Based on new requirements from the Board of Regents of The University System of Georgia, admission to UGA is contingent upon the verification of a student’s lawful presence in the United States. Prior to enrollment, all admitted students must have their presence verified. There are two ways to have your presence verified:

1. Students who are either a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen for federal student aid purposes can submit a FAFSA. For citizenship confirmation purposes, UGA will need to receive your processed FAFSA data from the U.S. Department of Education confirming your citizenship status by May 1. UGA will receive notification of this at the same time that you will know by receipt of the electronic Acknowledgement Form from the U.S. Department of Education, which is usually 3-5 days following your electronic submission of the FAFSA or approximately 3 weeks following a paper FAFSA submission.

If you do not submit a FAFSA or the FAFSA process does not confirm your citizenship status, you will need to provide us with citizenship documentation.

2. We are able to use the following documents. These should be scanned and submitted using the Verification of Lawful Presence document upload area on application status page.

  • The front side of 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)
  • The front side of a current state-issued ID issued by the state of Georgia after January 1, 2008
  • 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)
  • Clear and complete copies of original and certified US birth certificates may be accepted by mail or electronically for the purpose of verifying US lawful presence. The copy must be of “an original or certified birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or territory of the United States bearing an official seal”. The copy must very clearly show the raised or written seal to be acceptable. Copies that are not clear or do not show the seal cannot be accepted.
  • 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)
  • Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I-151 or 551)
  • Military ID presented in person (service members only, not valid for dependents. Scans, photocopies, or faxes will not be accepted)

If you are not filing a FAFSA and you do not have or are unable to scan one of the items listed above, please follow these instructions.

3. If you are a U.S. visa-holding applicant (H-4, J-2, E-3, A-4, O-3, TD, etc.) with an international background, your Verification of Lawful Presence requirement will be fulfilled based on immigration document copies you must submit to us prior to Orientation. In general you will be required to submit a copy of your valid passport, an I-94 card showing an unexpired period of stay, or an I-797 form showing an approved change of status with an unexpired period of stay.

4. If you are an approved permanent resident of the United States, your Verification of Lawful Presence requirement will be fulfilled based on a copy of the approved permanent resident card that you must submit to us prior to Orientation.

5. If you are a pending U.S. permanent resident, and your U.S. “green card” HAS NOT YET been approved, you will be required to submit a copy of your valid passport, and a copy of the pending I-485 receipt notice. If you have a temporary work card, you will be required to submit a copy of that as well.

6. If you are an F-1 or J-1 international student, you will meet with representatives from the UGA Office of International Education upon arrival at UGA at your mandatory immigration check-in to verify your immigration documents. The Verification of Lawful Presence (VLP) flag on your record will be lifted after we confirm that you were admitted to the U.S. in valid F or J status.

If you hold none of the above documents, we will attempt to confirm your immigration status through the government’s SAVE database.

If we receive confirmation of your status, we will be able to remove the VLP flag from your record.

We will use the online Status Check to inform you that we have verified the appropriate document. The status check will be updated when we receive documentation, but it may take an additional 2-3 weeks for us to verify the document as meeting the requirements. Please continue to review your status check for this information.

While your ability to sign up for Orientation is dependent upon payment of your Commitment Deposit, Orientation attendance will not depend upon our having received appropriate documentation of your lawful presence. If you attend Orientation without this clearance, you can still meet with your advisor and then register for classes at a later date via the online registration system after the documentation has been received by the Office of Admissions.

As academically talented students, we know that you have many options for your college career and are pleased that you will be joining us at UGA. We appreciate your patience as we work through this new requirement and system for notifying students of needed data. Please continue to check your online Status Check for clearance of your Verification of Lawful Presence.

For more information on this topic, please consult our Verification of Lawful Presence FAQ.