Williamsville Central School District

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Foreign Students

Adoption Date: 7/7/2009
Revised Policy Adopted: 6/14/11
Revised Policy Adopted: 9/13/16

7000 - Students


The Board of Education recognizes that non-immigrant students with valid visas who establish residential status within the District have the right to fully participate in the educational program provided by the District. Undocumented children, like U.S. citizen children, have the right to attend schools full-time as long as they meet the age and residency requirements established by state law.  Also, the Board recognizes and encourages the attendance of non-immigrant foreign students in the District's high schools through approved foreign exchange programs. The Board retains the sole discretion to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and associated procedures.

The District is cognizant that under Phyler v. Doe, foreign national children may not be denied access to public education based on their lack of lawful immigration status.  The USA PATRIOT Act and related regulations restrict the ability of some categories of in-status foreign nationals to obtain public education.  it is the policy of the Williamsville Central School District to comply with all applicable laws.
In order to comply with Phyler v. Doe and with the federal statutory and regulatory framework governing access to public education, the District articulates and adopts the following policies:

 (1) The District will not voluntarily report any information regarding the immigration status or lack of immigration status of a student or a student's family members to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or other federal agencies.

(2) The District will make minimally required immigration status inquiries of prospective students solely for one or more of these legitimate reasons:

             (A)  Determine whether the individual is in a nonimmigrant category which conditions
                      access to public education upon payment of actual per capita cost of education and enrollment 
                      in a school that is registered with The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP and SEVIS),
             (B)  Avoid enrollment of a foreign national whose status does not qualify them for public school enrollment according to guidance published by ICE and other appropriate federal agencies, and
             (C)  Help make a residency determination.
Foreign Exchange Students (J-I Visa)
The Board encourages District participation in a foreign exchange student program. Foreign exchange students will be admitted to the District high school for a one-year academic program.

  1. The District recognizes only those organizations designated as "Exchange-Visitor Programs" by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, pursuant to federal regulations, as sponsoring organizations for the exchange of students. Any such organization must supply proof of designation prior to recognition.
  2. No foreign exchange students subject to this policy and procedure shall be brought into the District by a foreign exchange student program unless he or she has been accepted in writing as a student by the High School Building Principal or a designee.
  3. Foreign exchange students will be allowed to attend school and will be provided bus transportation to and from school free of charge. When a foreign exchange student is accepted for admission pursuant to this policy and procedure the letter of acceptance shall include a statement that tuition shall be waived for the student.
  4. The District will accept no more than five foreign exchange students per school from any single foreign exchange program.
The Board may terminate the approval of a foreign student program when it would be in the best interests of the District to do so.

Foreign Students with F-I Visas
The District is not authorized to accept students with F1 Visas as our schools are not designated at approved student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) schools.

Immigrant Students
All school-aged immigrant children (U.S. lawful permanent residents) who have abandoned their residence in a foreign country and established residence in the District will be admitted to the District's schools without payment of tuition.

22 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 514 Exchange-Visitor Program
Education Law Section 1709(13)