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Questions from DSOs: Can My Public School Enroll F and J International Students?

September 24, 2019

A Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified public high school (grades 9-12) can enroll both F-1 international students and also enroll exchange visitor students through a U.S. Department of State designated Secondary School Student Exchange Program.

F students may only attend a public school for 12 months. After 12 months, F students may transfer from a public high school to a private high school, or from a public high school to a college or university.

The U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program manages the Exchange Visitor Program. J-1 exchange visas are only valid for the current exchange program and exchange visitors are expected to leave the United States at the end of their program.

To learn more about the rules and regulations for public schools seeking to host international students, read the Grade 9 to Grade 12 Public Schools page.

Check out the Public & Private K-12 Schools: Know the Difference infographic for details on how each school differs in hosting international students. 

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