INFORMATION FOR F-1 STUDENTS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

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1 INFORMATION FOR F-1 STUDENTS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES BACKGROUND The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the largest public school system in the State of California and the second largest public school district in the United States (U.S.). The District averages a total enrollment of 144,000 students in grades 9 th to 12 th and is comprised of over 100 comprehensive high schools. The Foreign Student Admissions Office (FSAO) is authorized to issue I-20 documents to those students requesting to attend a district high school using an F-1 visa. For information on other types of visas or legal advice, individuals are encouraged to contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Department of State or an immigration attorney. Information is also available on the following U.S. government sites: or REGISTRY REQUIREMENT FOR PLACEMENT AGENCIES International Student Placement Agencies must be currently registered with the State of California, Department of Justice prior to placing students within the LAUSD. A registry list is maintained by the Attorney General s Registry of International Student Exchange Visitor Placement Organizations (ISEVPO). Proof of annual registration is required. For more registry information, please refer to the State of California website at In addition, agencies are not authorized to place F-1 students in the LAUSD without the prior approval of the Foreign Student Admissions Office. HOST GUIDELINES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Host Guardian/s must be 21 years of age or older, live within the boundaries of the LAUSD, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The guardian must be willing to receive, maintain, and support the student. He/she will ensure that the student will not use the non-immigrant visa from the U.S. gained by the I-20 issued from the LAUSD to receive any public, tax-supported benefits or become a public charge while in the U.S. In addition, the host guardian/s must: Advise the FSAO when the student arrives and starts school Advise the FSAO prior to any change of residence or school status Advise the school of any changes in emergency information, residence or student status Advise the FSAO and school of any travel plans Attend all meetings requested by school and district personnel Comply with the LAUSD enrollment and withdrawal procedures, including the return of all school books and materials Ensure that the student complies with all school rules and regulations, including those pertaining to behavior and regular school attendance Live in the home with the international student Ensure that the student is under the supervision of an adult over 18 years when traveling Ensure that the student has transportation to and from school and school activities Maintain a safe and clean home environment. Failure of the guardian to meet the above obligations may result in cancellation or termination of the I-20, jeopardizing the student s visa status. 1

2 F-1 VISA INFORMATION F-1 Visa Students are defined as citizens from another country who are in the United States for the sole purpose of study. Under U.S. law, F-1 students studying at public secondary/high school are limited to the following: Secondary school attendance is limited to twelve months. Students are required to pay the full, unsubsidized cost of a high school education. School districts are not allowed to waive this mandatory requirement. Students are prohibited from attending public elementary schools, middle schools, or publicly-funded adult education programs. In addition, the LAUSD restricts the enrollment of foreign students to the following: Must be entering grades 9 12 Must not have already completed high school or the equivalent Are not guaranteed graduation or a diploma Must be under the age of 18 at the time of enrollment Must reside with a host guardian who is 21 years of age or older I-20 (More information available on USCIS website) The I-20 allows a student to apply for an F-1 visa while living outside of the U.S., apply for F-1 status while in the U.S., or enter and/or re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status. The Foreign Student Admissions Office will issue an I-20 which covers the period of time the student will be studying in the LAUSD (one semester/one year). During this time, the student is expected to attend classes on a full-time basis. The I-20 can be extended for a second semester only if the request is made PRIOR to the expiration date. We cannot extend an I-20 AFTER it expires. The I-20 will be necessary for a student to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate. The F-1 visa will have an expiration date. If the visa expires while the student is in the U.S., the student will need to renew his/her visa in order to travel and reenter the U.S. I-901 Fee The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 fee must be paid after the I-20 is issued and prior to the student s visa interview. As of February, 2011, the fee is $200. This fee may be paid online at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee. This fee is not an LAUSD fee, but a federal requirement. Passport An F-1 student should possess a passport which is valid for at least 6 months into the future. An expired passport may result in a violation of status, so students should familiarize themselves with the renewal procedures at least six months prior to passport expiration. Students should contact their nearest consulate or embassy for instructions and the forms needed to extend their passport. Proof of Financial Support Prior to receiving an I-20, international students must present satisfactory evidence of adequate funds available to meet their financial obligations. Verification of funds must be supported by a bank, stock, bond, or property statement and indicate the U.S. foreign exchange rate. The amount must equal the cost of tuition/fees and living expenses for the time period in which the student is studying in the LAUSD. 2

3 Transfers Students may transfer into the LAUSD from other schools in accordance with their visa status. All fees, tuition and documentation required of new I-20 applicants must be completed. I-20s may also be transferred to another institution upon receipt of a completed Transfer Request form and a written request from the school or district requested on letterhead stating the accepted student s name, date of birth, transfer date requested and the school s ICE/SEVP code. Students must ensure that the accepting school is SEVIS Certified. Please refer to the Department of Homeland Security/SEVP website for a listing of schools. Travel The student, parent or guardian must contact the FSAO prior to travel outside of the United States. A Request for Travel form must be submitted two weeks in advance in order to obtain a signed I-20. Without the signature of the DSO, the student will not be permitted to return to the United States. Students should also check the status of their visa before reentering the U.S. F-1 students are strongly encouraged to hand carry the following items when traveling: Passport Contact Information for the LAUSD Foreign Signed I-20 Student Admissions Office Proof of Financial Support Tuition Receipt or Acceptance Letter Proof of I-901 payment Since F-1 students are in the U.S. for the purpose of study, they are expected to: Attend all school days, except in the case of an emergency or illness Travel only during extended school recesses or holidays Notify the school if traveling outside of the U.S. during scheduled breaks Notify the FSAO if travel plans change Travel under the supervision of an adult over the age of 18 Travel within the U.S. does not require a signature from the Foreign Student Admissions Office. PROGRAM COMPLETION OR TERMINATION Program Completion An F-1 student has a 60 day grace period after program completion. Within this 60 day period, the student may travel within the U.S, return to his/her home country, request the transfer of his/her SEVIS record to another school, or apply for a change of status to another visa category. Change of Status applications are handled by USCIS, not the LAUSD. Student Departure Students entering under the sponsorship of an agency must comply with the terms of their contract. In most cases, arrangements for return flights have been predetermined. Non-agency students have 60 days to leave the country after their program end date. Termination of I-20 A violation of F-1 visa status or immigration law will result in the immediate termination of a student s SEVIS record. A student may violate his/her status if he/she allows the I-20 to expire without an extension, does not request the transfer of an I-20 in a timely manner or fails to maintain full-time status. In addition, the LAUSD may terminate a student s SEVIS record due to non-compliance with state law and district policies regarding student attendance and behavior. 3

4 TUITION AND REFUND POLICY Tuition and Processing Fee Federal law requires that all foreign students using an F-1 student visa must pay the full unsubsidized cost of tuition. The amount of tuition is determined annually, and covers the duration of the traditional school year. Prior to the issuance of an I-20, the entire cost of tuition and any associated fees must be paid with a money order or cashier s check drawn from a U.S. bank or financial institution payable to the Los Angeles Unified School District. The check will be deposited immediately. A receipt will be issued to the remitter. Tuition Refund Policy The LAUSD I-20 processing fee is not refundable. A tuition refund check will be issued to the person or agency which remitted the original payment. This individual or agency must have an LAUSD vendor identification number and complete a request for refund form. If a student is unable to attain the F-1 Visa, the full amount of the tuition will be refunded. If a student begins school, then transfers or terminates prior to the end of the stated term of attendance, tuition will not be refunded for the current semester. If the student transfers or terminates after the first semester, without attending any day of the second semester, the tuition amount for the second semester will be refunded. ADMISSIONS AND PLACEMENT INFORMATION Compulsory Attendance California State Law mandates that each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years not exempted is subject to compulsory full-time education. Each parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of such pupil shall send the pupil to the public full-time day school or classes for the full-time designated as the length of the school day. (BROCHURE ATTACHED) Diplomas A high school diploma is not guaranteed and is dependent on the units accepted from the transcript evaluation completed at the high school of attendance. Determination will be made by an administrator or counselor at the school of attendance based upon transcripts submitted from previous schools and the completion of graduation requirements within the student s term of study. Grade and Course Placement Students will be placed in grades 9 12 based on age and transcript evaluation. Students do not need to be fluent in English. Students whose home language is other than English will be evaluated upon enrollment to determine if English as a Second Language (ESL) classes will be assigned. Students and guardians must work with the academic counselors to determine appropriate coursework. Requested School The requested school must be an LAUSD high school. Students may not attend a school outside of the LAUSD using an I-20 issued by the LAUSD. High schools within the LAUSD may accept students upon space and program availability. To find an LAUSD school, please visit our website at and select Find a School. The FSAO cannot issue I-20s for independent charters, elementary/middle or private schools within the LAUSD boundaries. Student Arrival Student may arrive 30 days prior to the school start date. If any changes occur in the student s placement, the FSAO should be notified immediately. This information will be updated in SEVIS. Students should make travel arrangements based upon the school calendar and arrive prior to the first day of classes. 4

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10 Important Dates and Deadlines Academic School Year March 1, 2015 Application for Available April 1, 2015 Deadline: Agency Applications Due Approved List Verification All agencies requesting to place students within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) must be currently registered with the State of California, Department of Justice. A registry list is maintained by the Attorney General s Registry of International Student Exchange Visitor Placement Organizations (ISEVPO). Proof of annual registration is required prior to the placement of any foreign students in the LAUSD. More information may be found on the State of California website at May 15, 2015 Deadline: Applications for Fall 2015 Semester or School Year June - August 2015 August 18, 2015 High School Registration (Contact school for specific dates and times) First Day of Fall Semester/Beginning of School Year November 15, 2015 Deadline: Applications for Spring 2016 Semester December 18, 2015 End of Fall Semester ( ) January 11, 2016 First Day of Spring Semester ( ) May 15, 2016 Deadline: Applications for Fall 2016 Semester or School Year June 10, 2016 Last Day of Instruction ( ) 10

11 APPLICATION CHECKLIST International students requesting admission to the Los Angeles Unified School District must be admitted through the Foreign Student Admissions Office, not the requested school. Schools may recommend the acceptance of an individual student but are unable to issue the documents required to obtain the F-1 Visa. A completed application consists of: LAUSD FOREIGN STUDENT ADMISSIONS APPLICATION STUDENT QUESTIONAIRE AUTHORIZATION FOR ADULT TO ACT AS GUARDIAN The natural/legal parent must authorize another adult to act on his/her behalf in all educational decisions and matters while the student is studying in the LAUSD. PHOTO RELEASE COPY OF PASSPORT STUDENT TRANSCRIPTS Official transcripts from all high schools attended must be submitted with the application. The transcripts must be in English and translated by a recognized translation service. HEALTH EXAM AND IMMUNIZATION RECORDS - The laws of the State of California require that before enrolling in school for the first time, a pupil must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, pertussis, varicella and hepatitis B (3 doses are required). This is to certify that the student named is in good health and is free from any impairment. All immunizations must be stamped by a doctor or clinic or a copy of the immunization record may be submitted in lieu of the form. The health exam must show that the student is free from any condition of concern which would affect the student s ability to participate in the program or any school activities. The exam should be conducted within six months of travel. PROOF OF MEDICAL INSURANCE COVERAGE - California Education Code 32220, et seq., requires that participants in school activities have accidental bodily injury insurance. Each student who participates in school activities must have insurance in the amount of, at least, $1, for medical/hospital benefits. The District strongly recommends that International Students have at least the requisite amount of health insurance for the entire length of the student stay. U.S. law requires proof that an international student will not in any way become a public charge to the United States. STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT - International students must present satisfactory evidence of adequate funds available to meet their financial obligations to the Los Angeles Unified Schools as well as living expenses. The estimated minimum cost of attending Los Angeles Unified School District for one academic year (10 months) is updated annually. Verification of funds may be supported by a bank, stock, bond, or property statement and indicate U.S. foreign exchange rate. COPY OF HOST GUARDIAN IDENTIFICATION VERIFICATION OF ADDRESS FOR HOST GUARDIAN (UTILITY BILL) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF F-1 INFORMATION: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES (SIGN OFF PAGE) All applicants are required to submit the documents listed above for District review. Upon notification of acceptance, the student will be invoiced for the cost of tuition and non-refundable processing fees. This amount must be paid in full prior to the issuance of the I

12 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF F-1 INFORMATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES I have read and understand the terms and conditions governing the admission and enrollment of international students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I understand that the mere act of completing the Foreign Student Admissions application, policy and procedures sign off, and submission of required documents DOES NOT guarantee the request will be approved. I understand that a high school diploma is NOT guaranteed and is dependent on the units accepted from the transcript evaluation completed at the high school of attendance and the completion of all graduation requirements within the student s term of study as determined by school officials. Furthermore, I understand and acknowledge that U.S. law prohibits international students from becoming a public charge. F-1 students must demonstrate proof of adequate funds to support the student s financial, travel, and living arrangement during his/her stay in the United States. Tuition will NOT be refunded for any semester that the student was in attendance, and all processing fees are not refundable. If the student fails to abide by the laws pertaining to student attendance and behavior, the student s status in the SEVIS system may be changed or terminated. Students/guardians must consult with the Foreign Student Admissions Office Designated School Official (DSO) under the following conditions: Prior to dropping below a full course of study for any reason Report any address changes within 10 days of the change Report any change in sources of financial support Report any change in program of study or academic status Notify the DSO prior to traveling outside of the United States and receive a signed I-20 Notify the DSO upon applying for change of nonimmigrant status or approval of status to an immigrant Notify the DSO of intent to transfer to another program I consent to and authorize the Los Angeles Unified School District to contact any references listed in this application (parents, sponsors, guardian or contact person in the U.S., school placement agencies, home-stay placement agencies, sponsors, physicians, medical insurance providers, school principals in Home Country) to verify the truth and accuracy of the information presented. I further authorize those references to furnish any and all reference information concerning me that is related to matters set forth in this Foreign Students Admission Application. I hereby release the District from all liability for damages or claims from the disclosure of this information. I expressly understand that any information given is to be used for the purpose of determining my acceptability for admission to the program, and understand that there is no guarantee of admission, and that admission to the program is subject to the sole discretion of the District. I swear under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that all information supplied is complete and accurate. I understand that any misrepresentation or change of facts will justify the student s refusal of admission, cancellation of admission, or removal from the Los Angeles Unified School District. GIVING INACCURATE OR INCOMPLETE INFORMATION MAY RESULT IN DENIAL OF THIS APPLICATION OR DISMISSAL FROM LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT. Parent (Last Name, First Name) Signature of Parent Parent (Last Name, First Name) Signature of Parent AFFIDAVIT OF UNDERSTANDING Signed by Parent(s), Student and Host Guardian/Agency Host Guardian/Agency Name Signature of Agency Representative Date Signature of Student Date PLEASE SIGN AND RETURN THIS FORM ONLY. Keep attached information for your records. Date 12

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