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The US Department of State has recently announced that the J1 Visa will soon not be available to International Students.  International students will still be able to enter the United States on a student visa, the I-20, M-1 visa and attend school.  Northeast Helicopters can bring an International student to the USA for up to 2.5 years, which will give you more than enough time to achieve your ratings and required hour building time to achieve your countries minimum hours.

Northeast helicopters is pleased to provide training to International Students through the M-1 student visa program. The M-1 visa allows you to attend a flight school in order to complete a full-time flight instruction curriculum.  Our international flight training courses are specially designed to maximize the training time allotted to non-immigrant students in addition to meeting the requirements set by the Dept of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Immigration (formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service).

As an International student, you are urged to check flight and ground instruction requirements in your own country before attending Northeast Helicopters.  You can start by identifying your country's governing aviation authority at the International Flight Information Manual.

The process for getting an M-1 student Visa to train at Northeast Helicopters begins in your own country by following these steps (detailed below): 

  1. Register with the TSA
  2. Apply for Training with the TSA
  3. Apply for Training with NEH
  4. Receive, Complete and Return your Acceptance Packet from NEH
  5. Receive your Embassy Package and visit your US Embassy
  6. Obtain official fingerprints
  7. Pay Enrollment Fees
  8. Travel to Northeast Helicopters and Start Training
  9. Review Additional Information for Planning Your Trip

Please feel free to contact us anytime throughout the process if you have questions.

1. Register with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)


You are required to register with the TSA.   Registration begins by creating a candidate account on the Alien Flight Student Program web site. You will receive a password and user ID number after paying the TSA fee.

2.  Apply for training with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)


Next, you will go through a TSA application process.  During the course of this application, you will select Northeast Helicopters as your flight school, and then you will need to enter the course number for the program you wish to participate in. Please use the Northeast Helicopters AFSP Course ID Numbers to complete the application.

Once you have completed the TSA application, TSA will send Northeast Helicopters an e-mail to validate your request.  You will also receive some information from the TSA once you are validated, including a request for fingerprints.  This will be taken care of in the following steps.

3.  Complete Northeast Helicopters Training Application for International Students:


After the TSA process has been started, you can submit the following information to Northeast by either e-mail, fax or parcel post:

  •           A Photograph (passport photo, or photo ID) of yourself
  •           A Letter of Recommendation from a person who can judge your aviation education

                       interest and integrity.


4. Receive, Complete and Return your Acceptance Package from Northeast:


After we receive you application materials, you will be notified of your acceptance to Northeast Helicopters and we will send you the following items:

  •          The Acceptance Letter from us to you


  •          The NEH International Procedures with the NEH Acceptance Form attached
  •          The  NEH Approval letter
  •          NEH Wire Transfer Procedures for your initial $1,500.00 deposit.


After you are accepted, you will need to :

  •          Complete and sign the NEH Acceptance Form from your Acceptance Package
  •          Download, print and complete an I-901 form 
  •          Copy of your financial statements indicating ability to pay for the program re-

                       quested, and housing costs  (you will need to prove this to the American

                       Embassy as well)            


  •          Send the 3 items above to Northeast Helicopters by Parcel Post
  •          Pay a deposit of $1,500.00

                       (this deposit is made by wire transfer ONLY, no credit cards)

Once Northeast Helicopters has received the above items, we will send you a package with all your paperwork and information you will need for your Embassy via. express mail.

5.  Receive your Embassy Package and Visit your US Embassy:


You are now ready to visit the American Embassy with your package.  The package is complete with several items you will need in order to be approved for entry to the United States, including the I-20 / M-1 Visa Application.  Follow the information carefully, so you won't have any issues while at the Embassy, and don't forget to bring all of the items that are in your package.

6.  Obtain Official Fingerprints:


Within your package there will be two fingerprint cards.  The TSA process can be a little faster if the US Embassy in your particular country will submit the fingerprint cards to the TSA, however, not all countries will do this.  If your Embassy will not, just bring the cards into the US when you enter and we will have you fingerprinted at the Ellington police department upon your arrival.  The rules do not allow the Police Department in your country to fingerprint you. 

If your American Embassy agrees to do your fingerprints, you are not allowed to touch the cards afterwards.  The Embassy will submit the fingerprint cards by mail to the TSA with the address written on the cards.

7.  Pay Enrollment Fees:


We will deduct a non-refundable fee of $400.00 for the I-20/ M-1 Application form, paperwork processing and a non-refundable fee of $100.00 for the cost of the I-901 form from your deposit.  The remaining funds are placed on your account to be used towards training costs and housing rent.  This balance is refundable if for any reason you are rejected by the Embassy.

8. Travel to Northeast Helicopters and begin your Training:


NEH will notify you of the date that you will need to report to school.  It is important to coordinate this date carefully with your travels because if you do not show up on the specified date, you may be terminated and the I-20 / M-1 Visa will be cancelled.

Congratulations, your flight training begins when you board the plane and join us in Ellington, Connecticut.

9. Additional Information:

Here is some additional information about your time with us:


Please plan to fly in to Bradley International Airport [KBDL] in Windsor Locks, CT, during normal business hours (9:00AM - 6:00PM) when possible.   This will allow you to take advantage of our complimentary transportation.  A representative from the school will meet you at the airport and bring you to the school.

If you are unable to travel to Bradley, please let us know so we can help you arrange for the necessary commercial transportation to Ellington by taxi or limousine service.  Most services accept major credit cards for payment.   

You will need to notify us of your flight arrival time, airline, and flight number. 

Once you arrive, if you still need to be fingerprinted, we will take you to the police department to have that done. (You will not be able to begin the flight portion of your training until TSA has officially approved you.  We will get an e-mail from TSA when we can initiate flight training.)  Next, we will introduce you to the flight school and enroll you into the program.  We will then bring you to housing and you will be able to get situated and brought to the grocery store to purchase your food. 

School Procedures:

All International Students training on the I-20/ M1 Visa, must be full time students and train at least five days per week.  The student will be given their full time schedule by the Assistant Chief Pilot.

You will be given a list of School Procedures (also enclosed in your package) and be asked to sign that you agree to these procedures when you enroll with us. 


If you are staying in the Northeast Helicopters housing program, you will be close to the airport and school.  Although all of our housing is within walking or bike riding distance from the school, there is no local public transportation available in Ellington, CT.  Therefore you may want to purchase an older vehicle while you are with us, or a bike to get around.  You'll find that all of our students and pilots are very helpful with rides on occasion, but it should not be relied upon as a means of guaranteed transportation.  The grocery store is within walking distance from our housing options, as are a few restaurants.

International Cell Phones:

Our housing facilities are equipped with local land line phones (to keep the students rent low).  Students can only make local calls.  You can use prepaid phone cards, or call home collect.  If you will want a cell phone, plan to pay at least a $500.00 deposit with the cell phone companies in the USA.   International cell phones typically do not work in the USA, and you should research your phone's capabilities.   To purchase a US Cell phone with a contract, you will need a social security number or you may be required to leave a very large deposit.

We are very excited to have you here in our country for your flight training.  Welcome!