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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Resident Vs Non Resident Tuition in Minnesota

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I am on a work visa (H1B), and am residing in the same state for over 5 years. My wife is on H4 and wants to pursue MS either as H4 or F1. I understand that F1 will always get enrolled with "International" tuition rate or out-of state tuition rate.

But if she wants to pursue as H4, the university(University of Minnesota), still holds her as an international. I find this unfair. If I have paid taxes for over 5 years, and am considered "resident" per taxation, my wife should get benefits of being a resident. Is this even right to be charged full international tuition?

There are other state colleges in MN which don't. Its only the University of Minnesota. Can I do something about this?

F1 students will generally be treated as non-residents because it is a foreign student visa only. The fact that your wife has been living with you in Minnesota for 5 years on an H4 visa should qualify her for in-state tuition.

If the school is not honoring this, you have several options. The first would be to send a written petition to the school administration asking them to honor her in state residency qualification and explaining your circumstances. If this fails, you can then petition your local state Congressman to intervene on your behalf. Finally, if that does not work, you could sue the University and ask the court for a declaratory judgment that your wife qualifies for in state tuition. Such a lawsuit can be done by your wife representing herself (you cannot represent her), or you can hire a lawyer to handle the case. Of course, the winner does not get his attorney's fees reimbursed (attorney's fees are generally borne by each party in American litigation), so keep in mind the costs when considering what to do.

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please also remember to rate my answer positively so that I am compensated for my work on your question by the website.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well, I am residing in the state for more than 5 years, but currently, my wife is residing only for 8 months. Although, by the time she joins her program she would have been here more than a year.

Your in state residency does not also qualify your wife. She must be personally residing in the state for a full calender year before she will be considered a resident. Once she has pass this time period, she should then qualify as a resident for instate tuition.
Customer: replied 4 years ago., if by the time she starts her degree, she is more than a year in MN, she "should" qualify for the in-state tuition, right?

Does this rule depend on what type of school it is? University of Minnesota is a public university.

No, she needs to be a resident for a year and then apply to the school to get in-state tuition. If you apply when you do not qualify for in state tuition, you will not automatically be switched after becoming eligible. In that case, you would have to request an exception from the schools chancellor.

In state tuition is set by state law and applies to all schools (private or public) that offer two different levels of tuition.

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please also remember to rate my answer positively as I am not compensated for my work on your question until you do so.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok- I understand it will not be automatic , and it has to be requested.

In the link that you provided ( , University of Minnesota ( is not listed. I am not sure why . Does that mean this rule does not apply to UMN?

May be there is a difference between a state vs public school/college?


(I understand the answer rating necessity. Will be doing it soon)

I'm not sure why UMN is not listed. Nevertheless, their in-state v. out-of-state tuition will be controlled by state law.
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