Know the Difference Between Public and Private K-12 Schools
Like all F and M international students in the United States, international students at the kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) level must attend a school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). In addition to this certification, there are other rules a school must comply with to enroll international K-12 students.
K-12 Private Schools
A private school at the elementary and secondary grade levels (i.e., K-12) is eligible for SEVP certification. There is no limit on the length of time an F-1 student may attend a private, SEVP-certified K-12 school. Read these resources for more information about K-12 private schools:
- K-12 Private Schools Resource Page: Read about the regulations K-12 private schools must follow, the students they can enroll and the types of schools that fall under this category.
- Private K-12 Student Life Cycle (F-1): Learn the process F-1 students attending private K-12 schools follow from school application to graduation.
Grade 9-12 Public Schools
A public school at the secondary level (i.e., grades 9-12) is eligible for SEVP certification and may enroll an international student for a maximum period of 12 months. Public elementary schools (i.e., grades K-8) are not eligible for SEVP certification and therefore cannot enroll international students. Read these resources for more information about grade 9-12 public schools:
- Grade 9 to Grade 12 Public Schools Resource Page: Read about the regulations public schools at the secondary level must follow and the types of students they can enroll.
- Public Grade 9-12 Student Life Cycle (F-1): Learn the process F-1 students attending public schools in grades 9-12 follow from school application to graduation.
Looking for more information about K-12 schools eligible to enroll international students in the United States? Check out the Public and Private K-12 Schools: Know the Difference infographic.
Are you a school official looking for more information? Read the Top 10 Questions for Designated School Officials at Kindergarten through Grade 12 Schools.