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F-1 Visa

Airman’s Proficiency Center (APC) is a division of Hillsboro Aero Academy and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). APC is approved to offer both the F-1 and M-1 visas for international students interested in training full-time at APC in a designated program of study.

This visa program is designed for professional pilot training, either airplane or helicopter, from zero hours through an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate. A prospective participant who has previous flight experience must apply for admission and have his or her application reviewed by the school director.

The F-1 visa is issued for 24 months for both the professional pilot airplane and helicopter programs and may be extended if the training is not completed. There is no fee for this extension request. Students on the F-1 visa may take vacation only during published school vacation periods.

Upon completion of the CFI rating, students may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students are required to have a pilot job prior to applying for CPT. CPT will be approved in three month increments with a maximum of one year. At the end of one year of CPT, students must complete Hillsboro Aero Academy’s ATP ground class and pass the FAA ATP written exam (if over 21).

Ninety (90) days prior to completion of CPT, the student may apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Once the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) has been received, the OPT period is 12 additional months and the student may apply for work as a commercial pilot in the United States. If employment is not begun within 90 days of the start date on the EAD, the student’s visa will automatically be ended and they must leave the country. The student must leave the country within 60 days after expiration of the EAD. CPT/OPT may be an internship as a pilot at Hillsboro Aero Academy or an externship at another flight school or aviation company. Although Hillsboro Aero Academy strives to hire its graduates, employment is not guaranteed. Contact Derrick Bolhofner for further information regarding CPT and OPT.

Prior to being issued an I-20, the application for an F-1 visa, the student must register with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at The TSA will conduct a background check to verify that the student is not a risk to U.S. national security. Contact Derrick Bolhofner for further information regarding this process.

In order to be issued an I-20, the student must provide proof of financial responsibility to cover all estimated training and living expenses. The student must have completed high school or the equivalent and provide a diploma or school transcripts. Furthermore, the student must hold insurance coverage that meets the following requirements: $50,000.00 USD per accident or illness with a deductible of no more than $500.00 USD per accident or illness; $7,500.00 USD for repatriation of remains; and $10,000.00 USD for home evacuation.

After receiving the I-20 from APC, the student should apply for the F-1 visa at the closest U.S. visa issuing agency (Embassy or Consulate General) for non-immigrant visas.

The I-20 will list a designated start date. The student may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the start date but must report to APC by the designated start date.