Lawful Presence

In accordance with University System of Georgia policy, students admitted to Georgia Tech must verify their lawful presence in the United States prior to enrollment. Students in Deferred Action status do not qualify for enrollment based on USG policy.  Here's what you need to know about the policy if you are a U.S. citizen or a non U.S. citizen.  

U.S. Citizens

Applicants who submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), do not need to submit additional documentation unless requested. We will verify your lawful presence through the U.S. Department of Education. The FAFSA year must correspond with the term of admission. (Please note that this may take three to five business days to process.)

Otherwise, you may email a scanned image or photocopy of one of the following documents to

  • A current U.S. Passport. 
  • A U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS form N-550 or N-570).
  • A U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (USCIS form N-560 or N-561).
  • A U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (DS1350) or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240). For U.S. Birth Certificates, please see below.
  • A current Driver's License/ID issued by the State of Georgia after Jan. 1, 2008. A "limited term" license, a license/ID issued by a state other than Georgia, or a license issued for a period of less than two years is invalid for verification purposes.
  • A current military ID (service member only, not dependent). This document must be presented in-person to the Office of Graduate Studies; scanned, faxed, or photocopies of this document will not be accepted.
  • If none of the documents above are available, an original certified U.S. Birth Certificate (a birth registration card is not acceptable) showing the applicant was born in the United States or a U.S. territory must either be hand-delivered or sent in by postal mail. You may send it through postal mail with a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope, and we will return the original certificate to you. Our mailing address is:    

Office of Graduate Studies
Georgia Institute of Technology
631 Cherry St., Room 318
Atlanta, GA 30332-0321

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a U.S. Permanent Resident, please provide a front and back copy of your current, valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I-151 or I551).

If you are a pending U.S. Permanent Resident, please provide a copy of your pending I-485 receipt notice and your current visa.

If you are a noncitizen U.S. visa-holding applicant, please provide a copy of your current, valid visa and/or other immigration documentation. These may include:

  • I-327 (Reentry Permit)
  • I-571 (Refugee Travel Document)
  • I-766 (Employment Authorization Card)
  • Machine Readable Immigration Visa (with Temporary I-551 Language)
  • Temporary I-551 Stamp (on passport or I-94)
  • I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)
  • I-94 (Arrival Departure Record) in unexpired foreign passport
  • Unexpired foreign passport
  • I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant [F-1] Student Status)
  • DS2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor [J-1] Status)

If you are an F-1 or J-1 international student (if you will be an F-1 or J-1 student sponsored by Georgia Tech), you will meet with a representative from the Office of International Education upon arrival for mandatory immigration check-in to verify your immigration documents.

If you are a noncitizen residing outside of the United States or a U.S. territory and applying for distance education, you do not need to provide lawful presence documentation.

We understand these documents may not be available at the time you submit your application; however, lawful presence must be satisfied prior to enrollment. The approved documents outlined above, except U.S. birth certificates, may be scanned and emailed to Failure to provide this information will make you ineligible to register for classes and enroll at Georgia Tech.

For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

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