Residence Status

§21.728  Definitions

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:

  1.  Is less than 18 years of age and has not been emancipated by marriage or court order; or
  2.  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

a.  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 term in which the person enrolls in an institution.

(2)  a person who:

(A)  established a domicile in this state not less than 12 months before the census date of the academic term 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 term 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 term 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 term in which the person enrolls in an institution.

b.  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.

c.  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.

d.   A domicile in Texas is presumed if, at least 12 months prior to the census date of the term 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.

e.   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.

f.   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.

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