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International Students – NYC Campus


Obtaining the F-1 Student Visa (Non U.S Citizens only)

The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. 

International students who are admitted to one of our full time programs (22 hours or more per week) and have provided the required financial documents will be issued an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status which is required to apply for the F-1 student visa.   

Full-time programs include: Two Year Conservatory, One Year Conservatory, 12 Week Program (22 hours per week), Mid-Summer Intensive and Late Summer Intensive (28 hours per week).   Note, you may not attend these programs on a tourist visa/visa waiver/ESTA.  

If you will be in the US on another type of visa that allows full-time study  (i.e. H-4, O-1, any dependent status visa) then you do not need an I-20 Certificate and are considered a Domestic student for application purposes.  

Steps to receiving the I-20 Certificate and applying for an F-1 visa.

  1. First you must be fully admitted to a full time program after submitting a complete application and being interviewed.
  2. Submit the Affidavit of Support and supporting financial documentation to prove funding is readily available to cover tuition and living costs ($2000 per month) Click here for the Affidavit of Support and Instructions.  (Don’t submit this yet if your program start date is more then 6 months away.)
  3. We will create your I-20 Certificate in the SEVIS system and email you the information needed (SEVIS # and school code) to make a visa interview appointment for the F-1 visa at a US Consulate.
  4. We will email you a link where you will pay the Federal Express or UPS shipping fee and enter your shipping address and the information on how to pay the $350 SEVIS I-901 fee. 
  5. You will make a visa interview appointment: View  the website of the US Embassy in your country and follow directions to submit an online DS-160 visa application for the F-1 student visa (non-immigrant visa) and schedule a  visa interview appointment. You will pay a fee for the visa application. 
  6. You will  receive and sign your original I-20 Certificate and bring to your visa interview. 

TRANSFERRING  FROM AN F-1 SCHOOL: If you are currently in the US on an F-1 visa then you may transfer your SEVIS record to us.  Please be sure to pay close attention the rules for transferring and deadlines so that you don’t fall out of status. 

We will provide any needed  advising throughout the process of obtaining your I-20, applying for the visa and maintaining your F-1 status while you are in the US.  


There are no work opportunities while you study.  We do not offer on-campus employment. You must have the funds to support yourself in the US without needing to work. 

One Year and Two Year Conservatory students are eligible for  up to 12 months of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion of studies. OPT provides work authorization  to engage in work that is directly related to the program of studies only.   

Fall 20208/5 Update: Online

The Lee Strasberg Institute announces that fall semester classes will begin with fully online instruction, per State & Local guidance. (Los Angeles is preparing for outdoor in-person instruction once permitted.)

Click here for Fall online classes in New York City. | Click here for Fall online classes for Los Angeles.

The Institute is also offering new short-term online only classes. See Online Acting