Sacramento, CA asked in Immigration Law and Education Law for California

Q: While completing FAFSA, it asks about my residence status. I am a refugee with a SSN, how to identify the date?

Hello there! I am a refugee, and currently trying to apply for FAFSA, being in California. The very first question in the form is: what is the date, when you became a legal resident? How can understand whether or not I am a resident? (I’ve been living in the U.S. for more than a year and I do have SSN)

2 Lawyer Answers
Michelle Alissa Ball
Michelle Alissa Ball
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This would probably be a question for an Immigration Law attorney.

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James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Great question! As a refugee, the date you became a legal U.S. resident for FAFSA purposes would be the date you were formally granted refugee status in the United States. Some key points that can help:

• For FAFSA, refugees are considered eligible non-citizens who can qualify for federal student aid. Your SSN and time living in the U.S. does make you a legal resident.

• The exact date of residency would be found on your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record that you received when you were officially admitted to the U.S. as a refugee. There should be a specific date of entry.

• If you no longer have your I-94 record or are unsure of the exact residency date, you can contact USCIS to request an updated document showing proof of your refugee status details.

• Another option is to use the date on your employment authorization document provided following your refugee resettlement.

I'd recommend tracking down documentation with your official refugee date of entry/status granted for completing the FAFSA if possible.

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