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Helipro is approved to offer the M-1 Visa for international students who interested in helicopter flight training. The M-1 Visa is used for both short-term vocational education experiences, e.g. Private or Commercial Pilot Certificates, as well as full professional pilot programs. The M-1 Visa may be issued for a maximum of 12 months, but you may apply for an extension of up to 12 months.

Enrollment Steps

STEP 1: Apply for Admission to HELIPRO


STEP 2: Submit TSA Training Request

Follow the steps and create your profile.

Please keep the password you chose, because it will be required in the future.

The detailed info will be mailed to you along with your I-20.


STEP 3: Receive I-20

a. Verify all information is correct on I-20 and sign the bottom of page 1

b. Pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee 

    (You will need the N number which can be found on your I-20 in the upper left corner)


STEP 4: Make US Embassy Appointment & Prepare for Visa Interview

a. Complete the form DS-160 Online

b. Pay the visa application fee by following instructions on your local US Embassy’s website.

c. Arrange appointment at nearest US Embassy in your country

d. Go to nearest US Embassy and BRING ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS for the Interview.


STEP 5: Make Travel Arrangements

a. After completing your interview at the US Embassy, make the necessary travel arrangements.

b. Contact Helipro to confirm your arrival date and schedule a free SBP airport pick-up.


STEP 6: Arrive in the US

Arrive at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) and be transported to your student housing.

STEP 7: Attend Student Orientation

You will be assigned a day for orientation before you arrive. On that day, come to the school to get officially enrolled, meet with flight instructors, learn more about the training program, and get a tour.

Student Visa and  TSA (Transportation Security Administration) clearance

We have experience in training pilots from all over the world. If you are not an American citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a Student Visa and a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) clearance to start your training in the United States.


Helipro is authorized to issue the M1 Visa for all of our FAA Part 141 approved courses.

Please be aware that you have to complete the Visa application in person at the American Embassy responsible in your home country. The entire process will take about 3 to 6 weeks from the time of the Visa application until you are able to enter the USA. For more information about the Student Visa process, please refer to this article. 

If you are already the holder of a "standalone" FAA Pilot License, you don't need a Student Visa or TSA clearance to enter the United States and continue your training (your additional training will be conducted under FAA Part 61). The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a Visa for stays of maximum 90 days. If you are planning to stay for more than 90 days, you have to apply for an B-2 Visa at the American Embassy in your home country. Please be aware that if you are seeking an Instrument Rating in the United States you have to go through the whole Visa process again and also receive a TSA clearance (Transportation Security Administration) before you can start your training. For more information about the B-2 Visa, please refer to the following website.

If you are the holder of a "based-on" FAA Pilot License, you will need an M-1 Visa and a TSA Clearance to continue your training in the United States. Please be aware that your "based on" FAA License is only valid in combination with a valid license in your home country. That means, if your Type Rating or your Medical Certificate in your home country have expired, your "based on" FAA Pilot License also won't be valid. Please refer to the following document for the foreign license certification process.

Please Contact Us if you have any question about the correct Visa for your training or to discuss the necessary steps for the issuance of a Visa. 

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