Visa F.A.Q.

Do I need a student visa to study at the LAL Boston?

We recommend that all students before entering the US to obtain a student visa. Students from certain countries may enter the program under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  Now to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must complete ESTA form.  If you entered under the  F-2 visa or tourist visa (B1/B2), and is now you wish to study in a short-term course you can to take a part-time course (16 lessons per week). Please consult your local U.S. embassy or an authorized LAL Boston admission officer for further guidance. For complete set of regulations on Student Visa visit:

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What do I need to do to apply to LAL Boston and get an I-20 if I am overseas?

Our school will issue an I-20 form for students enrolling in a full-time program (20 lessons/week or more). After receiving the completed  Application Form along with all necessary fees and financial documents, we will mail the I-20 form within 48 hours. Please see Instructions for I-20 Application.

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What is SEVIS fee?

A SEVIS fee is paid to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. When you apply for an F-1 visa, you need to show the SEVIS fee receipt. If you do not pay the SEVIS fee, the US embassy will not issue you the F-1 visa. You can pay the SEVIS fee to directly, or you can pay the SEVIS fee to us and we will pay the SEVIS fee to US immigration instead of you, and we will send you the SEVIS fee receipt with your I-20. The SEVIS fee receipt is required when you apply for the F-1 visa and come to the U.S. For more information on SEVIS visit

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How can I send my documents from overseas?

You can send the documents by our website, mail, fax or email attachment.

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How long will it take to get my I-20 in my country?

As soon as we receive your Application Form, documents and payments, we will mail the I-20 and an acceptance letter to you within 48hours. It takes about 2 weeks, but it varies from country to country.

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What should I do after I receive my I-20?

You need to prepare the following documents and payments for the visa application and make an appointment with the US embassy to have an application interview for your F-1 visa.

Call your local American Embassy or Consulate to set-up an interview for the student visa and ask for necessary information to be prepared for interview.

Take all supporting documentation to the visa interview stating your/your sponsor’s financial ability to pay for the studies and any other documentation that might show attachments to your country. Be confident and answer all the questions honestly in front of the visa officer during your visa interview.

You will know the interview result on the same day. Please notify the school whether you are issued an F-1 visa.

a) If you are issued an F-1 visa, please send your final payment for the course to the school and follow steps 5 and 6 below.

b) If you are not issued the F-1 visa, we will save your application for one year. You can contact us again when are you ready to re-apply for a new I-20.

Purchase your plane ticket and any insurances you might need.

Board the plane and welcome to the LAL Boston!

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What documents will be required for my F-1 visa interview?

You will need your passport, Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 A/B from our Institute, The SEVIS fee receipt (form I-797 receipt notice) and additional documents.

Please check with US embassy in your country. It varies from country to country.

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What are the most important parts of my visa application?

You must provide the following three things to the U.S. embassy officer.

Sufficient funds: Because the U.S. embassy does not want you to work in the U.S.A. illegally, you or your sponsor needs to have enough money to support you while you study in the U.S.. To prove this, you or your sponsor needs to prepare a bank statement that shows sufficient funds. It is preferable that the sponsor is in your country. The bank account should be in your country as well.

Clear study plan and purpose: You need to explain what you want to study and why you need to study it in the US instead of in your country. The U.S. embassy does not want you to come to U.S.A. for different purpose with F-1 visa. To prove this, you need to write a letter to explain your study plan.

Intent to go back to your country after study in U.S.A.: You need to show strong ties to the country in which you are applying for F-1 visa and indications that you will leave the USA upon completion of your studies. US embassy does not want you to stay in U.S.A. forever illegally. To prove this, you can ask a company in your country to issue a letter that shows the company will hire you after you finish studying in USA.

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How soon can I come to the US after I get my F-1 visa?

After you receive the visa, you can enter the U.S.A. up to 30 days before the starting date on your I-20.

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Do I need to have health insurance?

Yes. Massachusetts state law requires that all students enrolled in a full time program have health insurance from an insure company in the USA.

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How much money should I bring with me?

Living expenses are calculated as $2,000 per month. That is the minimum you should have with you if you intend to study for 1 month.

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Can I work while I have my F-1 status?

No. Accepting employment without the appropriate authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 visa status.

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How do I get a driver’s license?

The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Massachusetts requires a Social Security number to issue a driver’s license. If you are authorized to work, you may use your social security number to take the driver’s test to receive a license. If you are not employed, you will need to go to the local Social Security office and get a letter stating that you are an F-1 visa student who is not authorized to work and cannot be issued a social security number. You will take the letter from the school and your F-1 visa to the RMV and they will assign you a driver’s license number without the social security number after you take and pass both the written and driver’s test. For more information on how to obtain a driver’s license visit:  and


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How do I get an extension on my visa?

You don’t need to apply for a new visa. Think as the visa as your card to get in the country, after you are in the US, given duration of status on your I-94 card in conjunction with your I-20 form to remain in the US until you complete your studies, as long as you remain enrolled in school as a full time student at all times. If you return to your home country and your visa has expired you will need to have your visa extended on your passport, you must return to the US consulate in your home country.

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Do I need to file a tax return if I am an international student?

Yes. In The USA, international student, on an F, J or H visa, you must file a tax return by April 15th of each year. If you did not work, you must file form 8843. If you did work, you must file form 1040 NR E-Z or 1040 NR and form 8843.

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How do I get an extension on my I-20?

To receive an extension you must speak to the International Student Advisor at least 60 days before the expiration date on the I-20.

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How long can I stay in the United States after graduating?

If you COMPLETE the program, you can stay in the United States for 60 days.

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Can I change my visa status?

Possibly. Some non-immigrant individuals currently in the US with valid visas may apply for a change of status  to F-1. This process does not require a departure from the US. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) review applications (Form I-539) for change of status based on the applicant’s ability to document and justify a change of intent after arrival to the US. Applications are approved at the discretion of the USCIS adjudicator. Please visit for more information. School is not  admissions officer for more information.

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Can I change schools?

Be aware that only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice. The other option you have is to research information on your own. We are not licensed to provide any legal advice, we can only assist you determine your eligibility by providing you references available to the public.  From information we’ve found on USCIS website we can inform: An F-1 student who is maintaining status may transfer to another SEVP approved school. An F-1 student, who was not pursuing a full course of study at the school he or she was last authorized to attend, is ineligible for school-transfer and must apply for reinstatement with USCIS. To transfer schools, an F-1 student must first apply for admissions at the school to which he/she intends to transfer. The school will provide student a new I20 form, a letter of acceptance and a transfer form. Within 15 days of beginning attendance at the new school, student must take the documentation to his/her original school and request the transfer. The student must start attending the new school on the first available date.

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What do I need to send to apply for homestay?

Complete the Homestay section of the application form which and include the non-refundable placement fee of $100 in your payment.

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