Immigration Issues/student visa

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Dear Mr. Hollander,

   My friend and I are about to be seniors in high school and the college application is now starting. As I am a U.S. citizen, my friend is not. Anyway, it is a priority for him and I to go to the college we so desire in order to obtain our education in dentistry. We want to go to University of Florida and already we live in the state yet after senior year he is stuck since from what I have heard is that there must be some legal documentation in order to go to the universities. Yet I am unaware of the process that must be undergone to obtain a student visa or some sort of access to legality here in Florida so that my friend can go to the University of Florida. I understand there must be some sort of sponsorship to supply an account showing fincancial stability and I don't know how much money must be present to further the process. My friend is now 18 and has been in Florida for 5 years. I desperately want to help him in any way possible to go to college here in Florida and allow his dream to work as a dentist in the U.S. to be fulfilled. If you could please let me know how the whole student visa process works for a situation that my friend is in and if that is not what is necessary for him to go to college here, what are some other ways? Also, what is usually the time these processes usually take and how much money is needed for a sponsorship account in Florida? I apologize for sounding rather novice in the content of this letter, but I was hoping you could clear many of these questions up. Thank you for your time.

         Sincerely,
         Melissa

Answer
I presume that your friend is not currently legal in the country, since you said he has been here for 5 years. If that is the case, there is no way to get him a student visa. You can only change to student status if you maintain your legal status throughout. If you enter illegally or overstay your time you can not get a student visa. You can marry your friend and get him a green card and then he can go to school.


Robert

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