"Eligible noncitizen" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 9th January 2012
A U.S. permanent resident who has a Permanent Resident Card (I-551 or I-151); a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or a noncitizen who has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with one of the following designations: Refugee (including noncitizen victims of human trafficking), Asylum Granted, Parolee (the I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), T-Visa holder or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.
The Department of Education performs matches against the application to verify the student's citizenship status. In addition, there are procedures that you must follow to confirm a noncitizen's status through the DHS and SSA if the CPS matches don't confirm that status. A student's citizenship status only needs to be checked once during the award year; if the status is eligible at that time, it remains so for the rest of the award year.
A student must be a citizen or eligible noncitizen to receive aid from the FSA programs. The general requirement for eligible noncitizens is that they be in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or lawful permanent resident, as evidenced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The USCIS was briefly known as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services or BCIS, and before that it was the Immigration and Naturalization Service or INS.
When applying for federal or state financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or an eligible non-citizen. You are considered an eligible non-citizen if you meet ONE of the following criteria:
- U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
- U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card)
If you’re not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:
- "Asylum Granted"
- "Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending"
- "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
- "Victims of human trafficking, T-visa" (T-2, T-3, or T-4, etc.) holder
- "Parolee" (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)
The following documents are not considered in determining your eligibility for federal student aid:
- If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you aren’t eligible for federal student aid.
- If you’re in the United States on certain visas, including an F1 or F2 student visa, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, you’re not eligible for federal student aid.
- Also, persons with G series visas (pertaining to international organizations) are not eligible.
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, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and Federal Work-Study. For more information about other types of visas that are not acceptable, check with your school’s financial aid office.
Citizens and eligible non-citizens may receive loans from the Federal Direct Student Loan Program at participating foreign schools. 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, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, or Federal Work-Study. These applicants should check with their schools’ financial aid offices for more information.
For more details about eligible non-citizen to receive FSA, visit: http://ifap.ed.gov/sfahandbooks/attachments/0809FSAHbkVol1Ch2.pdf