Basic Eligibility Requirements for Foreign Exchange Students
A foreign individual who is interested to participate as a US foreign exchange student will be assessed by a designated sponsor based on the following foreign exchange student eligibility requirements:
(1) Funding Requirements: The first area of concern that foreign students will have to satisfy are the funding aspects of their participation. They will be considered as eligible only under any of the following conditions:
- If they will receive substantial funding from sources other than their personal or family funds; wherein said funding may include those that will come from their native government, from the U.S. government or from duly recognized international organizations like the United Nations and the likes.
- If they will be participating as foreign exchange student in accordance with an agreement between the U.S. government and a foreign government. This may come by way of an agreement entered into by an American educational institution and the foreign government or the U.S. government and a foreign educational institution. In some cases, it can be an agreement between a U.S. state or U.S. local government with a foreign government.
If they will be entering the US to study in a post-secondary educational institution by way of Form DS-2019 or the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor with an approved J-1 Status. The foreign student may seek a direct interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office in his or her native country as a way of acquiring a J-Visa status to enter the United States in order to qualify as an exchange visitor. However, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Office will require the submission of a DS-2019 or the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor issued by the designated sponsor.
(2) English Language Proficiency: The interested foreign exchange participants should manifest and demonstrate proficiency of the English language to ensure that they will be able to participate effectively in the education exchange program. For this purpose the program sponsor of the foreign exchange students should see to it that the latter will have sufficient mastery of the English language before they are recommended as participants to any of the Exchange Visitor programs.
(3) Minimum Medical Insurance: The participants will be required to carry the minimum medical insurance coverage stated in the exchange program’s regulations. Insurance requirements will include the spouse and children below 21 years old who will accompany the foreign exchange student. The exchange visitor’s sponsor shall likewise be tasked to ensure that said insurance requirements will be met before endorsing the individual’s participation.
(3) Orientation about Pre-Arrival Information: The participant must have received prior and sufficient briefing about his role as a foreign exchange student; the requirements regarding, entry, travel and physical presence in his or her home country is required; the fees to be paid to the designated sponsor; health care and insurance requirements and other costs that the will incur while residing in the U.S., an example would be the cost living expenses.
(4) Orientation about Arrival Information: A student including the dependents who will accompany him are required to receive orientation regarding information about life and customs in the U.S.; knowledge about available community resources like medical centers, schools, public transportation, banks, libraries and recreation centers; rules and regulations about the exchange program; knowledge about the exact name, address and phone number of the sponsor’s officer responsible for his participation.