Terry Knickerbocker Studio is authorized under federal law to welcome nonimmigrant* students the opportunity to study here on a M-1 Visa, in one of two full-time programs: 1) full-time Two Year Conservatory or 2) full-time Summer Intensive. Terry Knickerbocker Studio will consider all applicants with a desire and commitment to becoming the best actors they can be, regardless of whether they have extensive prior acting experience or not.
Nonimmigrant international students who study at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio through an M-1 visa must commit to 18-23 hrs a week of studying, including outside rehearsals between every class, which is a requirement of this work. Please note that students on an M-1 Visa are not allowed to work in the United States.
*The U.S. government uses the term nonimmigrant to refer to foreign nationals admitted into the country temporarily for a specific purpose. Once a nonimmigrant fulfills their purpose for coming to the United States, they need to either change their status or depart the country. International students in the United States are considered nonimmigrants because their sole purpose for being in the country is to complete a program of study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school.
Specifically, you would be a “M-1 nonimmigrant: an international student in the United States to pursue a full course of study at an SEVP-certified vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution. An M-2 nonimmigrant is a foreign national who is the spouse or qualifying child of an M-1 student.”
Class Attendance Policy
Regular class attendance is the only way for the Student to achieve satisfactory progress in their artistic and academic pursuits. The Studio operates in accordance with the standards set by the professional industry and strives to treat the Students as professionals. In agreeing to attend the Studio, the Student acknowledges that consistent attendance in all enrolled classes in mandatory.
Here at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio, we take attendance very seriously, and as an M-1 Visa student, your visa status will be jeopardized if you are in violation of the attendance policy. Regular class attendance is the only way for the Student to achieve satisfactory progress in their artistic and academic pursuits. The Studio operates in accordance with the standards set by the professional industry and strives to treat the Students as professionals. In agreeing to attend the Studio, the Student acknowledges that consistent attendance in all enrolled classes is mandatory. All students will be asked to agree to a Student Agreement, which details the Attendance Policy below. Federal regulations require the Studio to monitor student attendance. Please review our attendance policy and all program details before you make your commitment to study at Terry Knickerbocker Studio.
From the United States Department of Homeland Security (for the Visa)
Under federal law, students living in America on an M-1 Visa will be asked to show proof of anticipated source of income. This may be in the form of a bank statement, or some other document that proves the student will be receiving financial support that will cover the cost of school and living in or around New York City. Please consider this before applying.
How To Get The Process Started:
Step 1: You must first be accepted into the Terry Knickerbocker Studio, and then the visa process will begin.
To apply, please visit our application page here.
After you have completed the application, we’ll contact you to arrange a Zoom interview.
We don’t want to see an audition. We just want to speak you, to talk about your goals, and figure out together if TK Studio might fit into your artistic future.
If needed, please also be prepared to submit the following:
- Two letters of recommendation
- Your TOEFL, IELTS or equivalent test scores
Step 2: Getting Your Visa
After you are accepted to Terry Knickerbocker Studio (via email), you will submit financial documentation, and then the studio will send you a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status.” The Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). It is a very important document and is required for completing subsequent steps in the international student life cycle. Keep it safe!
You must also obtain a Form I-20 for any eligible dependents you plan to bring to the United States with you. However, please note that the name (i.e., Academic and Language students vs. Vocational Students) on the Form I-20 an SEVP-certified school issues you will dictate the type of student visa you may obtain from the U.S. Department of State and the status you will need to maintain in the United States. You and your DSO must both sign the Form I-20.
Applying for a nonimmigrant visa
The Form I-20 lists your program start date, 30 days before which you are allowed to enter the United States. M-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. You are expected to have the original Form I-20 at your visa interview. The consular officer may accept a copy of the Form I-20 in limited circumstances that warrant visa issuance prior to you receiving the original Form I-20.
Entering the United States
You are expected to have the original Form I-20 with ink signature on hand as you enter the country. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will instruct you to present your Form I-20 at the port of entry. You may arrive up to 30 days before the start date listed on your Form I-20.
If you are invited into the second year of training, you may either return home and obtain a new M-1 visa or apply for an extension on the initial visa (you may be asked to remain in the United States if you choose the latter).
Things to Know Before You Apply:
- Financial Aid is not offered at Terry Knickerbocker Studio. M1 Visa students are not permitted to work in the US until after their training program has completed. Thus, you must prove as part of your visa application process that you will be financially able to support yourself while in the US, without working.
- Like most acting studios, Terry Knickerbocker Studio is not an accredited degree-granting However, we do offer graduates a Certificate of Completion upon graduation.