We study the formation of porous polymer nanostructures fabricated by the surface-induced phase separation of polymer solutions in anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) are used to investigate the evolution process of the surface-induced phase separation. With the longer immersion time of the AAO template in the polymer solution, the size of the solvent-rich droplet is increased by the coarsening process, resulting in the formation of porous polymer nanostructures. The coarsening mechanism is further evaluated by changing the experimental parameters including the immersion time, the polymer concentration, the polymer molecular weight, and the solvent quality. Under conditions in which polymer solutions have higher viscosities, the coarsening process is slowed down and the formation of the porous nanostructures is prohibited. The prevention of the porous nanostructures can also be realized by adding water to the PMMA/THF solution before the immersion process.