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Texas Residency Overview

Texas law classifies each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university as: 

  • A resident of Texas; 
  • A nonresident; or 
  • A foreign (international) student. 

How you’re classified is important because it determines eligibility to be included in the Texas Residents applicant pool. Texas state law requires that no more than 10% of the entering classes of medical and dental schools can be made up of non-Texas residents. TMDSAS makes residency determinations for admission purposes only, not for tuition, which is done at the time of matriculation. 

 

Determining Residency 

When you submit your TMDSAS application, the system makes an initial residency determination. When in processing, a residency specialist will review the application in greater detail to either confirm or change the system’s residency determination according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules for establishing residency

If the submitted information indicates you aren’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but that you may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, you will be prompted by the application to download and submit the Residency Affidavit. It must be completed, signed, notarized and submitted to TMDSAS. 

 

Option 1: Residency through High School Graduation

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the US and to international students (with certain eligible visa types). 

To establish residency through high school graduation, you must have: 

  • Graduated from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and 
  • Lived in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and 
  • Lived in Texas continuously for the 12 months immediately preceding the application deadline, October 1 

 

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

 

Requirements

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 by the application deadline, October 1; and 
  • Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline, October 1, as evidenced by: 
  • Gainful Employment in Texas - Gainful employment is employment intended to provide an income to a person or allow a person to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care) that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual’s tuition and living expenses or that represents an average of at least twenty hours of employment per week. A person who is self-employed, employed as a homemaker or who is living off his/her earnings may be considered gainfully employed for tuition purposes, as may a person whose primary support is public assistance. Employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute 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

Click here for a list of documents to prove the establishment of residency through domicile: Have these documents ready as TMDSAS will need them to process your application.  

 

Residency Determination Disclosures 

Residency can change during the application period. All schools are notified at the time a change of residency occurs. It will be up to each school's discretion to determine which pool an applicant will be placed in if eligibility for reclassification occurs after the deadline for filing an application but before matriculation into medical school. 

 

Residency Appeals 

If, after final processing of your application, you have been classified as a non-Texas resident, you have the option to appeal your residency determination.

To appeal your determination, you must write a letter stating why you should be considered a Texas resident and providing any additional information to state your case further. Your letter should be addressed to the Residency Appeals Committee. The committee will review the information you submit and make a determination; the decision of the Residency Appeals Committee is final. 

Click here to submit your appeal.   

 

Residency Appeals Process 

During processing, the initial residency determination that was made based on the information entered in the [Proof of Residency] section by the applicant is reviewed. If the applicant is determined to be a non-Texas Resident, the Residency Specialist will conduct a further evaluation and may request any necessary documentation from the applicant to issue an official determination.

Upon transmission of the application to the intended institution(s), the applicant will receive an email notification from TMDSAS. The applicant will have the opportunity to review the application and the decisions of TMDSAS regarding their residency status.

The TMDSAS Residency Review Committee will review all appeals on a case-by-case basis and will make a residency determination that is final. 

Beginning an Appeal:

  • Include your name and TMDSAS ID #
  • Provide justification for how you meet one of the requirements for Texas residency as listed here. 
  • Attach supporting documentation as listed here. 

Click here to initiate an appeal.

 

How long does the residency appeal process take? 

Residency appeal decisions will be made 10-15 days after receipt of all required information and documentation.

 

Texas Residency Determinations for Non-U.S. Citizens

Applicants who are not US citizens and are here on a Visa or are a Permanent Resident must submit a copy (both front and back) of their Permanent Resident card or visa stamp in their passport to TMDSAS. This documentation can be uploaded directly to the application via the [Residency Documents] section. The documents can also be mailed to TMDSAS. If mailed, include your full name and TMDSAS ID on the copy.

Foreign national applicants whose application for Permanent Resident Status has been preliminarily reviewed should have received a fee/filing receipt or Notice of Action (I-797) from USCIS indicating the I-485 has been reviewed and has not been rejected. These applicants must submit a copy of the fee/filing receipt or Notice of Approval to TMDSAS. This documentation can be uploaded directly to the application or mailed in to TMDSAS. If mailed, include your full name and TMDSAS ID on the copy.

 

Notice to applicants without U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident status

The following dental schools will only review and consider for admissions applicants who are U.S. citizens or legal Permanent Residents of the U.S.: 

  • UT School of Dentistry at Houston 
  • UT Dental School at San Antonio 

The following medical schools will only review and consider for admissions applicants who are U.S. citizens or legal Permanent Residents of the U.S.: 

  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School 
  • UT Medical Branch at Galveston 
  • Long School of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio 
  • McGovern Medical School (formerly The University of Texas HSC at Houston Medical School) 
  • UT Austin Dell Medical School 
  • UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine 
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine 
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine 
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso

The medical school listed below will review and consider for admissions international applicants, U.S. citizens and legal Permanent Residents of the U.S.: 

  • University of North Texas - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

 

Residency Glossary 

For definitions of words and terms, when used in reference to residency please refer to the Residency Glossary.

If Texas residency is questionable, TMDSAS may request that the applicant provide documentation to support answers to the Core Residency Questions and/or information provided in Section G of the questions.