Citizenship Requirements

Citizenship Requirements

In order to be eligible for federal financial aid, the student must be one of the following:

    • A U.S. citizen or national (by birth or naturalization)
    • A U.S. permanent resident
    • Citizens of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands
    • Other eligible noncitizens

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Am I a US Citizen (US National)?

Am I an eligible non-citizen?

What if I am not a citizen or an eligible non-citizen?

Do I need to provide proof of my citizenship status?

What is acceptable documentation of my citizenship status?

What if my citizenship status has changed?

Am I a US Citizen (US National)?

A U.S. citizen (or U.S. national) is a person who was born in the United States or became a citizen by naturalization.

    • Persons (except for the children of foreign diplomatic staff) who are born in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in most cases, Puerto Rico (PR), the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI), Guam (GU), and the Northern Marianna Islands (MP) are U.S. citizens, as are most persons born abroad to parents (or a parent) who are citizens.
    • All U.S. citizens are considered to be U.S. nationals, but not all nationals are citizens:
            • Natives of American Samoa and Swain’s Island (AS) are not U.S. citizens but are nationals.

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Am I an eligible non-citizen?

Generally, you are an eligible non-citizen if you are one of the following:

    • U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or "Green Card”)
    • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
    • Other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Indefinite Parole,” “Humanitarian Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”
    • A citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM).

You can receive federal student aid if you are an eligible noncitizen. You must enter your eight or nine digit Alien Registration Number (ARN) on the FAFSA.

If your citizenship status has changed from an eligible noncitizen to a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your citizenship status. If you do not update your citizenship status with the SSA, it could delay processing your student financial aid. To contact the SSA call 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration's Web site at www.ssa.gov.

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What if I am not a citizen or an eligible non-citizen?

You are considered neither citizen nor eligible noncitizen if you are in the U.S. and have:

    • Been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    • A F1 or F2 student visa
    • A J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa
    • A G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)
    • Other categories not included under U.S. citizen and eligible noncitizen

If you are neither a citizen nor an eligible noncitizen, you are not eligible for federal student aid. If you have a Social Security Number but are not a citizen or an eligible noncitizen, including if you have been granted DACA, you should still complete the FAFSA because you may be eligible for state aid.

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Do I need to provide proof of my citizenship status?

To qualify for federal student aid, certain eligible noncitizens must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that they are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Click here for information regarding acceptable documentation for your specific citizenship status.

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What is acceptable documentation of my citizenship status?

To view examples of acceptable documentation based on your specific citizenship status, please click here.  

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What if my citizenship status has changed?

If your citizenship status has changed from an eligible noncitizen to a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your citizenship status. If you do not update your citizenship status with the SSA, it could delay processing your student financial aid. To contact the SSA call 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration's Web site at www.ssa.gov.

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