My niece Hoho, about whom I wrote in my last blog, is not coming to high school in the US. There were two possible ways. One was for her to immigrate here; and the other, to enter this country with a student visa. I will describe each option below.
I could have sponsored for Hoho ‘s permanent residency status. However, as a relative to an US citizen, she will be classified into the forth category and have to wait several years to acquire it. I could have adopted her, but neither her mother nor I inclined to do it. Here went the first option of her coming here as an immigrant.
A F-1 student visa is for those, who want to be enrolled in public high schools. Schools with a foreign student advisor in their staff members and ESL classes in their curriculums could issue documents for that visa. Central High School in Rapid City is not one of them. In addition, the length of possible enrollment is limited to one year. The F-1 visa holder is required to pay the entire school tuition. The US Law is making certain that the tax dollars would not be used for the education of foreign students.
A J-1 visa is for foreign exchange students. Central High School receives exchange students periodically. However, as far as Hoho’s mother has found out, they could choose countries to study in, but not schools. Students cannot live with their relatives. I thought we could still push in this option, but my sister chose not to.
The last option was a F-20 visa. Most private high schools issue it, and the foreign students are allowed to study in this country as long as their fundings last. It will cost approximately $30 grand per year. As Hoho will stay with me, the cost can be reduced significantly. However, the only private high school in Rapid City has not even been accredited yet.
My sister talked to Hoho. Her dream is to become a singer like Lady Gaga. That is why she wants to master English. Most of the teenagers would be too shy to voice such an outrageous dream to her teacher, but Hoho was not. Now, both the teacher and her mother wish to support her. She is going to be enrolled in a music institute in Japan.
The music institute is not a high school. Even if she decides later that vocal training is not for her, it will be difficult for her to transfer to a regular high school. I do not think it is a good idea to limit her future options to music at such a tender age, but I might be wrong. Time can only reveal the answer.