Visas for the United States

USA Visa requirements are strict. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that any necessary visa or travel documentation has been received before attending our school, and LAL will not accept any responsibility if a student arrives without the correct visa.

More information may be found on Terms and Conditions for Students here.

What kind of USA visa should I apply for?

A student enrolled in a course of fewer than 18 hours per week is not considered full time. Students entering on a USA Visa Waiver, or Business Visa/Tourist Visa (B1/B2) may enroll in the following courses:

  • General English
  • Business English
  • Cambridge FCE
  • Aviation ICAO English
  • Private Tuition
  • Private Tuition – English for Two

All Visa Waiver travellers must complete ESTA forms.

Who qualifies for a F-1 Student Visa?

LAL is an SEVP (Student & Exchange Visitor Program) certified school and authorised to issue I-20 forms in preparation for F-1 student visas.

Students must be enrolled in a full-time course of study (minimum 18 hours) with the sole purpose of studying English. Students or their partner-agent must e-mail, fax or mail their signed application to the school and be accepted.

SEVP Approved courses

  • General English + F1 Visa English Plus
  • Business English + F1 Visa English Plus
  • TOEFL + F1 Visa English Plus
  • Intensive English
  • Cambridge FCE + F1 Visa English Plus
  • Cambridge CAE
  • Aviation ICAO English + F1 Visa English Plus

What do I need to do to prepare?

Once LAL Reservations receives the signed application together with USD120 registration fee, LAL will send written confirmation and a letter of acceptance to the student or partner-agent.  As required by SEVP, the student or agent must provide LAL with evidence of sufficient funds:

  • bank statement or a letter from the bank on bank stationery or
  • Financial Support documents from a sponsor.

Students meeting the requirements set by SEVP will be issued the I-20 student form. The I-20 form will be sent to the home country by US Mail or Express Delivery.

Please note: for successful application, LAL Language Centres requires that prospective students need to either pay a 10% deposit, with the remaining account balance settled two weeks prior to to arrival, or settle the full account payment upfront.

What must I do when I receive the I-20?

The student must register with SEVIS on the internet and pay SEVIS the non-refundable application fee of USD200 by credit card. Please follow the online instructions to contact the US Consulate in your country for an appointment.

All students must carry proof of health insurance. We recommend

What is my responsibility as an F-1 student?

Upon arrival at school, students must present the following documentation:

  • I-20 form
  • Passport*
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Airline ticket back to their home country (where applicable).
  • US address and telephone number
  • Any change of dates or address during student’s course of study must be reported to the Operations Manager, within 10 days.
  • Students must keep the original I-20 with their passport, an official record of their period of study in the United States.

Currently enrolled students wishing to change their reservation must first seek authorisation from the International Student Advisor / PDSO to ensure all I-20 requirements are met.

Students with the intention to leave the US (to the Bahamas, Mexico or Canada, etc.) or return home while enrolled at LAL, must notify the International Student Advisor / PDSO in advance to ensure compliance with F-1/I-20 regulations.

*Students are responsible for holding a proper passport for entry to the United States.

More information may be found on U.S Visas here.


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We are planning to welcome students back to LAL London and LAL Cape Town from 1st of September 2020!

The wait is finally coming to an end! From September 1st 2020 our schools in Cape Town and London will, again, open their doors to our students. 

With all safety measures in place, we can’t wait to have you back. 

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