To ensure that the transition from your home country to ours is as smooth as possible, these guidelines will help you understand the visa process. If you have questions about student visas, please speak to your admission representative, who can put you in touch with our dedicated international student advisors.

“Everything was so easy. Having done visa procedures before, I know this was one of the easiest I’ve ever done.”  —Aditi Handa (International Bread, 2012)

Visit our International Student Guide for detailed information on I-20s, visas, changing status from within the United States, OPT and more. Visa regulations and policies change frequently; this guidebook is updated often to reflect the most current information. Please use it as your primary resource.

Eligible Career Programs

Under federal law, the following programs are open to enrollment by M-1 nonimmigrant students:

New York Campus
Professional Culinary Arts (full-time day program)
• Professional Pastry Arts (full-time day program)
• Intensive Sommelier Training (full-time day program)
• Art of International Bread Baking
• Cake Techniques & Design (full-time day program)

California Campus
• Professional Culinary Arts (full-time day program)
• Professional Pastry Arts (full-time day program)
• Intensive Sommelier Training (day and evening programs)
• Italian Culinary Experience 

Visa Application Process

Following are the five basic steps to getting from your country to our kitchens:

Step 1: Apply for admission and confirm your start date. Your admission representative will let the international student advisor know that you’ll be applying for a visa.

Step 2: Submit your I-20 Application Packet, along with all other required documentation detailed on the first page of the packet. Submit all of your required admission documents and make your first payment.

Step 3: Receive your I-20.

Step 4: Set your visa appointment with the consulate or embassy in your country of residence, and pay the SEVIS fee. Apply for your M-1 visa.

Step 5: Travel to the United States with your I-20 and visa.

Students in Non-Career Programs

It is permissible to take most of our other courses in tourist status. However, visa regulations prohibit study of more than 18 hours per week for students on tourist visas and visa waivers.

What does this mean? If you are traveling to the US primarily for tourism and want to take a short course of study that is considered recreational—and which requires fewer than 18 hours per week—you may be able to do so on a visitor visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. (Consult the previous section for more information on securing a visa.)

Non-immigrant students are responsible for complying with immigration laws. This information is provided to help you maintain your lawful status in the United States.