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DACA and In-State Tuition in Virginia.

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Simon y sandoval moshenberg esq 703 684 1100

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

Who can qualify for in state
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
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
How to answer the questions? application to college.

  • “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
What documents to attach? application to college.

  • 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
Examples of documents to attach application to college.

  • 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


      All of these documents should go back one year

Optional brief one page personal statement nova does not want
Optional: Brief one-page personal statement application to college.*(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
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
Undocumented parents? you moved to VA”

  • 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
MD driver’s license? you moved to VA”

  • 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
DEADLINES MATTER. you moved to VA”

  • 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? the first day of classes?

  • Other statuses? the first day of classes?

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


  • DACA renewal?

    • 4 months prior to expiration

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

Questions? DACA?

Special thanks to Jorge Velasquez

(George Mason U. ‘14, Mason DREAMers)

for designing this presentation.