At US Immigration Bonds & Insurance Services, we are immigration bond specialists and bond insurance service providers who work with people with various immigration statuses every day. While we focus on immigration bond services, we understand that many people have questions about the education system in the United States when you are not a citizen. We hope that the information below will help inform you.
Can I Go to School if I am an Illegal Alien?
Yes. In Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled that children who are illegal aliens not only have the right to attend primary and secondary schools but also must follow the state-mandated law about attending school until a certain age. The 1982 ruling also protects these undocumented children from discrimination from the schools based on their immigration status1.
Difference Between a Student Visa and Green Card
A student visa temporarily allows someone to enter and stay in the United States for educational pursuits with an academic program or an English Language Program for a determined amount of time. A green card is a legal document that allows someone to enter, work, and remain in the United States on a permanent basis. Those with student visas can attempt to apply for a green card later, but they must meet certain requirements.
Can I take Online Courses if I am an Illegal?
Yes, but it depends on the school. While illegal immigrants can attend primary and secondary school, college is a bit trickier. There is no nationwide law preventing illegal aliens from attending a university, but some colleges will not accept undocumented students. For colleges that do accept undocumented immigrants, online courses often become a cheaper alternative to traditional college classes for these students who often cannot receive in-state tuition for financial aid.
Best place to get education based on immigration status
If you are looking for higher education options and you are not a US citizen, it is important to do your research. You will have to find colleges that will accept your immigration status and well as possibly providing you with financial aid since you cannot receive federal aid. Online courses can be a more affordable alternative.
Education Rights of an Illegal Alien
While illegal aliens can face more challenges when it comes to education in the United States, they still have many rights. As discussed above, they have the right to attend school and pursue education. Acts like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act; and the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) have expanded the rights of illegal aliens related to education.
At US Immigration Bonds & Insurance Services, we will continue to keep you informed as best as we can because we understand that as immigration bond services and bond insurance services, our clients are affected by these policies.
: FindLaw- Plyler v. Doe