The determination of residency classification for tuition purposes is governed by statues enacted by the Texas Legislature and rules and regulations promulgated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THEB). Texas law classifies each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university as a resident of Texas, a nonresident, or a foreign (international) student.
When students apply for admission, the university uses information they provide on their ApplyTexas application to make an initial determination about residency. If the submitted information indicates that the student is not a US citizen or permanent resident but that he or she may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, the student will be prompted by the application to download and submit the Residency Affidavit.
The affidavit is a statement by the student that he or she qualifies for residency. It must be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted to A&M University-Texarkana in order for the student to be classified as a resident.
Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on graduation from high school and the other based on the establishment of domicile. The option related to the establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students who hold certain types of visas.
Option 1: Residency through High School Graduation
The option of establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students.
To establish residency through high school graduation, you must:
- Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
- Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
- Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at A&M University-Texarkana.
If you are an international student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must submit a Residency Affidavit stating that you will apply for permanent residency when you are eligible to do so.
Option 2: Residency by Establishing Domicile
This option is for establishing Texas residency is available to:
- Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. (non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)).
- International students who hold an eligible visa.
If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s) claim you as dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.
To establish domicile, you or your parent(s) must meet the following criteria:
- Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months; and
- Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months before census date by doing one of the following:
- Be gainfully employed in Texas (student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment.)
Gainful employment is employment that provides income that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual’s tuition and living expenses or that represents an average of at least twenty hours of employment per week
- Sole or joint marital ownership or residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent’s parent, having established and maintained domicile at the residence
- Own or operate a business in Texas
- Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas
RESIDENCY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I apply for residency?
If you are a prospective student you must submit an application for admission. Students who complete a U.S. application will complete the residency questions as part of their admissions application. International (who have eligible visas to domicile) students will need to submit the Residency Core Questions or the Residency Affidavit to apply for residency.
Currently enrolled students may submit the Residency Core Questions after they or their parents have lived in Texas for 12 consecutive months.
How can I obtain the Residency Core Questions or the Residency Affidavit?
These forms are available either on our website under Online Forms or in our office located on the second floor of the University Center building.
What other documents should I turn in with the Residency Core Questions form?
You should submit verification that you have established domicile in Texas. To establish domicile, you should submit documentation that verifies:
- One year of employment (paycheck stubs for the past 12 months or letter from employer on company letter head)
- Property ownership in Texas for one year (Warranty Deed)
- Business ownership in Texas for one year
- Proof that you have been married to a Texas resident for one year (marriage license and verification of spouse’s employment, property ownership or business ownership in Texas)
After a review of your responses to the Residency Core Questions, the residency determination officer may request items from you to help establish your residency status.
I’d like for my residency status to be reviewed. How and when is the best time to submit a request for re-classification?
A request for re-classification or review of residency must be made before the census date of the semester (the 12th class day). If you submit your request after the census date, your residency status will not be updated until the next semester.
MY PARENTS STATUS
My parents live in a state other than Texas and claim me on their taxes. Can I establish residency?
If your parents live in another state and claim you as a dependent on their federal income taxes, then you are not eligible to establish residency unless one of the following is true:
- You are graduating from a Texas high school
- Your parents can claim a temporary absence from Texas
- You are over the age of 18 and your parents stop claiming you as a dependent when filing federal income taxes; in this case you would be eligible to establish residency as an independent student.
My parents live in Oklahoma. They claimed me as a dependent on their tax return last year and will claim me again this year. But, I’ve lived in Texas with my aunt for the last year while I finished high school. Am I a Texas resident?
No. Residency of a dependent or minor is based on either:
- The residence of the parent who claimed the dependent or minor for federal income tax purposes both at the time of enrollment and for the tax year preceding enrollment;
- The residence of the parent or court-appointed legal guardian with whom the dependent or minor has live for the 12 months preceding enrollment;
- The residence of the parent or legal guardian who has joint or single custody of the child;
- The residence of the person to whom custody was granted by court order.
Since your parents’ claimed you last year and will do so this year, your residence is their residence-Oklahoma.
One of my parents is a Texas resident. May I claim residency even if I live out of state?
You can base Texas residency on the parent who resides in Texas if that parent:
- Claims you as a dependent on his or her federal income tax return; or
- Is eligible to claim you as a dependent on his/her federal income tax return (In general, parents who pay child support are eligible to claim a child for federal income tax purposes.)
POSSIBLE CHANGES TO MY STATUS
If I am temporarily absent from Texas, will I lose my status as a Texas resident?
A temporary absence by a student or by the parent of a student (upon whom the student bases his or her residency) does not affect the student’s ability to claim residency if the temporary absence is the result of:
- Service in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Public Health Service, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Department of State; or
- An employment assignment; or
- Educational purposes.
The person or the dependent’s parent must provide documentation of the reason for the temporary absence. To claim a temporary absence, a student or parent must first establish Texas residency. Non-resident classification may result if the temporary absence occurs before completion of at least one year of residency connected to establishment of a domicile.
I live in a state other than Texas and I am marrying a Texas resident. Does marriage to a Texas resident make me a Texas resident?
Being married to a Texas resident does not qualify a person for immediate Texas residency. If you are a U.S. citizen , a permanent resident of the U.S., or an international student with an immigration status that allows you to domicile in the U.S. and you are married to a Texas resident, you must live in the state of Texas for 12 consecutive months and be married to a Texas resident for 12 months to qualify for Texas residency.
Spouses of Texas residents may attend a Texas college or university during the 12 months needed to establish residency but will pay out-of-state tuition during that time. If you are in this situation, you may apply for reclassification as a Texas resident after one year of residence in Texas and one year of marriage to a Texas resident.