Documentation of Citizenship or Immigration Status

Eligible Categories

Students must meet one of the following classifications to receive federal student aid:

  • U.S. citizen or national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island);

  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card).

The term U.S. citizen includes citizens of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the northern Mariana Islands. All U.S. citizens are considered to be U.S. nationals; but not all nationals are U.S. citizens. Natives of American Samoa and Swain's Island are non-citizen nationals and are eligible for federal student aid.

If not in one of these categories, students must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service showing one of the following designations:

  • "Refugee"

  • "Asylum Granted"

  • "Indefinite Parole" and/or "Humanitarian Parole"

  • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending"

  • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980).

Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are eligible only for Federal Pell Grants, FSEOGs, or Federal Work-Study. They may not receive federal educational loans.

Ineligible Categories

Students who have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464) are not eligible for federal student aid.

Students who have been granted relief from deportation under Family Unity Program ["family unity status"] and students allowed to live and work as "temporary residents" in the U.S. under the Legalization or Special Agricultural Worker program are not eligible for federal student aid. (These categories became non-eligible categories with welfare reform legislation {P.L. 104-193] and immigration reform legislation [P.L. 104-208] enacted in 1996.)

Persons who are in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas such as F1 or F2 student visa, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitors visa, are not eligible for federal student aid unless they also have an I-94 with one of the eligible endorsements.