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Proof of Citizenship/Legal Presence

All Winthrop University students must present proof of citizenship or legal presence in the U.S. before enrolling. This policy has been adopted by the University in order to comply with section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, which requires that lawful presence in the United States is verified before enrollment at any public institution of higher education.  Those unlawfully present in the U.S. are prohibited from receiving a public higher education benefit including scholarships, financial aid, grants, or resident tuition.

U.S. Citizens

Winthrop has adopted a proof of citizenship verification process to deter and prevent false claims of citizenship by unlawful aliens attempting to evade the eligibility requirements of section 59-101-430. Winthrop will do all it can to verify citizenship using other means, but many students will be contacted to complete a verification form and present proof of citizenship in the form of the following acceptable documents:



  • Copy of a South Carolina Driver’s License if first licensed after January 1, 2002
  • Current and valid driver’s license or ID from the following states (if your state is not on this list, it is not eligible): Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine (issued after 11.15.08), Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nebraska (issued after 10.1.2009), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Copy of  Certified Birth Certificate indicating birth in the United States or a territory of the United States, with 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 record.


  • Copy of  Current US Passport
  • Copy of  Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Copy of  US government issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Copy of  Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)
  • Copy of  Unexpired US Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID card (DOD DD-2)
  • Statement of employment from a South Carolina public school 

If name has changed since birth, student must present all legal documents (i.e., adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, and court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from the name which appears on the birth certificate or proof of citizenship to the present.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Verification of immigration status for non-citizens will be conducted by Winthrop's International Center. The International Center is located in Dinkins Hall 218 and can be reached by calling 803-323-2133 or via email.

Except for F1 or J1 visa holders, if you are a non-citizen or permanent resident lawfully present in the U.S. and admitted to Winthrop University, you must complete and submit the Non-Citizen and Permanent Resident Lawful Presence Verification Form.  You must also supply the documentation below which will be used to verify your lawful presence through SAVE. The Non-Citizen and Permanent Resident Lawful Presence Verification Form and supporting documents must be submitted to the International Center. Failure to provide this information will result in an enrollment hold being placed on your student account until your lawful presence is verified.


The University can accept photocopies of documents so long as we reserve the right to demand production of the certified original in the event we have any questions about whether the copy is true and accurate, or in the event any of the information on the copy is unreadable.In submitting additional documents, include a clear scan or photocopy of both the front and back of each document.

To learn more about this law (SC Code of Law Section 59-101-430) go to