University System of Georgia Residency Policy

The following policies of the state of Georgia Board of Regents take effect for all incoming students to the University of Georgia beginning fall 2011.

4.3.4 Verification of Lawful Presence

Each University System institution shall verify the lawful presence in the United States of every successfully admitted person applying for resident tuition status and of every person admitted to an institution referenced in Section 4.1.6 of this Policy Manual.

4.1.6 Admission of Persons Not Lawfully Present in the United States

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). Based on these policies, an enrollment flag will prevent enrollment for anyone who has been admitted, but has not provided proof of lawful presence. Instructions for providing proof of lawful presence:

If you have already completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and named UGA as a recipient, then you may not need to take further action. Students who are either U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens (does not apply to international students on a visa) 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 receive 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 are not an immigrant on a visa, do not submit a FAFSA or the FAFSA process does not confirm your citizenship status, you will need to provide citizenship documentation to us. The following documents may be used for verification purposes. Only one document is required.

Email a copy of only one of the following to (file size less than 2 MB) or fax to (706)542-6330:

  • Current driver’s license issued by the state of Georgia after January 1, 2008
  • Current state-issued ID issued by the state of Georgia after January 1, 2008
  • Current military ID, submitted in person (service member only, not dependent)
  • Current U.S. passport
  • Current, valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I-151 or I-551)
  • S. Certificate of Citizenship (USCIS form N-560 or N-561)
  • S. Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS form N-550 or N-570)

– Or –

Mail or bring the original of only one of the following in person to: UGA Graduate Admissions, Terrell Hall, 210 S. Jackson St Athens, GA 30602:

  • Certificate of Birth issued by the Department of State (DS-1350) or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)
  • Certified Birth Certificate showing that you were born in the United States or a U.S. Territory; a photocopy is not acceptable.

We are not able to return these documents unless you include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. If you are not currently a U.S. citizen and you are not residing in the U.S. or if you are present in the U.S. as a U.S. permanent resident, you must submit alternate documentation to prove your lawful presence in the U.S.

F-1 or J-1 visa status students:

We will be able to confirm lawful presence through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS) for students on an F, J or M visa. These students will need to attend a mandatory immigration check in with the International student, Scholar and Immigration Services Office, and present to them the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa copy (may be expired for transfer students)
  • I-94 card indicating F-1 or J-1 status
  • I-20 form (F-1 students) or DS-2019 form (J-1 students)
Students holding other U.S. visa statuses:

Students holding alternate visa statuses that allow study will need to check in with the International student, Scholar and Immigration Services Office, and present to them the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa copy, if available (may be expired in some cases)
  • Unexpired I-94 card showing a visa status that allows study
  • I-797 approval notice showing approved change of status to a visa type that allows study
Students who are pending U.S immigrants (U.S. green card application is pending but not yet approved):

Students who are in the process of applying for U.S. permanent residency (“green card”) may show the following documents:

  • Copy of I-485 receipt notice, proving a pending green card application
  • Copy of a temporary work card based on the pending I-485 application

NOTE: Individuals holding B-1 or B-2 status are prohibited from studying in the U.S. F-2 visitors may study part-time. Students on a dependent status may only hold that dependent status until they turn 21 years of age; after 21, they must have their own independent visa status. If you have specific questions regarding your registration flag or your documentation, please contact