Domicile is the present, fixed home of an individual to which he or she returns following temporary absences and at which he or she intends to remain indefinitely. Domicile in the Common wealth must be established 12 months prior to the first day of class.
Intent, together with physical presence, establishes domicile (residency). The tuition law lists several factors which can be used to determine if intent has been established. No one factor is sufficient. In determining domiciliary intent, all of the following factors applicable to the individual are considered:
- payment of Virginia state income tax as a resident
- registering to vote in Virginia
- ownership of real property in Virginia
- acceptance of permanent employment in Virginia
- obtaining a Virginia motor vehicle operator's license
- registration of a motor vehicle in Virginia
- continuous residence in the state of Virginia for at least one year prior to the first day of classes
- sources of financial support
- location of checking or savings accounts or other economic relationship to Virginia
- any other factors which are peculiar to the individual which tend to establish intent to make Virginia one's permanent home.
The burden is assumed by the applicant to provide as much information and documentation as appropriate to support intent. There is no one set of criteria applied to an individual to document peculiar circumstances.
Substantial Financial Support
Substantial financial support means financial support in an amount which equals or exceeds that required to qualify the individual to be listed as a dependent on federal and state income tax returns (more than 50%).
Any student who is listed as a dependent on the federal or state income tax return of his or her parent or legal guardian or who receives substantial financial support from his or her parents or legal guardian.
Any student whose parents have surrendered the right to his or her care, custody and earnings, have ceased to support him or her, and have not claimed him or her as a dependent on federal and state income tax returns for at least 12 months prior to the date of the alleged entitlement.
An emancipated minor is a student under the age of 18 whose parents or guardians have surrendered the right to his or her care, custody and earnings and who no longer claim him or her as a dependent for tax purposes.
A legal guardian is someone appointed by the court with personal or financial responsibility for a minor. Note: Court verification that the appointment was not for tuition purposes and that parents do not contribute to the minor's support is required routinely.