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Establishing Texas Residency

Residency for Tuition Purposes

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (the CB) has established the rules and regulations governing Texas residency for higher education. As mandated by the Texas legislature, in order to determine a student's eligibility for classification as a resident, the CB requires each student applying to enroll at an institution to respond to a set of core residency questions. The core residency questions are found at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Website. Go to the Menu/Get All the Facts/Find the Right College/Admissions information/Residency information.

  • Undergraduate residency status is processed by the Registrar's Office

  • Graduate and Doctoral residency status is processed by the Graduate School. Contact the Graduate School for specific information regarding residency rules.

Under the state statutes in the State of Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin, Texas interprets those statutes and prospective students who will be classified as a resident, non-resident, or as an international student.

A citizen, national or a permanent resident of the United States, who is independent 18 years of age or over and who has lived in Texas for 12 consecutive months and has been gainfully employed within the state prior to enrollment in an institution of higher education is entitled to be classified as a resident of Texas. As an independent student, your parents should not claim you on their federal income tax return for tax purposes for the previous year and the current year.

In addition, international students may qualify under current legislation for a waiver to pay the resident tuition rates. Only the visas that are eligible to establish domicile in the United States would be eligible to qualify for the resident tuition.

  • An eligible non-immigrant that holds a visa that is eligible to domicile in the United States will need to provide supporting documentation for their claim to Texas residency. These documents will show that the person has resided in the state of Texas for at least 12 consecutive months prior to their enrollment at UTSA.

  • Submit a copy of your passport stamped with your visa type to the Registrar's office. This is for verification of your immigration status to qualify under this waiver.

  • Due to the constant changes in immigration requirements, you should review the current legislation on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Website.

If you believe that you qualify based on the state statutes, you may request the Core Residency Questionnaire and/or the UTSA Residency Application and Instructions from the Registrar's Office, or print the forms from the links and attach the supporting documents for proof of your claim to Texas residency.

Requirements must be met and all documents must be in the Office of the Registrar prior to the Census Date of the term the student will be attending.

Please refer to the Texas Administrative Code, Determination of Resident Status for an explanation of terms related to residency status.

Options to determine if you may qualify for the resident tuition

Bona-fide Texas Resident

A U.S. Citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States (holder of a permanent residency card) or a non U. S. citizen who has been permitted by Congress to adopt the United States as his or her domicile while in this country and who has otherwise met the state requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes as prescribed by the state, Chapter 21, Student Services, rules and regulations regarding residency for the State of Texas.

Establishing residency status as a Dependent of parents who are Texas residents

The residence of a minor (is less than 18 years old) or a dependent child is usually that of the parent or court-appointed legal guardian with whom the individual resides. The residence of a dependent, 18 years of age or older, is that of the parent who claims the individual as a dependent for federal income tax purposes for the current and preceding year. If the parent is a resident of another state (other than Texas) then the student's residence status is the same as the parents' residence and will pay out of state tuition.

Acceptable documents can be found in Chapter II, Documentation to Support Establishing and Maintaining Domicile in Texas, Part A, and B & C.

Establishing residency status as an Independent Student /no longer on parents federal income tax

Independent individuals who are no longer claimed on their parents' income tax return for the current and preceding year can file their residence information on their own. To claim residence status as an independent student, you will need to provide proof of gainful employment for a year and supporting documentation. Gainful employment can be a basis for establishing a domicile; however, employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment.

Acceptable documents can be found in Chapter II, Documentation to Support Establishing and Maintaining Domicile in Texas, Part A, and B & C.

Persons in military service and their families

Persons in the military and their families are presumed to maintain the same legal residence which was in effect at the time of entering the military service during their entire period of active service. Persons stationed in Texas are presumed not to establish a legal residence in Texas because their presence is not voluntary but under military orders. If you have maintained your legal residence in Texas throughout your military service, you will need to provide a copy of your LES (leave and earning statement) from a year ago and a current LES. If you are a dependent of a parent or a spouse who is active duty stationed in Texas, you may qualify for the military waiver for tuition purposes but will need to fill out the Military Duty Statement and submit the form to the Office of the Registrar.

Active duty military service member

Veterans' benefits option

Veterans who qualify under the Post 9/11 GI Bill who have applied for their VA benefits through the Veterans Affairs office must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Have completed their veterans Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

  • You may be eligible to Transfer your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Dependents (TEB) on your VA benefits to your spouse and /or dependent children to allow them to continue their education. Read more for eligibility qualifications.

  • You should consult with the UTSA Veterans Certification Office to identify if you do qualify for veterans' benefits.

  • Complete and sign the form, Intent to establish residency in Texas for military families and their dependents, located at this website.

Residency through Texas High School graduation or GED in Texas

Graduating high school students from an accredited Texas high school and living in Texas for 36 consecutive months prior to enrollment at UTSA

This option is available to non U.S. citizens or permanent residents, to include students classified under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA).

To establish your residency based on this option, you must fulfill these requirements listed below:

  • Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
  • Live in Texas for 36 consecutive months immediately before high school graduation; and
  • Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually 12th class date) of the semester in which you enroll at the University of Texas at San Antonio
  • In addition, if you are an international student seeking the in state tuition based on this option, you must submit a signed and notarized I-485 Affidavit. The Affidavit is required only when the individual applies for change of resident status and shall be in the form provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Submit an official high school transcript with the final graduation date posted on the transcript or Texas GED certificate along with the Core Residence questionnaire.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Effective September 5, 2017, DACA is being rescinded. Please visit the UTSA Dreamers Resource Center website ( for a list of campus resources and points of contact for students needing assistance.

Starting August 15, 2012, qualified individuals became eligible to request DACA consideration if they:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  • Are at least 15 years of age at the time of filing for deferred action (although they do not need to be 15 years of age or older at the time of filing their request if they are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order).

International/Foreign students and visa types that may qualify to domicile in the United States

Individuals who enter the state under a visa (immigration status) which does not allow establishment of a domicile such as an F-1 student visa, J-1 visa or tourist visa; but later obtain their permanent residency card, may be eligible for consideration based on the current Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (the CB) rules while in Texas. These students must meet the same criteria as U.S citizens to establish their residence in the State of Texas in order to be considered for in state tuition. Please submit a copy of your passport or permanent residency card along with your Core Residency Questionnaire form to the Registrar's office to have your status reviewed and updated based on your supporting documentation.

Visa types (PDF) that are eligible to domicile in the United States

International/ Foreign students who have a visa type that allows them to domicile in the U.S.

If you hold a visa type (immigration status) that is now eligible to domicile in the United States, you will need to submit a copy of that passport to the Registrar's office along with your supporting documents for proof of having established your residence in Texas the same as other U S citizens in order to be considered with the waiver for in state tuition.

  • Answer the Core Residency Questions (form)

  • Submit supporting documents for proof of residence /website:

  • Include a copy of your passport with the visa type that is eligible to domicile in the U.S.

  • Submit supporting documents for proof of residence.