What is a resident?
A citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States or an alien who has been permitted by Congress to adopt the United States as his or her domicile while in this country. In Texas, a student enrolling in an institution of higher education, must have lived in Texas the one year (12 months) proceeding the first date of enrollment to be classified a Texas resident for tuition purpose.
Residents of the taxing district of Texas Southmost College, which includes Brownsville, South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Bayview, Los Fresnos, Olmito, Rancho Viejo and routes 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9 in San Benito, pay in-district tuition rates.
Individuals who are domiciled in the United States and own property in the district subject to ad valorem taxation, and their dependents, are also charged the in-district rate.
Evidence of ownership of such property shall be a current certificate of payment provided by the Cameron County, Texas, Tax-Assessor Collector. It must be submitted to the Admission and Records Department and will be retained. This evidence must be resubmitted annually. Dependents of property owners must submit a copy of the prior year's income tax form listing the student as a dependent.
Why do I need to prove residency?
-Documents that may Support the Establishment of Domicile in Texas and Maintenance of Domicile in Texas.
- SIGNIFICANT GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT
- An employer's statement of dates of employment in Texas (beginning and current or ending dates) that encompass at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term in which the person enrolls. 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.
- Other documents that show the person or the dependent's parent, for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term in which the person enrolls:
- has been engaged in employment intended to provide an income to the person or allow the person to avoid the expense of paying another to perform tasks (as in child care) that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual's tuition and living expenses or represents an average of at least 20 hours per week; or
- is self-employed in Texas or is living off his/her earnings; or
- is primarily supported by public assistance in Texas.
- For a person living on public assistance, written statements from the office of one or more social service agencies located in Texas that attest to the provision of services to the person for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term in which the person enrolls.
- SOLE OR JOINT MARITAL OWNERSHIP OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY Title to residential real property in Texas with documentation to verify 12 consecutive months of ownership immediately preceding the census date of the term in which the person enrolls, such as a Warranty Deed, with the person or the dependent's parent having established and maintained domicile at that residence.
- MARRIAGE TO A PERSON WHO HAS ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED DOMICILE IN TEXAS Marriage Certificate or Declaration of Registration of Informal Marriage with documentation to support that spouse has established and maintained domicile in Texas for the 12 consecutive months preceding the census date of the term in which the person enrolls.
- OWNERSHIP OF A BUSINESS ENTITY Documents that evidence the organization of the business in Texas that reflect the ownership interest of the person or dependent's parent, and the customary management of the business by the person or dependent's parent without the intention of liquidation for the foreseeable future.
-Documents that May Provide Support to a Claim of Residence in Texas for the 12 Consecutive Months Immediately Preceding the Census Date of the Term in which the Person Enrolls.
- Utility bills for the 12 consecutive months preceding the census date;
- A Texas high school transcript for full senior year immediately preceding the census date;
- A transcript from a Texas institution showing presence in the state for the 12 consecutive months preceding the census date;
- A Texas driver's license or Texas ID card that has not expired and, if it reflects an origination date, shows an origination date at least 12 months prior to the census date;
- Cancelled checks that reflect a Texas residence for the 12 consecutive 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 to be in Texas and the length of residence to be at least 12 consecutive months preceding the census date.
- Texas voter registration card that was issued at least 12 months prior to the census date.
8. Pay stubs for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date, reflecting significant gainful employment in Texas;
- Bank statements reflecting a Texas address for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date;
- Written statements from the office of one or more social service agencies, attesting to the provision of services for at least the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date.
- Lease or rental of residential real property in the name of the person or the dependent's parent for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date.
-Other Documents that May be Used to Lend Support to or Clarify an Individual's Claim of Domicile or Residence, as Appropriate, in Texas.
Among other documents that may be used to lend support to or clarify an individual's claim of having established and maintained domicile or residence, as appropriate, in Texas are the following:
- Tax return of the student or parent(s).
- Visa, passport or other pertinent immigration documents.
- Leave and Earnings Statements (LES).
- Documents or statements to clarify answers to Core Residency Questions.
- A Texas high school transcript to verify thirty-six months' presence in the state and graduation from a Texas high school.
- State of Texas or local (Texas) licenses to conduct a business or practice a profession in this state.
Where do I submit my proof of residency?
Proof of residency should be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records.
Oath of Residency
§54.0521 of the Texas Education Code requires an oath of residency. The student is responsible for providing proof of residency documentation as required by the public institution of higher education. If there is any question as to right to classification as a resident of Texas, it is the student's obligation, prior to or at the time of enrollment, to raise the question with the administrative officials of the institution in which he or she is enrolling for official determination. Students classified as Texas residents must affirm the correctness of that classification as part of the admission procedure. If the student's classification as a resident becomes inappropriate for any reason, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the proper administrative officials at the institution. Failure to notify the institution constitutes a violation of the oath of residency and may result in disciplinary action and/or other penalties.
Special Notice for Undocumented Students
Senate Bill 1528 (formerly HB - 1403), states that an individual shall be classified as a Texas resident until the individual establishes a residence outside this state.
- Graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this state;
- Resided in the state of Texas for at least 36 months prior to graduation from a Texas public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma (GED);
- Provides to the institution an affidavit stating that the individual will file an application to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so.
As a Non-Resident student it is your obligation to apply for Permanent Resident status as soon as you are eligible to do so.
Note: For further information contact your personal attorney or contact your local Immigration Services.