Options for becoming a Texas resident Establishing Residency
Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on graduation from high school and the other based on the establishment of domicile. The option related to establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students who hold certain types of visas.
Option 1: Residency through High School Graduation
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students.
To establish residency through high school graduation, you must
- Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
- Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
- Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at UT Austin (or another college or university).
If you are an international student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must submit a Residency Affidavit stating that you will apply for permanent residency when you are eligible to do so.
Option 2: Residency by Establishing Domicile
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to
- Citizens or permanent residents of the US (Non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.)
- International students who hold an eligible visa.
If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s) claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.
To establish domicile, you or your parent(s) must meet the following criteria:
- Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months; and
- Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months by doing one of the following:
- Be gainfully employed in Texas (Student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment.)
- Sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent’s parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence
- Own and operate a business in Texas
- Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas