What is required of a school before it may accept a foreign exchange student (J-1 visa holder)?
The following answer deals exclusively with non-immigrant students; that is, students who are not residents of the United States and who are in this country temporarily. If a student who is not a citizen of the United States nevertheless lives in Iowa with his or her parents, the school district of residence is required to provide a tuition-free education to that student. This is true even if the parents of the student are in this country illegally. See Supreme Court's 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 102 S.Ct. 2382, 72 L.Ed.2d 786 (1982). There is no registration requirement, such as the SEVIS registration requirement regarding acceptance of F-1 visa holders. To enroll a J-1 visa holder, all that is required is that the school be a public school district or an accredited nonpublic school.