Lake Washington School District recognizes the value of student exchange programs for qualified foreign students. Foreign students may attend public schools in the state of Washington. Public education is not free for foreign students: qualified students who obtain the appropriate paperwork pay tuition to attend. The admissions process described below applies to students who are part of an organized exchange program as well as those who are sponsored by relatives or friends. This program is only available for students in grades 9-12. Elementary age students are not eligible.
The following process must be followed when an international student wishes to study in Lake Washington School District:
- The exchange student’s sponsor must contact the high school within their attendance area and arrange a meeting with an administrator to gain admission and to schedule English proficiency verification. (Please see the rules and regulations section below for additional details.)
- Once the school has agreed to accept the student and English proficiency has been verified, the sponsor must complete an I-134, Affidavit of Support (available at the district office), and obtain all necessary back-up paperwork, including:
- Verification that the sponsor lives within the school’s attendance boundary.
- Past school records and transcripts for the student.
- Proof of immunization status for the student.
- Sponsor will pay tuition to Lake Washington School District (district office has the amount for the school year). Tuition is payable to Lake Washington School District and must be in the form of a cashiers/certified check. The fee for the 2011-12 school year is $9,179.68.
- Return all paperwork to the district office.
- The district office will then enter student information into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and will then complete and issue an I-20 to the student. Form I-20 is a United States Department of Homeland Security document issued by schools. This document is a certificate of eligibility for F-1 Visa status and provides supporting information for the issuance of a student visa.
- All forms, paperwork and the I-20 are sent back to the student in their home country, where they would take these forms to the U.S. Consulate to apply for an F-1 Visa.
Rules and regulations regarding I-20 students:
- Public school district can only issue an I-20 to students in grades nine through 12.
- I-20 students must be English proficient. They are unable to access English Language Learner (ELL) services. Proficiency is determined by the school administrator by verbal or written verification.
- I-20 students are only allowed to study for one year in a U.S. public school.
- If an I-20 student wishes to obtain a diploma from the Lake Washington School District, they must supply transcripts from their previous school as well as one letter from the principal or headmaster addressing academic standing and attendance at the school. The individual school will need to transfer credits and verify that the student can obtain the diploma within the one-year time limit.
If you have any questions about the International Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), contact Creslyn King
at (425) 936-1283