Establishing Residency

Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on graduation from high school and the other based on the establishment of domicile. The option related to establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students who hold certain types of visas.

Option 1: Residency through High School Graduation

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students.

To establish residency through high school graduation, you must

  1. Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
  2. Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
  3. Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at Sul Ross State University (or another college or university).

If you are an international student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must submit a Residency Affidavit stating that you will apply for permanent residency when you are eligible to do so.

Option 2: Residency by Establishing Domicile

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to

  • Citizens or permanent residents of the US (Non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.)
  • International students who hold an eligible visa.

If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s) claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish and maintain a domicile in the state for you to claim residency.

To establish domicile, you or your parent(s) must physically reside in the state of Texas with the intent to maintain adomicile in Texas for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term of enrollment.

Although not conclusive or exhaustive, the following factors occurring throughout at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the semester in which a person seeks to enroll may lend support to a claim regarding his/her intent to establish and maintain domicile in Texas:

  • Gainful employment in Texas (Student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment.)
  • Sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent’s parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence
  • Ownership and operation of a business in Texas
  • Marriage for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas

An individual whose initial purpose for moving to Texas is to attend an institution of higher education as a full-time student will be presumed not to have the required intent to make Texas his or her domicile; however, the presumption may be overruled by clear and convincing evidence. It is the burden of the student to provide this evidence.

An individual shall not ordinarily be able to establish domicile by performing acts which are directly related to fulfilling educational objectives or which are required or routinely performed by temporary residents of the State.