel document that permits a student to travel to a port of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. for the purposes of full-time study for a temporary period of time.  A visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S., as each individual is inspected at the port of entry by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officers to ensure that the person is entering the U.S. for the same purpose the visa was issued for.

More information regarding U.S. student visas can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/study-exchange/student.html/

Last updated: 14 January 2016

No. All visas are issued by the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

First, apply to Kaplan International English.  If you are eligible for admission, Kaplan will issue you a Form I-20.  Second, after you receive the I-20, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.fmjfee.com .   Finally, apply for a student visa by contacting your U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country.

You may find a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates here, http://www.usembassy.gov/

Last updated: 05 September 2016

In general, you are expected to visit the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the country for which you hold citizenship (i.e. the country that issued your passport). If your country does not have a U.S. Embassy/Consulate or if you are currently located in a different country to the one that issues your passport, you should contact the closest U.S. Embassy to see if they can accept your application for an F-1 visa. To learn more about your local U.S. Embassy, visit US Department of State website.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

For a list of items required by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for an F-1 visa, visit the website for your local U.S. Embassy at US Department of State website.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

The average wait time varies from country to country. See their website to confirm how long it takes at your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

Kaplan International English does not issue your visa and therefore cannot confirm for how long it will be valid. Instead, you should confirm this information with your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

 No, Kaplan International English and its representatives are not permitted to assist you with completing any government documents.  You are solely responsible for submitting your U.S. visa application.

Last updated: 14 January 2016

Kaplan International English does not issue visas and therefore cannot confirm the likelihood of approval. However, you should note that visa issuance is not guaranteed.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

If you are denied a visa, you should ask the Consular Officer for the reason for your denial, in writing, before you leave the Embassy/Consulate.  You have the right to request the denial in writing.

If the reason for the denial or delay in obtaining your visa was caused by a mistake on your I-20, please contact us immediately and we will revise your I-20 to assist you in getting your visa. 

If no reason is stated or a different reason is stated, then it is unlikely that Kaplan International English can provide any further assistance.  Remember, visa acquisition is a U.S. government process, Kaplan is not involved with these decisions and cannot change their decision.   

If you are unable to obtain a U.S. visa, you may want to consider learning English in your home country using Kaplan online courses.

Last updated: 14 January 2016

You will be refunded in full minus the courier fee and application fee. Please provide the letter of visa denial from the Embassy.

Last updated: 03 June 2016

Other requirements: Evidence of financial circumstances

Yes, U.S. law requires that we verify you are able to support your studies and stay in the U.S. for the duration of your program of study, before an I-20 can be issued.  We will ask you for an official bank statement. Please request a bank statement from your bank in English and in USD.  If a sponsor is paying for your course, we will need a bank statement for your sponsor and a signed letter from the sponsor attesting he/she will be financially responsible for you during your stay in the U.S.  We can only accept recent bank statements from a checking/current or savings account. 

Note, the U.S. Embassy/Consulate may also ask you for similar proof of funds.

Last updated: 01 February 2016

Yes. You can show funds through multiple accounts and/or multiple sponsors, if necessary.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

If the amount paid to Kaplan International English is equal to or greater than the cost of study as indicated on your I-20, you will not be required to submit a bank statement/letter. If the amount paid is less than the cost of study, you will be required to submit a bank statement.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

You must show an amount equal to your full cost of study at Kaplan International English.  We require all students to pay in full before their start date.

Last updated: 01 February 2016

Entry into the USA

You can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the start date on your most recent I-20.  If you attempt to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before your start date, you may be denied entry and if you do enter the U.S. you will be “out of status” and your I-20 may be terminated.

You should never enter the U.S. more than 30 days before your start date unless you have another valid visa status you plan to enter and exit under before your I-20 start date.

Last updated: 02 September 2016

It is not recommended that you enter the U.S. after your program start date, as by U.S. law you are required to report to school on your I-20 program start date and you may be denied entry for late arrival.

To prevent problems related to late arrival, you should contact us before you enter the U.S. and ask to postpone your start date.  We will send you a revised I-20 with your postponed start date.

Last updated: 01 February 2016

In general, be prepared to show the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer the documents listed below.  Do not pack these documents in your luggage.  If these documents are incomplete or missing, this can result in being asked questions about your intent, being detained, and/or denied entry. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol can ask you for more or less documents than listed here.

  • Your signed Form I-20, 
    • If you are under 18, then you parent/guardian must also sign your I-20.
    • If you are sponsoring dependents (husband/wife, or children) to enter the U.S. the student must sign the dependents’ I-20s.
  • Kaplan International English Letter of Acceptance, 
  • A valid (non-expired) F-1 Visa  (F-2 Visas for all dependents), and
  • A valid (non-expired) Passport (passports should be valid for 6 months beyond your course end date).

 

Last updated: 05 September 2016

Please visit http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students and review the section called “What should I do when I arrive?”

Last updated: 19 January 2016

The I-94 is also called the “Arrival/Departure Document.” Visitors to the U.S. arriving by air or sea no longer receive a paper version of this document but instead their entry and status is electronically recorded online.  When entering the U.S. by air or sea, you should immediately check your “Electronic I-94” record to determine whether your entry and status were correctly recorded.  Students entering the U.S. through other means, such as by land border, will receive a paper I-94 attached to your passport/visa.   Regardless of whether your I-94 is paper or electronic it should always state the correct date you entered the U.S., your visa type (F-1), and how long you are able to stay (for F-1s this should say “D/S” or “Duration of Status” meaning you are able to stay in the U.S. as long as you remain a student.).

If you have been provided a paper I-94, you must surrender it to a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer or a representative from your commercial carrier upon departure from the U.S.

If this information appears inaccurate, speak immediately to someone at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol or if you are already outside of the Port of Entry, speak to your Designated School Official upon reporting to school. 

To get your Electronic I-94 record go to: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/consent.html

More information regarding the I-94 can be found here, http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/i-94-instructions

Last updated: 02 September 2016

Form I-515A is a government form given to some travellers who are missing documentation required for entry to the U.S. If you are given this form by a Port of Entry Officer, you must ask what documentation you are missing. Once confirmed, you will be required to submit that documentation to the government within 30 days after entry. If you do not meet this deadline, you will fall out of legal status and will have to leave the U.S. immediately. If you are given this form, please speak to the DSO at your Kaplan International English centre immediately after entry. Kaplan International English can assist you in completing the documentation.

Last updated: 02 September 2016

You are required to arrive at the Kaplan International English centre and begin full-time studies on or before the start date listed on your I-20. If you do not meet this requirement, your I-20 will be terminated, you will fall out of legal status and will have to leave the U.S. immediately. If you are outside the U.S. and unable to travel to the U.S before your start date contact Kaplan International English and we will update your I-20 by postponing the start date. If you have already entered the U.S. you will not be allowed to postpone your start date. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

Visa terms questions

How soon you can begin your course may depend on the visa processing times at your U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  We recommend that you submit your completed KI application at least 2 months before your desired start date to provide ample time to obtain your visa.

Last updated: 14 January 2016

No, we will need a program start date to process your application and issue you an I-20.  Also consider giving yourself enough time to obtain a visa and secure accommodations before entry to the U.S.

Last updated: 14 January 2016

Generally, yes, the student’s spouse can travel as a dependent and any unmarried children under the age of 21 (if your dependent does not meet this definition, they may need to consider obtaining a different type of visa).  The dependent will be issued their own “Dependent I-20.”  There is no SEVIS fee for the dependent I-20.  The dependent will also need to apply for their own F-2 visa.

U.S. law requires that we verify you are able to support your studies and your dependents during your stay in the U.S. for the duration of time of your program of study, before an I-20 can be issued.  We will ask you for an official bank statement. Please request a bank statement from your bank in English and in USD.  If a sponsor is paying for your course, we will need a bank statement for your sponsor and a signed letter from the sponsor attesting he/she will be financially responsible for you and your dependents during your stay in the U.S.  We can only accept recent bank statements from a checking/current or savings account.  The bank statement must cover all fees and tuition for your entire enrollment plus $400 USD per dependent per month of enrollment.

In addition to proof of funds, please also provide the following:

  • A copy of each dependent’s passport, and
  • A written statement of the relationship of each dependent to you.

Note: it is recommended that the dependent go to the visa interview with the student and travel with the student.

Last updated: 05 September 2016

As an F-1 student visa holder, you will be required to maintain fulltime studies for the duration of your course at the Kaplan International English centre that issued your I-20.  Fulltime study hours are at least 18 hours per week if enrolled in General English, Intensive English, TOEFL and Academic English, English for Business, Academic Semester and Academic Year. If enrolled in GMAT for International Students or GRE for International Students you will be required to study at the Kaplan International English centre that issued your I-20 for at least 22 hours per week. You will learn more about Kaplan International English’s attendance requirements on your first day of class.

Last updated: 02 September 2016

If you do not meet Kaplan International English’s full-time study requirements, you risk falling out of legal status with the following consequences:

  • Your I-20 will be terminated.
  • You will no longer be eligible to study with Kaplan International English.
  • You will not be eligible for a refund.
  • You will be required to leave the U.S. immediately after termination of your I-20.
  • You are no longer eligible for a Certificate of Achievement.
  • You will be required to leave the U.S. immediately, or remain in the U.S. and immediately find a school that will accept your terminated transfer I-20 and sponsor you for reinstatement.
Last updated: 14 January 2016

As an F-1 student, your primary purpose for staying in the U.S. must be for full-time study and you must be able to afford your stay without resorting to work.  In general, F-1 language study students cannot work.   There are very limited exceptions to this rule; if you think you qualify for such an exception, please speak to your Designated School Official (DSO) at the school.   If you are known to be unlawfully employed (without an EAD card and/or DSO approval) then your I-20 will be terminated.

Last updated: 02 September 2016

No. As a Kaplan International English student, you are not eligible for practical training (OPT/CPT) under any circumstance. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Last updated: 11 January 2016

How can we help?

Our Student Advisors will help you choose the right course to suit your academic and professional goals.

  •       Accommodation
  •       Visa information
  •       Travel arrangements

Our offices are located on 2nd Floor, Warwick Building, Kensington Village, Avonmore Road, London W14 8HQ, UK

If you would like to speak with a student advisor, please call: 

UK: +44 (0)20 7045 5000

USA:1-800-818-9128