Can Students Obtain Visas to Attend Public School for Free?

Individuals who want their children to attend U.S. schools for free cannot do so under a student visa. If you are seeking an education in the U.S. for yourself or a minor child, it is important to work with an immigration lawyer.

The Rationale behind the Law

Cambridge legal immigration lawyerThe U.S. legislature passed a law in the 1990s that expressly prohibits individuals from seeking a free public school education who do not have legal residence status. The purpose of the law is to prevent what would presumably become large numbers of individuals from obtaining student visas on such grounds. It was thought that the cost to U.S. taxpayers would be unwieldy, and for virtually no benefit for the nation when the student returned to his home country.

Private Schools

The law applies to those in kindergarten through grade eight. A student can attend one year at a public high school, though not for free. Indeed, one can expect to pay as much as several thousand dollars.

As an immigration lawyer will tell you, the law does not pertain to private schools. Provided you are able to pay the cost of tuition, which can be quite expensive, you may be able to receive an education on a student visa this way.

Ironically, undocumented children are legally allowed to attend public schools for free. This was supported in a Supreme Court decision, Plyler v. Doe 457 U.S. 202 (1982). The rationale is that such children do not have a choice of going to school in their home country.

For More Information and Assistance

If you would like your children to attend public school in the U.S., it is very important that you consult an immigration lawyer to determine how best to proceed. Call Ionson Law today at (781) 674-2562.

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