To assist you in understanding the reclassification process, the following definitions are provided:
- Bona Fide Domicile
- Declaration of Domicile
- Legal Guardian
- Legal Ties to the State of Florida
- Physical Presence
Bona Fide Domicile - A person's true, fixed and permanent state of residence. It is the place a person intends to remain and return to when one leaves without intending to establish domicile elsewhere. A student seeking reclassification must demonstrate the claimant has established bona fide domicile in Florida rather than maintaining a temporary residence incident to enrollment at the University.
Claimant - The claimant is the person demonstrating evidence of establishing and maintaining a permanent legal residence in Florida for a minimum of 12 months. The claimant may be either the student or an individual on whom the student is basing the residency. In the latter case, the claimant may be the student's parent, legal guardian or spouse.
Declaration of Domicile - A Declaration of Domicile, pursuant to section 222.17, Florida Statues, is an affidavit filed with the Clerk of Court's office in the Florida county of residence. It is a sworn affidavit indicating the signatory is establishing a permanent, fixed residence in Florida and is relinquishing legal ties with the previous state of residence. The filing date is evaluated in lieu of an issue date when this document is submitted as a legal tie to substantiate Florida residency.
Legal Guardian - A legal guardian is one appointed by the state court system. If the claimant is your court-appointed legal guardian, submit a copy of the court decree naming the claimant as your guardian. A person other than a parent claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes is NOT considered the student's legal guardian.
Legal Ties to the State of Florida - The three documents must be dated/issued at least 12 months prior to the first day of the semester for which Florida residency reclassification is sought. No single document shall be conclusive. The student or claimant must also demonstrate an absence of legal ties to any state other than Florida. Continued legal ties with another state are found to be against the establishment of a domicile in Florida.
Physical Presence - A student's physical presence in Florida for the requisite 12 months and maintenance of a place of residence is critical to support a claim of bona fide residence. Physical presence is not substantiated through continuous enrollment at a Florida postsecondary institution for the three terms prior to the term in which reclassification is sought. For periods of non-enrollment, a student can document physical presence in Florida with the proof of purchase of a permanent home, or full time permanent employment. While not enrolled in a public postsecondary institution in Florida, copies of leases, rent receipts, and utility bills are used to prove the claimant is maintaining a residence in the state.