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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Change of Status?

A change of status is for when an individual applies for his/her status category to be changed from one to another. For example; from a tourist visa (B-1 or B-2) to a student visa (F-1, J-1, or M-1). If you are currently in the United States as a temporary worker, diplomat, exchange visitor or any other non-immigrant classification (EXCEPT Visitor in WT or WB status) and you wish to take a course of study over 18 hours per week, you will need to change your visa to a student visa.


What is a Transfer?

A transfer takes place if a student wishes to change from one SEVIS certified school to another. Each school has its own rules and regulations, but usually, you will have to complete your current term before transferring and give your school advanced notice. Your current school will require that you provide a transfer form and acceptance letter from a SEVIS certified school.


When must I renew my F-1 VISA?

If you decide to travel outside of the U.S, and your current F-1 visa will expire before you re-enter the U.S, in order to continue your program, you must renew your F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.


What is a Form I-20?

An I-20 is a three-page document that is issued by SEVIS certified schools for international students planning to enter the U.S. It is proof that a student has been admitted to a SEVIS-recognized school, and allows the student to apply for a visa (
ncluding F-1) at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. It contains several “blocks” of information that include:
1. Personal information (name, date of birth, and nationality)
2. Information about the school you will attend, your field of study, level of study
3. How long it should take you to complete the program.
4. Your proficiency in English
cost of attending the school
6. Sources of income/sponsorship while you are in the U.S.
7. Date by which you must enter the U.S.
8. A SEVIS barcode along with a SEVIS identification number.


How can I apply to change my status?

For information on changing your status, please refer to the following link: 
We can only help you if you want to change your status to F-1 visa status.


How long will it take to transfer to the LISMA Language Center?

In general, a transfer will be complete as soon as the previous school releases the student’s SEVIS record to LIC/LISMA Language, the student submits the required documentation, and the student registers for


What is an affidavit of support?

It is a form that your sponsor signs promising to support you financially during your studies and your stay in the U.S.


Do I have to go to the embassy or consulate to get a VISA?

Every country has different requirements. You must check with the American embassy in your country for the latest information. Currently, all F-1 visa applicants in all countries must have an interview. You can call the U.S. Embassy in your country to make an appointment for this interview.


When can I arrive in the U.S. with a student VISA?

You may arrive up to 30 days prior to the Program Start Date as indicated on your I-20.


If I don't get a VISA, can I get a tuition refund?

Yes, if your visa application is denied, and you decide to not re-apply, any amount of deposit you put toward tuition will be refunded.


How can I apply to change my status?

For information on changing your status, please refer to the following link: 
We can only help you if you want to change your status to F-1 visa status.


What is reinstatement?

An F-1 student who has overstayed his or her authorized period of stay or has otherwise failed to maintain an F-1 student status may be reinstated to a lawful F-1 status at the discretion of a USCIS District Director.

For more details, please call (516) 625-3455

Is your summer program a full course of study?

The summer program is only for remediation, and for students who have not met the 80% attendance requirement.  It is a six weeks in length and any student who has fallen below the 80% attendance requirement and who does not enroll in this course will be terminated for “failure to maintain attendance”.

The summer session does not meet SEVP regulations which state that students must attend 18 hours per week. To maintain F1 status, students must be enrolled as full time students studying 18 hours per week during the Spring and Fall semesters.


What happens if I am "out-of-status"? 

There are two ways to deal with an “out-of-status” situation. You can either seek reinstatement with the USCIS or go back to your own country immediately. If you have finished your school program and do not plan to extend your course, you can only stay in the US for 60 days before returning to your home country.

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