Visitor Visas are used to enter the United States for a temporary visit. No matter the personal reason, it is not uncommon for foreign citizens to find themselves living in the United States under Visitor Visas for months at a time, sometimes with their families. This leads to many parents asking a common question: Can their child attend public school in the United States on a Visitor Visa?
The answer is a little complicated. Technically speaking, your child will be able to attend public school as long as they live in the district the school services. According to the United States Constitution, no child can be turned away from having free, public education. That includes undocumented children. On a purely technical level, you could enroll your child in public school while holding a Visitor Visa and not be turned away.
If you want to keep your Visa, however, we would not recommend enrolling your child in public school. The school might let you, but the next time you leave the country, you could lose your Visitor Visa and/or be barred from re-entry on the charge of Visa Fraud. This is because the Visitor Visa is intended strictly for visiting, not for school or work. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation states that on a Visitor Visa, someone “violates the conditions of his or her status if the alien enrolls in a course of study.”
This is the ultimate takeaway: while your children can be admitted to a public school on a Visitor Visa, it is against immigration law for them to attend. If you choose to send them, you will likely lose your Visa and potentially lose your chance to get other Visas in the future or even return to the United States.
If you do want your children to be legally enrolled in school, you can work with an immigration attorney to change your Visa status. There are several options available that include the possibility of school. While on your Visitor Visa, you could also pay to send your children to private school, which are often not under the same legal obligations that public schools are.At Heitz Immigration Law, we want to help you live and work in the United States. We understand that education is an essential part of life, so if you are dealing with school-related issues, contact Heitz Immigration Law today. We want to open the door to opportunity for you!