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Lawful Presence

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

HGTC and compliance with the SC Illegal Immigration Reform Act

Lawful Presence in the United States Must Be Verified Before Enrollment

In January 2009, the state of South Carolina enacted the SC Illegal Immigration Reform Act (section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as Amended). Horry-Georgetown Technical College is in full compliance with this law.

SECTION 59 101 430. Unlawful aliens; eligibility to attend public institution of higher learning; development of process for verifying lawful presence; eligibility for public benefits on basis of residence.

(A) An alien unlawfully present in the United States is not eligible to attend a public institution of higher learning in this State, as defined in Section 59 103 5. The trustees of a public institution of higher learning in this State shall develop and institute a process by which lawful presence in the United States is verified. In doing so, institution personnel shall not attempt to independently verify the immigration status of any alien, but shall verify any alien’s immigration status with the federal government pursuant to 8 USC Section 1373(c). (B) An alien unlawfully present in the United States is not eligible on the basis of residence for a public higher education benefit including, but not limited to, scholarships, financial aid, grants, or resident tuition.

It is HGTC policy to review the lawful presence of each person currently enrolled or seeking admission. We will do all we can to verify a student's lawful presence without causing additional stress or paperwork. For example, students who are eligible for federal financial aid may have their lawful presence verified through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

However, if you are not eligible to complete the FAFSA, your FAFSA is not yet on file at HGTC or if you choose not to complete the FAFSA, you will be responsible for completing the HGTC Verification of Lawful Presence Form. You will need to complete the form, and submit your proof of lawful status from the options on the form.

Once the form is completed, there are several ways to get this form and documents to us at HGTC:

  1. Bring information to the Admissions Office on any campus
  2. Scan in the documents and send by email to admissions@hgtc.edu, or
  3. Mail the documents to HGTC Admissions, P.O. Box 261966, Conway, SC 29528

HGTC cannot accept faxed documents.

Citizens of the United States will only need to be verified once during their enrollment at HGTC. Non-US citizens will be verified each year, or when their United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documents expire, whichever comes first.

If you have questions about this process, please email us

Students who fail to answer the request for documentation and verification will be removed from classes and will not be entitled to a refund of tuition paid. All other students who fail to provide documentation prior to first time enrollment will not be allowed to enroll.

The following are frequently asked questions that may help address your concerns:

The following documents are accepted:

  • SC driver's license first issued after January 1
  • U.S. passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Social Security approval through Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA)
  • Permanent Residents and International Students will be documented by the Office of International Affairs

No, this law applies to all students (US citizens, permanent residents, non-resident aliens, and international visitors). It applies to all institutions in South Carolina.

No. Please bring one of the documents listed above to the Admissions Office on any campus or you may e-mail a scanned copy of the document to admissions@hgtc.edu.

Yes. Compliance is not related to receipt of financial aid, but submitting the FAFSA is one method for citizenship to be confirmed by the Social Security Administration.

No. The FAFSA is one method for citizenship to be confirmed, but any of the other documents listed in the original email are acceptable.

No. Please bring an original to the Admissions office on any campus, and we will view it and return it to you immediately. Or you can send a copy by mail or via email.

If you are no longer enrolled, you will not need to comply now. But, if you return to HGTC at a later date, you need to provide verification.

To view the text of the law (SC Code of Law Section 59-101-430), or to contact members of the SC General Assembly, please see www.sc.gov.