Citizenship or Lawful Presence

Citizenship or Lawful Presence

Effective October 1, 2012, the Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA) requires public colleges and universities to verify that any student seeking state public benefit (in-state tuition and fees) is either a “United States citizen” or “lawfully present” in the United States.

You may verify your U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, it may take weeks for FAFSA to verify your citizenship status. You will be charged out of state fees until you are verified.

If you are a U.S. citizen you may verify your citizenship by presenting one of the following:

  1. A valid non-temporary Tennessee driver license or photo identification license issued by the Department of Safety; or
    1. A valid non-temporary driver license or photo identification license from another state (except New Mexico or Utah);
  2. An official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction or territory, including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, Guam; Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, shall not be recognized;
  3. A U.S. government-issued certified birth certificate;
  4. A valid, unexpired U.S. passport;
  5. A U.S. certificate of birth abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545);
  6. A report of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S. (FS-240);
  7. A certificate of citizenship (N560 or N561 );
  8. A certificate of naturalization (N550, N570 or N578);
  9. A U.S. citizen identification card (1-197, 1-179);

If you are lawfully present in the U.S. you may verify your legal presence by presenting two (2) of the following:

  1. A valid non-temporary Tennessee driver license or photo identification license issued by the Department of Safety; or
    1. A valid driver license or photo identification license from another state (except New Mexico or Utah);
  2. Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551);
  3. Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with visa stamped “Processed for I-551”;
  4. Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327);
  5. Refugee Travel Document (I-571);
  6. Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766);
  7. Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94);
  8. Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with valid visa;
  9. Notice of Approval Status with bottom I-94 portion attached (Form I-797);
  10. Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (Form I-20); and
  11. DS-2019 or IAP-66 for J-1 status holder;
  12. Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card; and
  13. Any other document determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be acceptable through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program created pursuant to the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

If you are lawfully present in the United States, but unable to present two (2) forms of documentation establishing lawful presence in the United States please contact the Admissions Office.

Students who have had their lawful presence verified through the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) are not required to submit additional documentation (e.g., J-1 and F-1 student visa holders).