Bona Fide Domicile - A person's predominant and principal state of residence and their place of abode that they recognize and intend to maintain as their permanent home.
Claimant - The person who is providing evidence of the establishment of permanent legal residence in Florida. For independent students, the claimant is the student. For dependent students, the claimant can be the student's parent, legal guardian or spouse.
Declaration of Domicile - A sworn statement which states that you reside in and maintain a place of abode in the Florida County of residence in which the document is filed. The signed and notorized document is filed with the Clerk of Courts and states that you relinquish all legal ties with your previous state of residence. The document must be filed 12 months prior to the start of the semester for which Florida residency is sought.
Legal Guardian - A legal guardian is appointed by the Florida court system. If the claimant is the court-appointed legal guardian, the student must submit a copy of the court decree naming the claimant as their guardian. A person other than a parent who claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes is not considered the student's legal guardian. Notarized letters and Power of Attorney paperwork are not considered legal guardianship documents.
Physical Presence - It is important to note that living or attending school in Florida is not tantamount to establishing a legal residence for tuition purposes. Maintaining a legal residence in Florida requires substantial physical presence as a condition. It is imperative that the required 12 month qualifying period be for the purpose of maintaining a bona fide domicile rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education.
Legal Ties - Documents showing legal ties to the state of Florida:
- Florida Driver's License
- Florida Voter's Registration Card
- Florida Vehicle Registration
- Florida Vehicle Title
- Declaration of Domicile
- Proof of Purchase of a Permanent Home in Florida that is occupied as primary residence
- Proof of Permanent Full-Time Employment
- Florida Professional or Occupational License
- Florida Incorporation
- Benefit Histories from Florida Agencies or Public Assistance Programs