PA 07-135—sHB 5656 (VETOED)

Human Services Committee

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Appropriations Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION

SUMMARY: This act extends in-state tuition status to undocumented immigrants residing in Connecticut who meet certain criteria. By law, with limited exceptions, determination of in-state tuition status is based on an applicant's domicile, that is, his “true, fixed and permanent home” and the place where he intends to remain and return to when he leaves. Undocumented immigrants are not considered to be domiciled in Connecticut.

Under the act, anyone qualifies for in-state tuition, except a nonimmigrant alien (someone with a visa permitting temporary entrance to the country for a specific purpose), if he or she:

1. resides in Connecticut;

2. attended any educational institution in the state and completed at least four years of high school here;

3. graduated from a high school in Connecticut, or the equivalent; and

4. is registered as an entering student, or is currently a student at, UConn, a Connecticut State University, a community-technical college, or Charter Oak State College.

By law, “resides” means continuous and permanent physical presence within the state. The establishment of residence is not affected by temporary absence for short periods of time.

If the individual is an undocumented immigrant, he or she must file an affidavit with the college stating that he or she has applied to legalize his or her immigration status or will do so as soon as he or she is eligible to apply. (Currently, undocumented immigrants who apply for student visas or lawful permanent resident status are subject to deportation. Thus, they are not eligible to apply until federal law is amended to allow them to do so. )

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2007

BACKGROUND

In-State Tuition Status

With limited exceptions, anyone whose domicile is outside Connecticut is not eligible for in-state tuition. An unemancipated person's domicile is that of his or her parent, except in limited situations. An emancipated person must live in Connecticut for at least one year before his or her domicile here is established. By law, the spouse of anyone eligible for in-state tuition status is also eligible for it.

OLR Tracking: RP: GC: JL: dw