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DACA and In-State Tuition in Virginia.

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Simon Y. Sandoval-Moshenberg, Esq. (703) 684-1100

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DACA and In-State Tuition in Virginia

Information accurate as of May 19, 2014. This presentation is intended to provide general legal information and is not a substitute for legal advice. Each case is different, and you should consult a qualified immigration attorney if you have questions about your own DACA status. Notario publicos are not attorneys and are not qualified to give you legal advice.

Simon Y. Sandoval-Moshenberg, Esq. (703) 684-1100


April 29, 2014: Atty. Gen. Herring


Who can qualify for in-state?

Had DACA for one full year prior to first day of class


You need to APPLY for

in-state tuition.

No-one’s tuition status will be

upgraded automatically.


Qualifying for In-State Tuition in VA

Need to prove:

  • Student has eligible legal status

    • DACA for one year prior to the start of classes

  • Student has Virginia domicile

    • “Present, fixed home . . . Intends to stay indefinitely.”

  • Clear and convincing evidence to rebut presumption that student shares parents’ domicile

    • Undocumented parents  no Virginia domicile

    • You need to prove that you do have Virginia domicile, even though your parents cannot


  • New students: Apply for in-state tuition status along with application to college.

  • Continuing students: Need to apply to change domicile (tuition) status.

    • Go to registrar’s office, tell them you’ve had DACA for over a year and want to apply for in-state, fill out the form they give you, attach the documents they tell you to attach.


How to answer the questions?

  • “Visa Type,” “Citizenship,” etc: “DACA”

  • “Expiration date:” “DATE, but indefinitely renewable.”

  • “Parents provide over half of your financial support?”

  • “Are you receiving federal financial aid?”

  • “Why did you initially move to Virginia?

    • “To live here permanently” – GOOD answer

    • “To get an education” – BAD answer

  • “Do you presently intend to remain indefinitely?”


What documents to attach?

  • Rule #1: Give them whatever they ask for.

  • Rule #2: If you don’t have something they ask for, given them something else, and explain why you don’t have what they asked for.


Examples of documents to attach

  • Proof of DACA: Copy of I-797C Notice of Action; work permit with (c)(33) code

  • Proof of Virginia domicile:

    • VA high school transcript or diploma

    • VA state tax returns

    • VA driver’s license / car registration

    • Lease or title to house, or letter from landlord/parents

    • Cell phone bills, bank statements

    • PAYSTUBS

      All of these documents should go back one year


Optional: Brief one-page personal statement *(NOVA does not want)

My name is Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg. My parents brought me to Virginia when I was four years old, to live permanently. I went to school in Virginia, and most of my family and friends are in Virginia. I am involved in the following community activities in Virginia / I am a member of the following churches, community organizations, etc... I work at XXX job in Virginia, and pay Virginia state taxes. (OR: This is my first year working, and I am having VA state taxes withheld.) I consider Virginia my only home and plan to remain here indefinitely after graduation.


NOVA: “Notarized letter from parents stating exact date you moved to VA”

To Whom It May Concern: I write to confirm that my son/daughter, NAME, moved to Virginia on DATE. Sincerely, PARENT’S NAME.

  • Can notarize at bank; need ID

  • No need to pay a notariopublicoto prepare the letter – you can do this yourself.


Undocumented parents?

  • Answer all questions honestly, including questions about parents’ legal status. Schools will not report to ICE/law enforcement

  • “Legal status” – None.

  • “Why did you move to VA?” – “To live here permanently.”

  • “Employment” – Include all, even if off-the-books


MD driver’s license?

  • If you (DACA student) have, or ever had, a Maryland driver’s license, RETURN IT TO THE MARYLAND DMV IMMEDIATELY.

    • Don’t just throw it out / toss it in a drawer.

  • Answer all questions honestly . . . But there’s no need to volunteer information that you aren’t asked.

  • “Do you have a driver’s license? If so, from what state?”


DEADLINES MATTER.

  • Each school has its own deadline for each semester.

  • If deadline is approaching, FILE SOMETHING – even if just the form and a copy of your DACA approval – you can add documents later.


  • What if my in-state tuition request is still pending as of the first day of classes?

  • What to do if denied?

    • Check your mail every day.

    • Deadlines are short, and extremely strict.

    • FILE YOUR OWN APPEAL before the deadline.

      • Each school has its own appeal form – different form from original application

    • Call Legal Aid Justice Center, (703) 778-3450… but don’t wait to hear back from us before you appeal.


FAFSA?


  • Other statuses?

    • Green card, TPS, A, E, G, H-1B, H-4, K, L, P, R, T, U, asylum, refugee, withholding of removal, pending I-485

    • www.schev.edu/students/vadomicileguidelines.asp

  • DACA renewal?

    • 4 months prior to expiration

    • Bring renewal receipt, and new DACA approval, to registrar’s office to update your file


  • Q: I haven’t yet applied for DACA, can I still apply for DACA?

    • A: YES

    • Do it now! Don’t wait until you graduate high school – because you will have to wait about 1½ years (½ year processing time, then one year with DACA status) before you can qualify for in-state tuition.


Questions?

Special thanks to Jorge Velasquez

(George Mason U. ‘14, Mason DREAMers)

for designing this presentation.


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