There was a possibility for my parents to obtain a green card in the US. Every process was complete and we were waiting for the embassy to call us for an interview. But COVID-19 hit and the offices had to close. So, I had an initial plan of going to the US and staying there for a year with my parents so that I could be eligible for in-state tuition rates and then apply to public universities of the state where I would live in. Since things didn't go as I expected to, I had to apply as an international student this year. I didn't get into a college near my probable state of living (Virginia). If things work out and my parents get to move to Virginia this year, I will be attending a college in another state as an international student because that's where I have received good financial aid. So, after a year or so, I am planning to transfer to a public university in Virginia once my parents obtain residency and live there for 12 months. Will I be considered for in-state tuition rates if I transfer from a college in another state? My immigration will have changed by then because I am my parents' dependent.
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This is a great question. I don't know for sure -- and a quick review of Virginia law provides not a lot more clarity -- but I'll give you my rough sense. Technically, as a dependent, you can claim your parents' domicile, and you will have cleared the functional hurdle for being considered for in-state tuition rates. However, when are transferring, as a student that was attending your first year as an international student, the onus is going to be on you to convince the admissions office that you qualify for in-state rates. 1. That means convincing the admissions office that you are not residing in the state solely for the education / to receive the in-state tuition, which disqualifies you from the in-state rate, and 2. by virtue of having attended an out of state school, even though your domicile will be placed in Virginia by virtue of being your parents' dependent, my intuition tells me that admissions offices would be skeptical of "residency" claims. Long story short: it seems unlikely, but I can't tell you that the answer is a no -- it may be worth reaching out to the admissions office of the school in question and simply asking them this exact point.
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