New Residency Guidelines Will Help A&M International Foreign Students

Some foreign students at Texas A&M International University may be able to save thousands of dollars in tuition costs thanks to new policy guidelines determining residency of aliens.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has identified additional visa classifications under which aliens may be considered Texas residents for tuition purposes, explained Maria Rosillo, director of admissions at A&M International.

Under the previous residency rule, holders of visas with A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, K, or OP-1 classifications; and individuals classified by INS as Refugees, Asylees, Parolees, Conditional Permanent Residents (holding I-551 cards which have not expired), and Temporary Residents (holding I-688 cards which have not expired) were eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes. Effective Fall 2000 the following visa types are also eligible: A-3, E-1, E-2, G-5, H-1B, I, L-1, L-2, NATO 6, NATO 7, O-1, O-2, O-3, R-1, and R-2.

Visa holders must meet basic residency requirements before they can be considered residents for tuition purpose. Those basic residency requirements include residence in Texas for at least 12 months, establishment of a domicile in Texas (12 months physical presence in the state with the intent to make it your permanent home) and gainful employment in the state for 12 months.

Rosillo said students who provide proof that they qualify for residency under the new criteria will pay Texas resident tuition effective this Fall.

By state law, students who attend Texas public institutions of higher education and are non-residents of the State of Texas are charged additional tuition. Non-resident tuition for a full-time student attending a public university is approximately $6,000 more per year than resident tuition and non-resident tuition for a student at a public community or technical college is substantially more as well.

"We encourage foreign students to take advantage of these new policy guidelines and register for courses at A&M International. Students who have questions about the new guidelines are welcome to visit the University's Office of Admissions for more information," she said.

Fall 2000 courses at A&M International began Aug. 23 with late registration ongoing through Sept. 1.

For more information, contact A&M International's Office of Admissions at 326-2200 or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 155. The Office of Admissions is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu