U.S. Citizen and Eligible Non-Citizen Information
U.S. Citizen and Eligible Non-Citizens:
A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to be eligible for federal Title IV or State of Georgia student aid. State of Georgia aid programs (including the HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships) also require the eligible non-citizen status to have been granted from 12 to 24 months prior to the first day of classes of the term for which the student wishes to receive the state aid. A parent of a dependent undergraduate student who wishes to borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan must also be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
The general requirement for eligible non-citizens is they are in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or lawful permanent resident as evidenced by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). To be considered for financial assistance administered by the Office of Student Financial Aid, you must have one of the following citizenship or eligible resident classifications:
- U.S. Citizen. If the Social Security
Administration is unable to confirm a student's U.S. Citizenship during
FAFSA processing, the student must provide documents to the UGA Office
of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) proving citizenship. Examples of
acceptable documentation of U.S. Citizenship are:
- A copy of the student's birth certificate reflecting he or she was born in the United States, which includes Puerto Rico (on or after January 13, 1941), Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swain's Island, or the Northern Mariana Islands, unless the person was born to foreign diplomats residing in the U.S.
- A U.S Passport, current or expired, (except limited passports which are typically issued for short periods such as a year). In the case of nationals who are not citizens, the passport will be stamped "Noncitizen National". The State Department issues wallet-sized passport cards that can be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. This document also confirms U.S. citizenship.
- A copy of Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), FS-545 (Certificate of birth issued by a foreigh service post), or DS-1350 (Certification of Report of Birth). These are State Department documents.
- A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561), issued by the USCIS to individuals who derive U.S. Citizenship through a parent.
- A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570), issued by USCIS through a federal or state court, or through administrative naturalization after December 1990 to those who are individually naturalized.
- U.S. National (includes natives of American Samoa, Swain's Island, or the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands)
- U.S. Permanent Resident who has:
- A Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 since 1997), or
- A Resident Alien Card (Form I-551 before 1997), or
- An Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151, issued prior to June 1978), or
- An Arrival/Departure Record (CBP Form I-94) or the Departure Record (Form I-94Awhich is used at land border points of entry with the endorsement "Processed for I-551. Temporary Evidence of Lawful Admission for Permanent Residence. Valid until (Date Cannot Have Passed). Employment Authorized.", or
- A machine readable immigrant visa (MRIV) in the holder's passport. The MRIV will have an admission stamp, and the statement "UPON ENDORSEMENT SERVES AS TEMPORARY I-551 EVIDENCING PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR 1 YEAR" which appears directly above the machine readable section. An MRIV with this statement, contained in an unexpired foreign passport and endorsed with the admission stamp, constitutes a temporary I-551, valid for one year from the date of endorsement on the stamp.
- A United States Travel Document (mint green cover), which replaces the Reentry Permit (Form I-327) and the Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571). It is used by lawful permanent residents (as well as refugees and asylees) and is annotated with "Permit to Reenter Form I-327 (Rev. 9-2-03)."
- Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the republics of Palau and Marshall Islands.
Note: Citizens of Palau are eligible only for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant or Federal Work-Study (FWS). Citizens of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are only eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. None of these students are eligible for Federal Direct Student Loans.
- For eligible noncitizens other than permanent residents:
- Refugees with a Form I-94 or I-94A annotated with a stamp showing admission under Section 207 of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA). Also acceptable is the old Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571) or the newer U.S. Travel Document cited in paragraph 6. above annotated with "Refugee Travel Document Form I-571 (Rev. 9-2-03)."
with a Form I-94 or I-94A and a stamp reflecting admission under
Section 208 of the INA, or the same travel documents cited in 6.
Note: A refugee or an asylee may apply for permanent resident status and may have an I-94 that includes the endorsement "209a (or 209b) pending. Employment Authorized." These students are eligible for federal student aid funds if the I-94 has not expired.
- Parolees with a Form I-94 or I-94A with a stamp indicating they have been paroled into the United States for at least one year, with a date that has not expired.
- Cuban-Haitian entrants with a Form I-94 indicating they have been classified as a "Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending). Reviewable January 15, 1981. Employment authorized until January 15, 1981." This document is valid even if the expiration date has passed. However, if the I-94 is stamped "applicant for permanent residence", the Cuban-Haitian entrant is not eligible for federal student aid and must request documentation of permanent residency status from the USCIS.
- Victims of Human Trafficking are entitled to the same benefits as refugees under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). Because this status is certified by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and not the DHS, these students must submit their certification or eligibility letter from the HHS to us for review and subsequent contact with the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The spouse , child or parent of a trafficking victim might be eligible for aid, but will have a T-visa (e.g., T-2 or T-3) which must be submitted to us along with the certification letter.
- "Battered Immigrants-Qualified Aliens". The student must submit a copy of DHS-USCIS I-797, Notice of Action form to OSFA for review. OSFA will then inform the applicant of any additional steps or additional documents needed to confirm his or her federal student aid eligibility. Students applying for federal Title IV aid as eligible non-citizens whose citizenship status is not electronically confirmed by the FAFSA process must provide OSFA with documentation. OSFA will then initiate a secondary confirmation process with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The confirmation of an eligible citizenship status must be received before students can be awarded any aid.
IMPORTANT: Recent guidance from the Department of Education now requires institutions to view original documents when verifying citizenship statuses for federal aid purposes. Before aid can be disbursed you must visit the Office of Student Financial Aid and provide your original citizenship documentation for review. DO NOT MAIL ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS TO OUR OFFICE.
Persons with non-immigrant visas (includes those with work visas, students, visitors and foreign government officials) are not eligible for federal or state of Georgia aid. Following are examples of these Visas, but the list is not all inclusive: F-1, F-2, or M-1 Student Visas, B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa; J-1 or J-2 Exchange Visitor Visa; H or L series Visas (which allow temporary employment in the U.S.), or a G series Visa (pertaining to international organizations), or a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), an I-94 stamped "Temporary Protected Status" or an approved Form I-817 "Application for Family Unity Benefits" ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for any financial assistance administered by this office.
The following are only suggestions and not the responsibility of the Office of Student Financial Aid. International students who are in need of assistance can contact the Office of International Education. International students ineligible for federal aid should visit the Scholarship Announcement section of the OSFA website. Students should also contact the department in which they plan to study to check for departmental scholarships, assistantships, or stipends. International students should research companies, organizations, or the government from their home country as possible sources of funding. In most cases, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services strictly prohibits students from working off-campus during the first year of study. An international student should not expect to fund a large portion of his or her expenses by working.
For more scholarship information, international students may check the following Web sites:
This list is only suggestive. The Office of Student Financial Aid does not endorse or confirm the business practices of any organization.