Determining Texas Residency
Under state statutes pursuant to Title 3 Texas Education Code and the Rules and Regulations for Determining Residence Status made known by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board which interpret those statutes, an individual will be classified as a resident or nonresident. The following rules were adopted by the Texas Legislature in January 2006, to be effective beginning with enrollments for the Fall Semester, 2006.
Your residence status for tuition purposes will be determined by the Registrar prior to your enrollment. Students may contact the Office of Admissions and Records for help in determining correct residence status for tuition purposes or for steps to complete in order to change residence status.
You must be prepared to pay tuition and other required fees by specified due dates or become subject to the penalties applied by the Coordinating Board rules. If you have knowledge of an error in your residency status for tuition purposes, it is your responsibility to notify the Office of Admissions and Records immediately. These rules are subject to change. For a complete copy of the Rules and Regulations, view the Coordinating Board website at www.thecb.state.tx.us. Following is a summary of the rules and regulations.
An individual who has lived in the state under circumstances specified in these rules will be eligible for classification as a resident. An individual who does not meet resident criteria will be classified as a non-resident and must pay tuition and fees required of non-resident students. An individual classified as a non-resident may qualify to pay resident tuition rates and other charges while continuing to be classified as a non-resident under certain exceptions specified in these rules
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. This is a partial list of definitions:
Dependent – a person who:
- Is less than 18 years of age and has not been emancipated by marriage or court order; or
- Is eligible to be claimed as a dependent of a parent of the person for purposes of determining the parent’s income tax liability under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Domicile – A person’s principal, permanent residence to which the person intends to return after any temporary absence.
Established a Domicile in Texas – A person has established a domicile in Texas if he or she has met the conditions shown in § 27.730(d) of this title (relating to Determination of Resident Status).
Gainful Employment – Activities intended to provide an income to a person or allow a person to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care or the maintenance of a home). A person who is self-employed, employed as a homemaker, or who is living off his/her earnings may be considered gainfully employed for purposes of establishing residency, as may a person whose primary support is public assistance. Work study and other such student employment may not be considered gainful employment for the purpose of establishing a domicile in Texas.
Maintain A Residence – To physically reside in a location. The maintenance of a residence is not interrupted by a temporary absence from the state, as provided in this statue.
Regular Term – a fall or spring term, typically consisting of 16 weeks.
Residence – A person’s home or other dwelling place.
Temporary Absence – Absence from the State of Texas with the intention to return, generally for a period of less than five years.
§21.730 Determination of Residence Status
- The following persons shall be classified as Texas residents and entitled to pay resident tuition at all institutions of higher education:
(1) a person who:
(A) graduated from a public or accredited private high school in this state or, as an alternative to high school graduation, received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this state, and
(B) maintained a residence continuously in this state for:
- the thirty-six months immediately preceding the date of graduation or receipt of the diploma equivalent, as applicable; and
- the 12 months preceding the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in an institution.
(A) established a domicile in this state not less than 12 months before the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in an institution; and
(B) maintained a residence continuously in the state for the 12 months immediately preceding the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in an institution.(3) a dependent whose parent:
(A) established a domicile in this state not less than 12 months before the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in an institution; and
(B) maintained a residence continuously in the state for the 12 months immediately preceding the census date of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in an institution.
- The following non-U.S. citizens may establish a domicile in this state for the purposes of subsection (a)(2) or (3) of this section:
(1) A Permanent Resident;
(2) A person who is eligible for permanent resident status, who has filed an I-485 Application for Permanent Residency and has been issued a fee/filing receipt or Notice of Action from USCIS;
(3) A nonimmigrant that holds one of the types of visas who are eligible to domicile in the United States;
(4) A person classified by the USCIS as a Refugee, Asylee, Parolee, Conditional Permanent Resident, or Temporary Resident;
(5) A person holding Temporary Protected Status, and spouses and children with approved petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), an applicant with an approved USCIS I-360, Special Agricultural Worker, and a person granted deferred action status by USCIS;
(6) A person who has filed for adjustment of status to that of a person admitted as a Permanent Resident under 8 U. S. Code 1255, or under the “registry” program (8 USC 1259), or the Special Immigrant Juvenile Program (8 USC 1101(a)(27)(J)) and has been issued a fee/filing receipt or Notice of Action by USCIS.
- The domicile of a dependent’s parent is presumed to be the domicile of the dependent unless the dependent establishes eligibility for resident tuition under subsection (a)(1) of this section.
- A domicile in Texas is presumed if, at least 12 months prior to the census date of the semester in which he or she is to enroll, the person owns real property in Texas, owns a business in Texas, or is married to a person who has established a domicile in Texas. Gainful employment other than work-study and other such student employment can also be a basis for establishing a domicile.
- The temporary absence of a person or a dependent’s parent from the state for the purpose of service in the U.S. Armed Forces, Public Health Service, Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, as a result of an employment assignment, or for educational purposes, shall not affect a person’s ability to continue to claim that he or she is a domiciliary of this state. The person or the dependent’s parent shall provide documentation of the reason for the temporary absence.
- The temporary presence of a person or a dependent’s parent in Texas for the purpose of service in the U.S. Armed Forces, Public Health Service, Department of Defense or service with the U.S. Department of State, or as a result of any other type of employment assignment does not preclude the person or parent from establishing a domicile in Texas.
§ 21.731 Information Required to Initially Establish Resident Status
To initially establish resident status under §21.730 of this title, (relating to Determination of Resident Status), a person shall provide the institution with a completed set of Core Residency Questions. An institution may request that a person provide documentation to support the answers to the Core Residency Questions. A list of appropriate documents is included at the end of this chapter. In addition, the university may request documents that support the information the student may provide in Section H of the core questions.
If a person who establishes resident status under §21.730(a)(1) of this title (graduation from a Texas public or accredited private high school or the equivalent) is not a Citizen of the United States or a Permanent Resident, the person shall, in addition to the other requirements of this section, provide the institution with a signed affidavit, stating that the person will apply to become a Permanent Resident as soon as the person becomes eligible to apply. The affidavit shall be required only when the person applies for resident status and shall be in the form provided by the University of Houston-Victoria.
An institution shall not impose any requirements in addition to the requirements set forth in §21.731 for a person to establish resident status.
§ 21.732 Continuing Resident Status
Beginning with the Fall 2006 semester, a person who was enrolled in a Texas institution during any part of the 2006 state fiscal year (Fall 2005, Spring 2006, or Summer 2006 semester), and who was classified as a resident of this state in the last academic period of that year for which the person was enrolled, may be considered to be a resident of this state for purposes of this subchapter. A person who has established resident status under this subchapter is entitled to pay resident tuition in each subsequent academic term in which the person enrolls at any Texas institution, unless the person has been absent for two or more consecutive regular terms (Fall and Spring).
A person who enrolls in an institution after two or more consecutive regular (Fall and Spring) terms during which the person is not enrolled in a public institution shall submit the information required in §21.731 of this title (relating to Information Required to Initially Establish Resident Status), and satisfy all the applicable requirements to establish resident status.
§ 21.733 Reclassification Based on Additional or Changed Information
If a student is initially classified as a nonresident based on information provided through the set of Core Residency Questions, the student may request reclassification. A student shall provide the University with any additional or changed information which may affect his or her resident or nonresident tuition classification. A list of acceptable documentation is included at the end of this chapter.
The University may reclassify a student who has previously been classified as a resident or nonresident based on additional or changed information provided by the student. Any change made under this section shall apply to the first succeeding term in which the person is enrolled, if the change is made on or after the census date of that term. If the change is made prior to the census date, it will apply to the current term.
§ 21.734 Errors in Classification
Student Errors - If the university permits a student to pay resident tuition in error and the person is not entitled or permitted to pay resident tuition under this subchapter, the university shall charge nonresident tuition to the student beginning with the term following the date that the institution discovers the error.
Not later than the first day of the following term, the university may notify the person that he or she must pay the difference between resident and nonresident tuition for each previous term in which the student should not have paid resident tuition, if:
- the person failed to provide the university, in a timely manner after the information becomes available or on request by the university, any information that the person reasonably should know would be relevant to an accurate classification by the institution; or
- the person provided false information to the institution that the person reasonably should know could lead to an error in classification by the university.
If the university provides notice to the student regarding an error in tuition status, the student shall be required to pay the applicable amount to the university no later than the 30th day after the date the person is notified of their liability for the amount owed. After receiving the notice and until the amount is paid in full, the person is not entitled to receive from the university a certificate or diploma, if not yet awarded on the date of the notice, or official transcript that is based at least partially on or includes credit for courses taken while the person was erroneously classified as a resident of this state.
University Errors - If the university erroneously classified a person as a resident of this state under this subchapter and the person is entitled or permitted to pay resident tuition under this subchapter, that person is not liable for the difference between resident and nonresident tuition under this section.
If the university erroneously classifies a person as a nonresident and the person is a resident under this subchapter, the university shall refund the difference in resident and nonresident tuition for each term in which the student was erroneously classified and paid the nonresident tuition rate.
The following documentation may be requested by the University of Houston-Victoria in order to resolve issues raised by responses to the Core Residency Questions.
Part A – Documentation that can support the establishment of a domicile and demonstrate the maintenance of a residence in Texas for the 12 months prior to the census date of the term in which the person enrolls is:
An employer’s statement of dates of employment (beginning and current or ending dates) that encompass at least 12 months. Other documents that show the person has been engaged in activities intended to provide an income to a person or allow a person to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care or the maintenance of a home) may also be used, as well as documents that show the person is self-employed, employed as a homemaker, or is living off his/her earnings, or through public assistance. Student employment, such as work-study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships or research or teaching assistantships do not qualify as a basis for establishing a domicile.
For a homeless person, written statements from the office of one or more social service agencies located in Texas that attests to the provision of services to the homeless person for the 12 months prior to the census date of the term in which the person enrolls.
Part B – Documentation which can support the establishment of a domicile and demonstrate the maintenance of a residence in Texas for 12 months, if accomplished and maintained for this period of time prior to the census date of the term in which the person enrolls. This documentation must be accompanied by at least ONE type of document listed in Part C.
- Title to real property in Texas
- Marriage Certificate with documentation to support that spouse is a domiciliary of Texas
- Ownership of business in Texas with documents that evidence the organization or the business as a partnership or corporation and reflect the ownership interest of the person or dependent’s parent.
- State or local licenses to conduct a business or practice a profession in this state.
Part C – Documents that may be used to demonstrate maintenance of a residence for 12 months. These documents do not show the establishment of a domicile. Activities in Part A and B of this section may be used to establish a domicile.
- Utility bills for the 12 months preceding the census date;
- A Texas high school transcript for full senior year preceding the census date;
- A transcript from a Texas institution showing presence in the state for the 12 months preceding the census date;
- A Texas driver’s license or Texas ID card with an expiration date of not more than four years;
- Cancelled checks that reflect a Texas residence for the 12 months preceding the census date;
- A current credit report that documents the length and place of residence of the person or the dependent’s parent;
- A Texas voter registration card that has not expired;
- Pay stubs for the 12 months preceding the census date;
- Bank statements reflecting a Texas address for the 12 months preceding the census date:
- Ownership of real property with copies of utility bills for the 12 months preceding the census date;
- Registration or verification from licensor, showing Texas address for licensee;
- Written statements from the office of one or more social service agencies, attesting to the provision of services for at least the 12 months preceding the census date;
- Lease or rental of real property, other than campus housing, in the name of the person or the dependent’s parent for the 12 months preceding the census date.