Verification of Lawful Presence FAQ

Which Board of Regents policies requires that institutions verify the lawful status of their students?

During the October 2010 meeting of the Board of Regents (BOR), the Board approved Policy 4.3.4, Verification of Lawful Presence. BOR Policy 4.3.4 states that "Each University System institution shall verify the lawful presence in the United States of every successfully admitted person applying for resident tuition status, as defined in Section 7.3 of this Policy Manual, and of every person admitted to an institution referenced in Section 4.1.6 of this Policy Manual."

Policy 4.1.6, Admission of Persons Not Lawfully Present in the United States, was also approved during the October 2010 Board meeting. Policy 4.1.6 states that "A person who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible for admission to any University System institution which, for the two most recent academic years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants (except for cases in which applicants were rejected for non-academic reasons)."

When must institutions begin verifying the lawful status of their students?

This policy affects any student admitted for the fall 2011 semester or any future semester.

Which students must be verified?

Under Policy 4.1.6, any student applying to an institution which, for the two most recent academic years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants (except for cases in which applicants were rejected for non-academic reasons) must be verified before a final offer of admission can be extended.

What methods of verification are acceptable?

There are several methods through which institutions may verify the lawful presence of their students:

Method 1: Students providing one of the following may be verified based on their documentation:

  • A U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS form N-550 or N-570)
  • A U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (USCIS form N-560 or N-561)
  • A current U.S. passport with an expiration date after the first day of your initial term (photocopy must include the photo page and the following page)
  • A current driver's license issued by the state of Georgia after January 1, 2008 (temporary paper licenses and licenses marked "limited term" are invalid for verification purposes)
  • A current state-issued ID issued by the state of Georgia after January 1, 2008
  • Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I-151 or I-551)
  • Military ID presented in person (Service members only, not valid for dependents. Scans, faxes, or photocopies will not be accepted)

Method 2: Verification results provided by the U.S. Department of Education for students applying for federal student aid (FAFSA)

Method 3: Verification of visa status through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS) for students on an F, J, or M visa.

Method 4: Verification through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS) for students on an F, J, or M visa

Do students who apply for reentry need to be verified?

Yes, if a student has not been enrolled for a period of time which per institutional policy requires that they apply for reentry admission, they must be verified or re-verified.

For those institutions falling under BOR Policy 4.1.6, once a student has been verified and admitted, does he/she need to be re-verified at any time?

No, BOR Policy 4.1.6 requires that students be checked at the time of admission, whether that be new admission or reentry admission. The policy does not require that students be re-verified unless the student does not enroll for a period of time and is required to apply for reentry.

Do the Board's policies regarding verification of lawful presence apply to cross-registration students?

No, since cross-registration students pay all of their tuition and fees to their home institution and are admitted on a space available basis only, it is not necessary for students attending through cross-registration to be verified. Students with a USG home institution attending another USG institution through cross-registration would be verified by their home institution at the time of admission.

For those institutions falling under BOR Policy 4.1.6, do transient students need to be verified?

Yes, all institutions following under BOR Policy 4.1.6 must verify the status of every student, including transient students, applying for admission for fall 2011 or a later term.

What happens if a student's status cannot be verified?

If a student's status cannot be verified through one of the acceptable methods then the student cannot be granted in-state status. In those situations where the student has applied to an institution falling under BOR policy 4.1.6, the student may not be admitted.

What if I have received classification under the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival program?

Prior to applying to UGA: Please contact us for more information regarding UGA's policies and Deferred Action students. You can contact us via email: admintl@uga.edu or call us at (706) 542-2112 and ask to speak to the International Admissions counselor.

For those students verified through the FAFSA process, which FAFSA year should be used to verify their lawful status in the U.S.?

When verifying lawful status through the FAFSA process, the FAFSA year must correspond with the term of admission.

If a student is verified and determined to be in a current, legal status, are they automatically eligible to be classified as in-state?

No.

Are institutions required to verify the lawful status of students participating in Accel or Dual Enrollment (DE)?

Yes.

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