International Students

International Students: Musicians Institute is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students and MI follows a policy of equal opportunity in all of its educational activities.


The first step in applying to any MI program is to complete an Application for Admission. To receive an application, use one of these methods:

  • Download the MI Application form here.
  • Download the International Student Information Packet here.
  • Email: write an email request to the MI Admissions Department
  • Standard Mail: Send your request to the following address

Office of Admissions

Musicians Institute

6752 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90028

  • Fax: Fax your question to the Admissions Department at 323-462-1575
  • Telephone: To request an application over the phone, call the MI Admissions Department. US and Canada: 800 255-7529 Local/International: 323 462-1384


As an international student at Musicians Institute, you will not only receive an excellent contemporary music education but also enjoy the opportunity to build professional and personal relationships that last a lifetime. MI’s international students make up nearly one-fourth of MI’s student population, representing more than 50 countries throughout the world, and create a unique and diverse learning environment. The International Student Office is dedicated to making the transition from your home country to MI Hollywood as smooth and easy as possible. We offer a wide range of services for international students, including:

  • Visa Services

I-20 issuance and SEVIS registration, school transfers, changes of status, extensions of stay, reinstatements, and practical training work permit (OPT) applications.

  • Advising and Counseling

Immigration, budgeting & financial counseling, academic advising and personal counseling on adjusting to a new language and culture. MI can also arrange an appointment with a mental health counselor for private counseling on personal issues at no cost to you.

  • International Student Services

Assistance with obtaining health insurance, driver’s license, automobile registration, Social Security card, non-US financial aid forms and letters.


Resources within Musicians Institute

The International Office staff can also assist you with meeting requirements and obtaining resources from other departments at MI. Or, if you prefer to contact the offices directly by email:


MI Japan: MI Japan is the official Japanese partner of MI Hollywood. If you are a Japanese citizen applying to MI Hollywood, please click on the link above to learn how MI Japan can help you with musical preparation, completing your application, and making your move to Los Angeles as smooth as possible.


Visas: There are two types of student visas available to non-immigrant students who wish to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in full-time study: F-1 and M-1. Musicians Institute is approved by the United States Government to issue Certificates of Eligibility (I-20 forms) for both F-1 and M-1 visas.


F-1 Visas: F-1 visas are available to students who are accepted by MI’s Bachelor or Associate Degree programs. F-1 visas are issued for a minimum period of 18 months and a maximum of 5 years.


M-1 Visas: M-1 visas are available to students who are accepted by a Certificate or MI Select program. M-1 visas are issued for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months.


Dependents: The spouse and unmarried minor children of an F-1 or M-1 student may accompany the student to the United States or follow to join the student at a later date. The dependent family members will be admitted with F-2 or M-2 status.


How to Obtain a Student Visa:

  • Apply and be accepted by Musicians Institute (see form here)
  • Submit a completed Statement of Finances form (see form here)
  • Provide an official account balance statement from a certified banking institution*
  • Provide a copy of your passport (and passports of your dependents)
  • Submit a partial tuition payment (see form here)
  • Upon receipt of the above documents, an I-20 form will be issued by the International Student Office for the appropriate visa type and study period.

After receiving the I-20, you must do the following:

  • Go to this website and fill out the I-901 form, make a SEVIS fee payment by credit card and print out the receipt to take to the visa interview.
  • Make an appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country to apply for the student visa.


F-1 Transfer Students: If you are transferring to MI from another school, you must submit a “Notice of Intent to Transfer” form along with the above mentioned documents (see form here).


Employment: The holder of an F-1 visa is allowed to apply for an OPT work permit (Optional Practical Training) after completing one academic year of study in the Bachelor Degree program, or upon completion of the Associate Degree program (provided the last 9 months are completed consecutively). After completion, full-time OPT for the F-1 is issued for a maximum of 12 months. The holder of an M-1 visa is allowed to apply for an OPT work permit after the completion of one academic year of study. After completion, full-time OPT for the M-1 is issued for a maximum of three months.


How to Maintain Legal Student Status:

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times.
  • Attend the school you are authorized to attend on your I-20.
  • Continue to carry a full course of study (minimum of 12 units per quarter).
  • Leave the U.S. by the anticipated course completion date on I-20 (plus grace period) or apply for a program extension or transfer prior to that date.
  • Refrain from off-campus employment without written authorization from USCIS or the school.
  • Report a change of residence within 10 days of the change.


Application Forms:

The forms require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader: (link)

- Application for Admission to Musicians Institute

- Confidential Statement of Finances and International Student Information

- Notice of Intention to Transfer

All documents must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation of the document.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I apply to MI as an International Student?

The first step is to complete an Application for Admission


Once I am accepted, what do I need to do to be able to enter the US and attend MI?

You must submit all documents required by the school for admission, obtain an I-20 for your program of study, apply for and receive your visa from the US Embassy in your country and be present on your date of registration.


What is an I-20?

An I-20 is a U.S. Government document that you need to apply for a student visa at the U.S. Consulate in your home country.


How do I get my I-20?

After you apply and are accepted by Musicians Institute, you must submit the following forms to the MI International Student Office to obtain your I-20:

  • Provide an official Bank Balance Statement confirming the funds shown on the Statement of Finances*
  • Provide the partial tuition payment for your program located in the chart on the Statement of Finances**
  • Provide a clear copy of your passport
    • *Must be accompanied by a Certified English Translation and converted to United States Dollars.
    • **Swedish students receiving Financial Aid from CSN must submit the CSN final approval letter.


Can my spouse and or child come to the U.S. with me?

Yes. You must provide a copy of your marriage certificate, a copy of your spouse and or child’s passport and proof of additional living expenses for your spouse and or child. Dependents will receive an F-2 visa.


Is TOEFL score required to attend MI?

A TOEFL score is only required for the Bachelor Degree program. The minimum score for acceptance is 500 (Standard), 173 (Computerized), or 61(Internet-Based Test/IBT).


How long will my I-20 be valid?

The I-20 is valid for the length of the program. These dates can be found under section #5 of the I-20 form.


Is an I-20 a visa?

No. The I-20 is the document produced by the school that tells the U.S. Embassy that you are approved to study in the United States. It also tells the Embassy how long you will be studying so that they can create the visa length to match the I-20. In many cases, the visa will be issued for much longer than the I-20.


When can I get my visa?

You may apply for a visa no earlier than 120 days before the program start date on your I-20. In addition, you may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the program start date on your I-20. This date can be found under section #5 of the I-20 form.


How do I get my visa?

Once you have received your I-20 you will be required to pay the $200 SEVIS I-901 fee online. After making the payment online, print the receipt and take it along with your I-20 and passport to your meeting with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Follow the instructions given by the Embassy or Consulate to obtain your visa. Be prepared to pay additional visa application fees (please check with your local U.S. Consulate for amounts as they vary depending on the country).


How long does it take to get my visa?

The time it takes for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to create your visa will vary depending on the country and on how busy they are at the time. We suggest calling the Embassy or Consulate in your country to see how long it will take to process your visa.


Can I study at MI on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa?

No. United States immigration regulations state that B1/B-2 visa holders may not study at all.

IMPORTANT! – be sure that your visa type matches your I-20 type. If they do not match, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to fix the problem. A visa that does not match your I-20 could limit or prevent your options for future study.


Current Students:


Am I allowed to study part time?

No. All international students must maintain full-time status. Only if you are in your last session and need just a few credits to graduate will you be allowed to enroll less than full-time. There are a few exceptions, such as a medical reasons or language problems, but check with your International Student Advisor for details. All requests for part-time study must be approved by the Registrar’s Office and the International Student Office.


Can I travel during the school breaks?

Yes. If you plan to travel outside the United States, please come to the International Student Office and we will check your I-20 form and passport before you leave to be sure that there will be no problems when you re-enter the U.S.


Can I work while I’m in school?

Students with F-1 visas are allowed to work on campus on a part-time basis. M-1 students are not allowed to work at all. International students are not allowed to work off-campus without a work permit.


My visa has expired but my I-20 is still valid. What do I do?

If your I-20 is valid and your visa expires you are legally allowed to continue your studies in the United States until the official end date of your I-20, BUT you should not leave the country. If you need to leave the U.S. you will have to return to the Embassy or Consulate in your country to renew your Visa to be able to re-enter and continue your studies.


Can I apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) Work Permit?

OPT is available for F-1 students who are enrolled in either an Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree program. To be eligible for OPT, you must successfully complete and graduate from the degree program in which you are enrolled and must attend the last academic year (nine months/three quarters) continuously. If you are interested in applying for OPT, please go to the International Student Office at the beginning of your final quarter at MI and for assistance with the process. For more information about employment, go to the “Visas” page.

The holder of an M-1 visa is allowed to apply for an OPT work permit after the completion of one academic year of study. After completion, full-time OPT for the M-1 is issued for a maximum of three months.


Useful links:

Student Process Steps: How to Navigate the U.S. Immigration System

Fact Sheet: Arriving at a U.S. Port of Entry What a Student Can Expect

Education USA

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