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Make your move to New York City.

Get a student visa to study design and live in New York

Have you always dreamed of living in New York City? Now’s your chance! Study design at Shillington and make your move to the Big Apple.

We offer the M-1 Student Visa for our 3 month full-time graphic design course. Get answers to all your questions below. Please read carefully.  When you officially apply to Shillington, indicate that you’re planning to take advantage of the M-1 Student Visa. We’ll help you with the process from there.

“The M-1 visa process was super easy! The tip I would give to future students would be to separate all the documents before starting applying for the visa and make sure your passport is up to date which will save you a lot of time.”—Deborah Kutnikas, Brazil

Shillington details:

  1. Course dates and fees for New York City
  2. Our campus location is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, adjacent to Grand Central Station and only minutes from Times Square, Bryant Park and the iconic Chrysler Building.

Information about New York:

Interviews with past New York students:

International students enrolling in our 3 month full-time course can apply for the M-1 Visa. This is a non-immigration student visa which allows our international students to study and live full-time in the US. The visa is active for the duration of the course plus the 30-day grace period before and after the course—5 months in total.

No. As a Canadian citizen, you will need to apply for the M-1 Visa status, but you do not need to acquire the M-1 visa.

Shillington M-1 visa holders are not eligible for OPT training / internship opportunities. If you take a look at this OPT resource, M-1 students are eligible for one month of post-completion practical training for every four months of full-time study, up to a maximum of six months of practical training. Since our full-time course is only 3-month, we cannot offer the post-completion option.

Shillington is authorized to enroll foreign students under M-1 visa classification. We issue I-20 certificate of eligibility forms for successful applicants, provided all required documents and relevant evidence have been shared with Shillington and these documents meet all the legal requirements for enrollment in our program of study.

Enroll online, and tick the M-1 Visa category. We’ll be in touch with further details and an extra application form. You’ll need to send us all required documentation and the $1,000 deposit. Then we can issue I-20 certificate forms to successful applicants.

Once application and documentation has been received:

  • Shillington determines if you have fully met the admission requirements.
  • Shillington will then issue a signed Form I-20.
  • Please carefully review your Form I-20 after receipt and inform Shillington immediately if there are any mistakes.
  • The signed, original Form I-20 will enable you to book an appointment at your nearest US consulate or embassy for a visa interview. For more information visit U.S. Visas (Bureau of Consular Affairs).
  • You are then required to pay the visa application fee and the SEVIS fee. For more information visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • You then apply to your local U.S. consulate or embassy for a visa interview. See visa interview details below or for more information visit U.S. Visas (Bureau of Consular Affairs).
  • Your M-1 Visa will be added into your passport, if the US Embassy interview is successful.
  • Pay the tuition fees in full a minimum of 30 days prior to the start of the course (USD$12,950 including deposit).
  • You can then enter into the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to your program start date on your Form I-20. Your entry into the U.S is at the discretion of the U.S. Immigration customs and border protection inspectors at the port of entry.
  • Report into the Shillington New York campus and register as soon as possible.
  • Start the full-time graphic design course and register with Shillington’s head office.

Please be aware:

  • The success on obtaining a visa, your interview at the US consulate and your entry at the US border are primarily your responsibility.
  • Having a signed Form I-20 does not guarantee you issuance of an M-1 Visa by a U.S. Consular post.
  • Having the M-1 Visa does not guarantee admission into the United States. Issuance of the visa stamp or admission into the United States is at the discretion of the us embassy and/or the U.S. Immigration customs and border protection inspectors at the port of entry.

For more information visit this U.S Government Site.

  1. Scan of info page of passport
  2. You must have a minimum of USD $24K for tuition and living expenses and provide proof of this financial responsibility. This can be recent bank statements showing a balance in U.S. dollars within 3 months. If you are receiving free room and board in the U.S. you must submit a letter of proof.If your family members will be supporting you, they can use a USCIS Form I-134 to indicate that they not only have the income and assets you’ve shown, but they are willing to spend them on your studies and living expenses.
  3. Provide proof of academic qualifications. There is a minimum requirement of a high school diploma or equivalent.

You must take the following to your visa interview:

  1. Your signed Form I-20 issued by Shillington
  2. A completed application Form DS-160. Some applicants may also be required to complete and sign Form DS-157. Children need a separate form, even if they are included in a parent’s passport. For more information visit U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.
  3. A passport valid for at least 6 months after the proposed date of entry into the U.S.
  4. One (1) 2″x2″ photograph
  5. A fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee
  6. A visa issuance fee if applicable. Please visit U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement—Student Process for more information.
  7. A separate SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
  8. Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  9. Financial evidence showing that you have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses during the period of intended study. Shillington suggests minimum of $23k for tuition and living expenses for the full-time course.
  10. Applicants with dependents must also provide proof of relationship to their spouse and/or children (e.g marriage and birth certificate).

Before traveling to the U.S. please visit U.S. Customs & Border Protection. It explains the purpose of the Form I-94 and briefly describes the arrival inspection process.

You are allowed to enter the U.S no more than 30 days before the start of your course, the entire full-time course duration, and then you have up to a maximum of 30 days after the course finishes to leave the country.

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Providing Shillington with the required documentation straight away will help speed up the process. Once the documentation has been received, a school official will be generate a Form I-20 on the SEVIS system, sign the form and send to you via email.

Consular appointment availability and visa processing turnaround times are location specific and Shillington cannot forsee nor control these timings nor the outcome of your application.

If you cannot arrive in time for the start of the program you must contact us before your program start date and get a reprinted Form I-20 for a deferred program start date.

You must hand-carry all immigration documents and have 3 copies of all documents. These documents need to be presented at the port of entry.

  1. The original, signed Form I-20 issued by Shillington
  2. A valid visa containing the SEVIS ID and the name of the student and Shillington
  3. Financial documentation as evidence of ability to pay tuition and living expenses
  4. A valid passport
  5. Proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee

Please be advised that you may be required to have a secondary inspection at the port of entry. After review of your documents, the Customs and Border Protection Officer will stamp your Form I-94 after determining the student is eligible to enter. You must present your I-94 to Shillington so we can obtain a copy of it for your student records.

Please also be aware that having an M-1 visa does not guarantee admission into the United States. Issuance of the visa stamp or admission into the United States is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy and/or the U.S. Immigration customs and border protection inspectors at the port of entry.

Visa exempt students, including citizens of Canada or Bermuda, do not need a visa to enter the U.S. These prospective students do the following:

  1. Apply directly to the port of entry for eligibility to enter the U.S.
  2. Present all documents listed above except for the visa
  3. Provide proof that they paid the SEVIS I-901 fee prior to arrival

When you arrive in the U.S., ring or email Shillington straight away to book an appointment at the school.

  1. We require an updated U.S. address and U.S. phone number
  2. We must have emergency contact information for you
  3. Shillington needs to scan your I-94, I-20 and visa
  • Attend Shillington every single day of the course
  • Report address changes to Shillington within 10 days of the change
  • Notify Shillington prior to traveling outside the U.S. (more information below)
  • Notify Shillington upon applying for change of non immigrant status
  • Notify Shillington upon approval of an adjustment of your status
  • Notify Shillington about changes in dependents
  • You need your Form I-20 with current information—signed by Shillington—to allow travel outside the U.S.
  • Your visa and passport must be valid
  • You must take your signed Form I-20 with you
  • A student cannot travel internationally during the 30-day grace periods before and after the program of study.

Shillington does not require nor provide any health insurance plan options. We recommend students obtain health insurance with a repatriation clause whilst studying in the US. There are a number of affordable insurance plans for international students including ISO Student Health Insurance and International Student Insurance.

Shillington is not responsible for any student incurred accident, illness, or emergency medical treatment expenses and/or medical decisions.

  • You may apply for a change of status while in the United States. We strongly recommend that you apply from your home country due to strict immigration guidelines and extensive processing times.
  • Change of status is adjudicated by USCIS, a division of U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Shillington has no influence regarding approval or denial of your change of status.  The final decision is solely at the discretion of the United States government.
  • We strongly advise you to contact an immigration attorney for additional information on changing your visa status while in the United States. Not all visa types are eligible for a change of status. Remember that attorneys will charge fees for their help.

For more information visit this page and more information here also there is a USCIS guide to changing your status.

Yes—please notify Shillington when you apply. You must be financially able to support them whilst you are studying.

Accommodation and transport tips

Looking for where to live in New York? Since you’ll be spending a lot of time at Shillington, we recommend sticking within a 30 minute commute-time of campus. Past students recommend areas such as the lower East Side, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Bushwick, Greenpoint and Park Slope.

Research your options:

“I joined as many Facebook Manhattan and Brooklyn rent and housing groups as I could and dedicated an hour each night to look through what was being posted and reply. It took me two weeks to find a place. If planning to use the subway, practice the route in advance as it takes a few goes to get the hang of how the subway works, although I highly recommend walking if possible as it’s more reliable and you get to see New York!”—Natalie Taylor, England

Transportation in New York:

  • Most New Yorkers rely on public transportation—the most convenient and cost-effective way to navigate the city. In order to use the subway and the bus, you need to pay a fare with a MetroCard or by tapping your credit card.
  • Look into bike rentals through Citi Bike and electric scooter rentals through Revel.
  • But why not consider walking? Traveling to your destination on foot is a great way to familiarize yourself with an area, explore neighborhoods and find hidden gems.

Cost of living and exchange calculator

You’ll probably have a lot of questions about how much moving to New York will cost. Do your research to best prepare for your study adventure!

Here are some helpful financial resources:

  • XE Currency Convertor and Travelex are great tools to calculate the exchange rate from your home country into US dollars.
  • NerdWallet offers a cost of living calculator, designed to help you discover how much it would cost to live in New York. You can compare accommodation, transportation, entertainment and more.
  • Bankrate is a great tool to help you figure out the minimum amount of funds you need to have annually in order to relocate to another city based on your current income.
  • Numbeo is a database that provides up to date information on the cost of living and other indicators related to the city.

Creative's Guide to New York

There’s so much to see and do in the Big Apple!

Want to know the cool spots according to people in the design scene? On the Grid is a collection of cultural guides lovingly curated by local creatives. Check out top recommendations for New York City, Brooklyn and Queens, broken up by neighborhoods.

“New York really has everything you need as a designer, from inspiration in the subway ads to late night foods. NYC really is the dream for a lot of designers!” —Julia Zhou, Washington

Shillington’s top 10 things to do in New York:

  1. Visit New York’s top four art museums! The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. For design centered museums, be sure to check out Cooper Hewitt, The Museum of Arts and Design and the Poster House.
  2. Central Park is New York’s largest public park and the perfect escape from what seems like the endless concrete. Frolic through all 840 acres of beauty!
  3. Take a stroll across one of New York’s most iconic structures, the Brooklyn Bridge! Don’t forget to visit to see the less touristy Brooklyn Bridge Park. Just a block away from the Shillington School you will also find Bryant Park which is a cultural oasis—there are all sorts of events happening there from film nights to free concerts and games with plenty of food vendors to choose from to satiate your hunger.
  4. Deborah Kutnikas (#ShilloNY graduate from Brazil) recommends going to the immersive theater experience, Sleep No More—it’s an otherworldly experience! Afterwards, watch a jazz performance and grab a cocktail at The Manderley bar.
  5. Once a railroad track carrying freight trains, the Highline is now an elevated space that has been turned into a park. The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art and design.
  6. New York has many movie theaters to choose from. For a nice curation of picks from a classic to indie and documentary film, plan a visit to Nitehawk, Metrograph, IFC Center and Quad Cinema.
  7. The New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx is a dream for botanist lovers! The park is the largest garden in the United States, with 250-acres of gardens and over a million varieties of plants to explore and appreciate the diversity of northeastern North American plants, along with special exhibitions relating to botanical themes.
  8. The Rockaways in Queens is the place to be in the warmer months! There’s always a plentitude of places to go to for a drink, outdoor restaurants and concerts.
  9. Renee Taillon (#ShilloNY graduate from Canada) suggests attending a House of Yes party in the artsy neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. The club is committed to celebrating creativity and has themed parties every week where you can enjoy a wide range of music, embracing the bizarre and the perfect place to wear your funky costume. The owners started the space with the philosophy that performance, dance and art can not only inspire but heal us too.
  10. Governor’s Island is a 172 acre beautifully lush island just minutes away from lower Manhattan and Brooklyn by ferry. The island is open until the end of October to the public and offers plenty of things to do. There are art installations, concerts, food vendors and paths for biking.

Websites for arts, culture, and lifestyle inspiration:

Instagram accounts to follow:

The visa allows you to arrive a month before the course begins and stay for a month after. It’s a great opportunity to absorb all New York City has to offer!

Aisha Kareem
M-1 Visa Graduate

Do you have a language requirement?

Students from Overseas

Do you have a language requirement?

Our course is taught at a high level of English, so you need to be proficient in spoken and written English. We recommend a minimum of IELTS Band 6.


Do students from overseas pay higher course fees?

Students from Overseas

Do students from overseas pay higher course fees?

Shillington course fees are the same for domestic students and students from overseas. Find out more about studying design abroad!


Can I get a visa to study in Australia?

Students from Overseas

Can I get a visa to study in Australia?

We can accept students in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane who are Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) eVisitor (Subclass 651)Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)Electronic Travel Authority (Subclass 601) Visa) holders or New Zealand citizens. (Please note: Shillington is not CRICOS registered.) Find out more about studying design abroad!


Can I get a visa to study in London?

Students from Overseas

Can I get a visa to study in London?

We can accept students who are Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders, India Young Professionals scheme visa holders, European Union (EU) members, European Economic Area (EEA) members and Swiss citizens. Find out more about studying design abroad!


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