Domicile in Virginia

Your domicile determines whether you are eligible for in-state tuition and state grants

Domicile refers to the state where you legally reside, which may be different than your current address.

Your answers to domicile questions on your TCC application determine whether you will be considered an in-state student. Most TCC students are Virginia domiciled.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) provides general, descriptive information about establishing Virginia domicile in order to qualify for in-state tuition and state grants.

An overview of the basic requirements for demonstrating and/or establishing Virginia domicile is below. For more detailed information, please visit SCHEV's website.

Basic requirements

To establish domicile in Virginia, an individual must demonstrate residence in Virginia and an intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely.

To become eligible for in-state tuition, a student shall establish by clear and convincing evidence that for a period of at least one year immediately prior to the first day of class, he or she was domiciled in Virginia and has abandoned any previous domicile, or that the person on whom the student is legally and financially dependent was domiciled in Virginia.

Intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely - Domiciliary Intent

Several factors are used to determine if a person demonstrates intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely. A college or university may ask for information from you or your parents about the following factors: 

  • Continuous residence in Virginia
  • Social and economic ties
  • Ownership of real property
  • Sources of financial support
  • Current employment in Virginia
  • Enrollment in Virginia post-graduate program
  • Military records
  • State in which income taxes are paid
  • Voter registration, and actual voting
  • Driver's license
Under 24 and Self-Sufficient Hold

Students who indicate they are under 24 and self-sufficient on the application for admission are required to provide clear and convincing evidence of financial self-sufficiency.

The following documents should be provided in order to demonstrate Virginia domiciliary intent for tuition purposes:

  • Federal Taxes
  • Virginia State Taxes demonstrating paid Virginia income taxes on at least $14,500 (of earned income)
Dependent students

You are presumed dependent if you are under the age of 24, unless you meet any of the Independent categories below.

Virginia colleges and universities look at the parent's or guardian's domicile to determine if a dependent student is eligible for in-state tuition or state grants. A dependent student is one who receives substantial financial support from a parent or guardian.

The following documents should be provided in order to demonstrate Virginia domiciliary intent for tuition purposes:

  • Parent or Legal Guardians Federal Taxes and State Taxes
  • Virginia Drivers License or Virginia DMV I.D.
  • Virginia Vehicle Registration
Independent students

You are considered Independent if you:

  • Are married
  • You are a veteran or active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces
  • Have earned a bachelor's degree and are enrolled in a graduate program
  • You are a ward of the court or were a ward of the court until age 18
  • Both parents are deceased and you have no adoptive or legal guardian
  • You have legal dependents other than a spouse


If you are not classified as a dependent student, you may establish your own Virginia domicile.  

Married students

A person's domicile is not automatically altered by marriage. However, if a student receives substantial financial support from his or her spouse, the student may claim domicile through the spouse. In such cases, the college or university will look at the spouse's domicile to determine if the student is eligible for in-state. Qualifying spouse must meet Domicile Basic Requirements. (see above) 

Military, Dependents and Veterans

State law provides exceptions for active-duty military personnel, their dependents and veterans when it comes to being considered as domiciled in Virginia. For the most updated information, visit the SCHEV website.

Application for Military, Dependent and Veteran Exception

Non-Virginia Residents Employed in Virginia

A nondomiciliary student who physically lives outside of Virginia but who works full time in the Commonwealth may be eligible for in-state tuition. The student must:

  • Live outside Virginia (commute from outside Virginia to a work-site in Virginia)
  • Have been employed full time in Virginia for at least 1 year immediately prior to the first day of class
  • Paid Virginia income taxes on all taxable income earned in the Commonwealth for the tax year prior to the date of alleged entitlement


Dependent students living outside of Virginia will be eligible under this provision if the nonresident parent claiming him/her as a dependent meets the above criteria. Students may claim eligibility under this section only through dependency on parent(s), not spouse.

Students shall continue to be eligible for in-state tuition under this provision so long as they continue to meet the above criteria. It is incumbent upon the student to provide the institution current information concerning classification under this category.

Students who reside in a state with which Virginia has income tax reciprocity cannot qualify under this section for in-state tuition purposes.

Reclassification / Appeals

Recently Admitted Students - If you have recently applied (or re-applied) for admission and would like to challenge the out-of-state determination:

  1. Have your file reviewed by your campus Admission/Enrollment Services Office
  2. If it is still denied and you wish to Appeal, see: 

Domiciliary Appeal for In-State Tuition Rates


Current/Returning - Reclassification - If you are/have already been attending TCC and your proof of Virginia Domiciliary Intent has changed:

  1. Submit an application for Reclassification:
    Domiciliary Reclassification Application  
  2. If it is still denied and you wish to Appeal, see: 

Domiciliary Appeal for In-State Tuition Rates

Citizens of other countries

Immigration status is a very strong indication that the student does not intend to remain in Virginia indefinitely. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to present your immigration documentation to the college.

You are not automatically disqualified from establishing domicile in Virginia. However, it is very difficult for undocumented immigrants to do so.

International Student Services

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Pass Building, Room 175
1428 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Phone: 757-822-5117

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315 Granby St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: 757-822-1205, -1210, or -1265

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120 Campus Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23701

Phone: 757-822-2192 or -2193

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1700 College Crescent
Virginia Beach, VA 23453

Phone: 757-822-7101