Visa & Immigration Issues
Whether you’re applying for your student visa or transferring your I-20 from another U.S. school, these resources will help you.
Before you can begin study at AFI, you must have an F1 student visa. Read about applying for your student visa
As you prepare for your visa appointment, these 10 points to remember will help you prepare for a successful visa interview.
Do you already have a student visa and need to transfer your I-20 from your current school? Read about the I-20 transfer process for F-1. If you have questions about transferring your SEVIS record and I-20 to AFI, contact our office by email at email@example.com, or by telephone at (213) 381-6707.
Academic Calendar: start dates - terms - daily schedule
Arranging your housing is an important step to a smooth transition. Choose from many great housing options or live with an American family.
International students must attend a mandatory orientation program on their first day of attendance or before.
Traveling to AFI
Plan to arrive early enough to get settled in your housing and attend orientation before your classes begin. Immigration regulations allow you to arrive no more than 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20. It is a good idea to plan to arrive in Los Angeles with enough time to get used to the city and climate and to secure your housing before the session begins.
Prepare your finances for your trip to California and your first days/weeks on campus.
Public transportation options and maps options for getting to the AFI Los Angeles and Westlake Village locations.
Before You Leave Home
All international students must have health insurance. Know about AFI’s policy for enrollment in a health insurance plan.
Click on the links above and on the left, and read this very important information on how to show strong ties to your home country.
Most F-1 visa applications are rejected (INA 214b) because applicants are not able to show "strong ties to the home country."
Also read 10 Points to Remember
Change of Status
If you entered the United States as a tourist and want to change the purpose of your visit, you must file a request with USCIS on the appropriate form before your authorized stay expires. For instance, if you arrived here as a tourist but want to become a student, you must submit an application to change your status.
The documents needed for a change of status can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-539 and https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-539instr.pdf.
Please make sure that you understand all the instructions and that you use the most current documents. If you have any questions, please seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer.
AFI does not offer legal services. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice.