A student visa (M-1) is required for anyone who is not a US citizen to do flight training for a certificate or rating in the United States. We cover the process for obtaining your visa below…  from application to flight and everything in between! All forms must be filled out on the computer. Hand-written forms will not be accepted.

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5


1. Fill out the “Pre-Application” form to request your I-20.

You will need to list all the information requested in order to have the I-20 properly done. All the information given needs to match your identification exactly.


2. Fill out the “Credit Card Authorization” form and fax it along with your “Pre-Application” form to 239-274-3073.


a. The Credit Card Authorization form allows us to charge your credit card for the I-20 shipping, training material shipping, and the $500 security deposit. The security deposit will not be debited from your account until your training is completed.

b. You must maintain a positive account balance while in training. The security deposit does not count towards your balance. The $500 can be applied to your last bill or refunded.

c. If you have to cancel your training date, you will forfeit some or all of your deposit.

  • Cancellation more than 30 days in advance, $500 refund.
  • Cancellation 30-20 days in advance, $400 refund.
  • Cancellation 19-10 days in advance, $200 refund.
  • Cancellation 9-0 days in advance, $0 refund.

Obtain Visa

1. Once you have received your I-20 by mail you will need to pay SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitors System) a processing fee of $235. The fee cannot be paid at the Consulate. To Pay:

a. Log on to www.ice.gov/sevis
b. Fill out Form I-901 and pay the fee by credit card.
c. This fee has to be paid before making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
d. Print a copy of the payment for your records.

After Payment and Before Interview:

a. Make an appointment at the US Embassy/Consulate.
b. Pay a fee over the phone via credit card. You will receive an MRV.

2. At any time before the interview you must complete the form below:
DS-160 On-Line Non immigrant VISA Application.

You will need to upload photo of yourself. Click here for the photo requirements.

If unable to upload photo then one may be brought to U.S. Embassy.

3. All Visa applicants must have the following items with them for their appointment at the U.S. Embassy.

  • Signed I-20 form from Paragon Flight Training-Don’t forget to sign as well.
  • Current, valid passport or travel document. This document must be valid during entire training period.
  • Photograph. (only if not able to upload online to DS-160 Application)

*IMPORTANT: If you have ever been arrested for any reason or appeared in court, additional paperwork is required.

Travel Arrangements

1. Purchase Airline Tickets

Now is the time to purchase airline tickets. The nearest major airport is Fort Myers International Airport (RSW).

2. Housing Accommodations

a. Paragon works closely with Universal Vacations to provide excellent housing accommodations at a wide variety of locations and choices.
b. Visit www.univacus.com

3. Rental Cars

a. If you fly into RSW there are many rental car companies to choose from.
b. Hertz Rental Car has a local office at Page Field where Paragon is located. Their number is: 239-931-3154

TSA Registration

Note: You should have the following information on hand to complete the application:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Pilot Certificate; if any
  • Addresses for the past 5 years

1. Candidate Creates Login
a. Create a “New Student Account” at www.flightschoolcandidates.gov
b. You will be provided a user ID immediately after submitting the required information
c. Your password will be emailed to you within 24 to 48 hours.

2. Candidate Applies for Training
a. Complete the Candidate Training Application after receiving the e-mail.

3. Specific instructions for the online application are located on the website at www.flightschoolcandidates.gov.

Important Information to Know About the Application Process:

1. In Step 7 of the application, “Training Details”:
a. State = FL
b. Provider Name: Paragon Flight Training, Co.
c. Student Identification: Leave this blank
d. Course ID #: 101
e. Class Name: Training on aircraft with MTOW of 12,500 lbs or less is Category 3
f. Aircraft Type: (CHOOSE ONE) Cessna 172, or Piper PA-44, or Cessna 206
g. Estimated Start Date: Your Training Start Date
h. Estimated End Date: Your Training End Date

2. In Step 8 of the application, “Request Category”:
a. Select category “III”.
b. Course ID #: 101

3. Flight School Will Acknowledges Training Request
a. Paragon will receive an e-mail requesting confirmation of your training request after you have submitted it.
b. Make sure the application is complete and accurate for Paragon Flight to validate your request.

4. Candidate Will be Instructed to Pay a Fee
a. Follow the e-mail instructions to pay the $130 fee by credit card.
b. You have a maximum of 10 tries to pay the fee, after the 10th try your training request will be canceled by TSA and you will have to submit a new request.

5. Flight School and Candidate Will Receive Preliminary TSA Decision
a. After payment both Paragon and the candidate will be e-mailed a preliminary decision that confirms the application and fee have been received.
b. If the decision is favorable, you will receive instruction for submitting fingerprints.
c. If the decision is not favorable, you will be provided with details regarding any information that may be missing from the registration.

6. Candidate Will be Instructed to Submit Fingerprints
a. Locate an office that can take your fingerprints.
b. Bring the following items with you:
i. Custody and Control Form
ii. Two (2) forms of photo ID, one of which MUST be a valid current Passport
iii. Fingerprint instructions e-mailed from the TSA

7. Flight School and Candidate Will Receive TSA Confirmation
a. Flight training may begin only after the TSA has notified Paragon and the Candidate via e-mail that they have received the fee and fingerprints.

8. Flight School Will Take a Photo
a. Paragon takes your photo to upload to the TSA.

9. Final Determination is determined by the TSA
a. If the final determination is favorable we will continue flight training.
b. If the final determination is not favorable we will stop flight training.

Arrival & Check-In

1. Arrange for Pick-up from Airport

2. Check-In to Housing

3. Check-In with Paragon Flight Training

4. Complete TSA Approval (Fingerprinting)

5. Obtain FAA Medical Certificate