F1 Student Visa for High School Students at Public and Private Schools

All applicants for F1 student visas must demonstrate that s/he:

1.  has a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning;

2.  is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study;

3.  seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an established college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program in the United States;

4. has a SEVIS Form I-20 from an ICE approved institution; and

5. can demonstrate financial support or the funds to cover the expenses listed in the SEVIS Form I-20.

In cases where the student intends to study at a public secondary school, the student must demonstrate that s/he has reimbursed the local educational agency that administers the school for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing education at the school for the period of the student’s attendance.  Additionally, the period of attendance must be 12 months or less.  Violation of this restriction can result in a five year bar from entry to the United States INA Section 212(a)(6)(G).  In most cases where a F1 visa holder attends high school in the US, s/he will reside with a host family.  It is a good idea for the host family to execute a limited power of attorney so they may seek medical care or assist in legal matters for the child

An F1 visa applicant’s spouse and minor children may obtain F2 visa status. Children of F1 visa holders in F2 visa status may attend elementary school through 12th grade.  Canadian and Mexican nationals who maintains actual residence and place of abode in their country of nationality may commute to the United States to study at an approved institution.

Posted on February 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm by Immigration Lawyer Peter Messersmith · Permalink
In: F-1 Visa, High School, Student Visa · Tagged with: , ,

11 Responses

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  1. Written by Hazel Ickes
    on April 8, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Your article is useful. Can F1 visa holder take up a part time job? What are the requirements for F2 visa?

  2. Written by Samuel Amanor Dokyi
    on April 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I need a F1 Visa for Junior High school so that i can finish my schooling in u s please help me thanks.

  3. Written by Carol
    on July 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I have i-20 , visa f1 and im from Brazil, how can i change ,private to public school? how are they gonna change my i-20? thanks

  4. Written by Trinidad
    on November 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Very interesting article . I have a permanent resident visa and want to get an student visa for a son 17 years old, I found a public school where he can attend to finish his high school . He was appoved as a junior and could graduated next year in december. How can I get an I-20 since the school told me they do’nt issue I 20 if so they do’nt know how to handled this process

  5. Written by Reem
    on April 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    My case is similar to “Trinidad” case. My brother is 17 years old and he will live with me until I finish the college in California. The public high school and private ones told me that they accept international students but they don’t issue I-20 form for him. I need help with this because I don’t know what to do.

  6. Written by BOBBY
    on June 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm


  7. Written by Beatriz
    on October 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I started my junior year in high school in Utah as an F2, because my mother was studying english, but she has to go home to Brazil in December and i would like to finish my junior year in Florida with my sister, but they don`t issue I-20. Is there a way out of that?

  8. Written by Sing
    on December 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    your article is so useful! Im not a US citizen and Im a student wishing to attend public secondary school in th US and I was exchanged student in that school with J-1 visa. and I wanna apply for F-1 visa to go back there. I found the homestay and the school says they always welcome me but they don’t know about I-20 form and they dont know how to handle this process.. so if they are not authorized to issue I20, can’t I go to that school? please help me i need your help. thanks

  9. Written by Marina Simoes Pereira
    on February 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I’m a foreign student from Brazil and im doing my junior year now in a public school. I want to back next year to complete the high school here, what should i do to get the I-20 form? Only private schools can sponsor me? Does anybody know if a public school can get me this form?

  10. Written by Carl Sharp
    on April 27, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    I have a question. A friend of my wife, who is a South Korean citizen living in China would like her son to come back with us when we return to the states to attend high school in the states. Ideally she would like him to go all four years and are willing to pay the full tuition for that four years. The F-1 one says the limit is for one year. Does this mean that there is a hard and fast limit of one year of study at at an American high school, or can the family apply for a new F-1 every year till he graduates?

  11. Written by Qudrat Rabani Nasari
    on July 5, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    My name is Qudratullah Rabani. I want to study in other country and i search many time in the web to find the free visa for high school it’s my wish to study in the other country but i can’t find the free visa can you people help me to study for my life for my family for my feature .

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