Visas and Arrival

US Citizens, permanent residents, and other visa holders

For students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or have a visa that allows them to study in the US, an F-1 visa is not necessary. All ALI programs can be studied part-time (less than 18 hours of study per week). Some common types of visas that allow for part-time study are F-2, B-1 and B-2. If you have questions about what your visa allows, please visit the U.S. Government’s immigration page.

F-1 Student Visas for full-time students who live outside the US

The American Language Institute sponsors F-1 student visas for students who would like to study in the U.S. full-time (at least 18 hours of study per week) in the Comprehensive English Program. All other ALI programs are not full-time and are not eligible for F-1 visa sponsorship.

F-1 Student Visas for students currently studying in the US

Students who already have an F-1 visa and would like to transfer to the ALI for the Comprehensive English Program, please follow the Application Instructions for Students who need F-1 visa sponsorship. Students will receive a transfer recommendation form for their previous institution to complete.

For the short-term Mastering English Program: Please note that this program does not qualify for F-1 visa status. Please consult your local American embassy for entrance requirements.

What to expect after submitting your application

After submitting the Form I-20 application through our website, students should expect to receive their Form I-20 in the mail from the ALI in about 2 weeks. This Form I-20 allows students to arrange an interview for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or other appropriate agency.

Tips for your F-1 student visa interview

Plan ahead in case of delays at the consulate or embassy you are applying through. Arrange your F-1 visa interview as soon as you are able to. Please apply as soon as you are able to. Be prepared to answer questions about your plans in the U.S., why you want to study English, and when you plan to return home.


Health Insurance

Full-time F-1 students are required to have health insurance for the duration of their studies at NYU. Students are enrolled in an NYU Health Insurance Plan unless they can provide proof of enrollment in a health insurance plan which meets the NYU requirements. Prices are subject to change; please see the Comprehensive English Program information page for the most up to date pricing information. If you have your own health insurance plan, you will be sent instructions about how to waive the NYU health insurance plan with your admissions material.

For the short-term Mastering English Program: Proof of health insurance is required and must be submitted prior to the start of the program. We recommend students use an American based health insurance company and upon request students will be provided with information regarding suggested companies.


F-1 students are free to find their own housing and can apply to NYU Housing as well. You can request on campus housing information by indicating your interest on the I-20 application form. Please be aware that on-campus housing for the Fall semester is extremely limited and is not guaranteed. Students are recommended to submit their housing application no later than mid-April for the Fall semester. If you have other housing questions, please contact NYU housing at or (+1) 212 998-4600.

For the short-term Mastering English Program, housing is only available to program participants in the summer.

Arrival Week

All students in the Comprehensive English Program are expected to be in the area one week before classes begin. During this week, students will attend an orientation for new students and complete registration for classes at the ALI. Students should check their e-mail for more information on dates and times of events. F-1 student visa holders must arrive no more than 30 days before the start of classes.