International Students

M-1 Visa Admission Requirements
The following requirements for International Students must be met before Pinnacle Aviation Academy can issue the I-20 for your student M1 Visa:

1. You must be able to read, write and speak English. Please complete this English proficiency test and email the results to

2. Completed and signed Pinnacle Aviation Academy (PAA) Application for International Students. There must be no blank sections on the Application. Scanned copy of your signed application.

3. The following documents will need to be sent along with the application.
Scanned color copy of identification and expiration portion of passport

4. Proof of financial responsibility. This needs to be an official bank document showing that you have funds available for flight training desired and living expenses. Living expenses are based at approx. $900.00 per month while you are in the USA. If the funds are deposited in a bank in another individuals name you will need to have that person sign the affidavit of financial support stating that they will be financially responsible for your living expenses and flight training while in the USA.
Declaration of Finances form must also be completed and signed.
To expedite the process, you may scan and email the signed application, forms and documents to:

5. Pinnacle Aviation Academy (PAA) will then send you an acceptance letter via email. You will then be required to pay the Application fee of $400.
Application fee of $400.00 – Payable by credit card, cashiers check or PayPal. If you are expediting the process through email, please pay by PayPal 

If you wish to pay by cashiers check; mail the application, forms and documents to: Pinnacle Aviation Academy, 2210 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011.

6. We will then mail the I-20 form so you can make an appointment to obtain your  M-1 visa. Once you receive your I-20, you will need to log into SEVIS and pay your I-901 fee.
Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at

7. Next you must call the nearest U.S. Embassy for an appointment to receive approval of the M-1 Visa. The student will then go to the U.S. Embassy with the appropriate documents for a routine interview. Appropriate documents include: Form I-20; Passport; Financial Statements; Receipt for payment of Form I-901. The student will be notified as to whether they have been approved or disapproved. If all is in order, the U.S. Embassy will provide the student with a M-1 Student Visa, permitting the student to enter the U.S. The length of time for this process varies from country to country. It may be a good idea to practice your interview with a friend or family member and to research the aviation field in your home country. Three of the most important questions asked by the Embassy are as follows:
Why you would like to become a pilot?
What assurance can you give us that you will return to your home country after completion of your flight training?
How do you know that you can obtain a position as a pilot after returning home?

8. Fill out an application for a background check with TSA online. This List will help you to fill out the correct info for your TSA application. Please check the TSA website for current pricing. The name on the credit card used must match the name on the application. If there is no fingerprinting agency located in your home country, you will need to have the fingerprint portion completed after entering the United States. You can verify if there is an agency in your home country by going to the link below and completing the form, after which, an email will be sent to you requesting fingerprints and you will be given access to a website that will show you all fingerprinting agencies. The TSA fee does not have to be paid until after you have received approval for your M-1 Visa.
If you are unable to process fingerprints in your home country, PAA can schedule an appointment for you locally. Please allow 15-27 business days for TSA fingerprint processing. Please note that you will not be able to begin your flight training program until your TSA fingerprints have been processed and PAA receives final approval from the TSA for your flight training.

9. Time to pack your bags! After receiving an M-1 Visa, the student must provide PAA with the details of his/her travel arrangements before entry to the United States. This includes flight information and arrival time at LAX (Los Angeles) or SAN (San Diego) International Airports. Upon request, PAA can schedule a pick up service from the airport through the local shuttle service – prices for airport pick up vary depending upon airport.

10. It is recommended that all International Students purchase a “Medical/Accident” Insurance Policy prior to arriving in the U.S., for the length of time they are in flight training at PAA.

11. Welcome to Pinnacle Aviation Academy! Begin your flight training!!