F1 Visas and Public Schools – S. 823 new Bill would permit certain students to attend public schools on visas

A recent new Bill S. 823 would permit aliens who lawfully enter the United States on valid visas as nonimmigrant elementary and secondary school students to attend public schools in the United States for longer than 1 year if such aliens reimburse the local educational agency that administers the school for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing education at such school for the period of the alien’s attendance.

Under current laws, there are limitations and requirements related to foreign (F-1) students attending public secondary/high schools (grades nine through twelve), under U.S. law. Student F-1 visas cannot be issued to persons seeking to enter the United States in order to attend a public primary/elementary school or a publicly funded adult education program.

Dependents of a nonimmigrant visa holder of any type, including F-1, are not prohibited from attendance at either a public primary school, an adult education program, or another public educational institution, as appropriate.

The current law does not allow a student in F-1 status to attend public secondary school without paying tuition. The student must pay the full, unsubsidized per capita (for each student) cost of education in all cases.

We will keep you posted as new information becomes available on this Bill.