The following words and terms, when used in reference to residency, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

Census Date: The date in an academic term at which an institution is required to certify a person’s enrollment in the institution for the purposes of determining state funding for the institution.

Clear and Convincing Evidence: The degree of proof that will produce a firm conviction or a firm belief as to the facts sought to be established. The evidence must justify the claim both clearly and convincingly.

Continuing Education: A person who was enrolled in an institution of higher learning for any part of the previous state fiscal year.

Dependent: A person who: (A) is less than 18 years of age and has not been emancipated by marriage or court order; or (B) is eligible to be claimed as a dependent of a parent of the person for purposes of determining the parent’s income tax liability under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Domicile: A person’s principal, permanent residence to which the person intends to return after any temporary absence.

Eligible for Permanent Resident Status: A person who has filed an I-485 application for permanent residency and has been issued a fee/filing receipt or notice of action by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing that his or her I-485 has been reviewed and not been rejected.

Established Domicile in Texas: Physically residing in Texas with the intent to maintain domicile in Texas for at least the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term of enrollment, allowing for documented temporary absences.

Gainful Employment: Employment intended to provide an income to a person or allow a person to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care) and that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual’s tuition and living expenses or that represents an average of at least 20 hours of employment per week. A person who is self-employed or who is living off his/her earnings may be considered gainfully employed for purposes of establishing residency, as may a person whose primary support is public assistance. Employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment.

Independent Student: A student 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor who is not claimed by a parent or legal guardian as a dependent for federal income tax purposes during the tax year.

International Texas Resident: Student who is eligible to maintain a domicile in the U.S. under residency rules and regulations and has met the basic residency requirements and thus is eligible to pay the resident tuition rate and be considered a Texas resident for tuition purposes.

International Student: Individuals from countries other than the United States who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

Maintain Domicile: To physically reside in Texas such that the person intends to always return to the state after a temporary absence. The maintenance of domicile is not interrupted by a temporary absence from the state.

Parent: A natural or adoptive parent, managing or possessory conservator or court-appointed legal guardian of a person. The term would not otherwise include a step-parent.

Residence: A person’s home or other dwelling place; where a person resides.

Temporary Absence: Absence from the State of Texas by a person who has established domicile in the state, with the intention to return, generally for a period of short duration (i.e., less than one year). For example, the temporary absence of a person or a dependent’s parent from the state for the purpose of service in the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, as a result of an employment assignment, or for educational purposes, shall not affect a person’s ability to continue to claim that Texas is his or her domicile.