Lawful Presence Verification

College of Charleston is required to verify the status of all students prior to their enrollment.

Section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended in 2008, requires that, to attend a public university in the state, a student must be a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States. The Board of Trustees of the College approved this verification process to comply with the law. 

Contact us with any questions at 

Select Your Status

Please select your current status for instructions on verifying your lawful presence.
  • Lawful Presence for U.S. Citizens

    Degree Seeking U.S. Citizens

    All degree seeking students must prove lawful presence in the U.S. before enrolling.

    If you have submitted a FAFSA form and you are a U.S. citizen, you will be automatically verified. No further action is required.

    If you have not filed a FAFSA application and indicated the college as a recipient, please complete the Verification of Lawful Presence form located under the MyForms tile in MyPortal.

    • You will need to submit a copy of your current, state-issued driver's license or ID when completing the form.*

    *Driver's licenses/IDs from the following states are not eligible forms of evidence/documentation for lawful presence: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

    The following forms of evidence/documentation are accepted for all states:

    • Current U.S. passport
    • Certified birth certificate indicating that you were born in the United States or a territory of the United States, with your given name and surname, date and place of birth, date birth record was filed and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of the certificate.
    • Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)
    • Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS Form N-550 or N-570)
    • U.S. Government issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • Unexpired U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID card (DOD DD-2)


    Non-Degree Seeking U.S. Citizens

    All non-degree seeking students must still prove lawful presence in the U.S. before enrolling. Please use the options below to complete your lawful presence requirement.

    • Senior Citizens
      If you are over the age of 60, your lawful presence requirement will be met upon admission to the college.

    If you are a non-degree seeking U.S. citizen in any of the following categories or programs, please refer to the Degree Seeking U.S. Citizens information listed above to complete your lawful requirement.

    • Dual Enrollment
    • REACH
    • ESOL
    • Visiting Student
  • Lawful Presence for Non-U.S. Citizens

    Non-U.S. Citizens

    All non-U.S. citizen students must still prove lawful presence in the U.S. before enrolling. Please use the options below for instructions on completing your lawful presence requirement. 

    • International Students (F-1 or J-1 visa)
      If you are a degree-seeking or visiting/exchange student and have been issued a DS-2019 or I-20 by the College of Charleston, your lawful presence will automatically be verified by the Center for International Education.

    Other Visa Types & Immigration Classifications
    Your admissions officer will verify your lawful presence in the United States when you apply to and enroll in the College. When your document expires or your status changes you must provide a copy of your current or renewed document to the Center for International Education. Students are not allowed to attend classes unless their lawful presence proof documents are current.
    • Proof of Lawful Presence Documents for Non-U.S. Citizens:
      • Current Permanent Resident Card
      • Current Visa Documentation
      • Any other appropriate document which verifies lawful presence in the United States in accordance with the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (“SAVE”) operated by USCIS.
    • Completion of a FAFSA or possession of a South Carolina driver’s license is not sufficient proof of lawful presence without one of the above documents.