offers hundreds of practice questions and video explanations. Go there now.

Sign up or log in to Magoosh TOEFL Prep.

College Admissions for U.S. Green Card Holders

College Admissions for U.S. Green Card Holders

Back in 2014, I did a post on the TOEFL for U.S. Green Card holders. That post has gotten a lot of responses from Magooshers! So I did a follow-up post of frequently asked questions about the TOEFL for American permanent residents. Magoosh TOEFL Blog readers have also asked a lot of general questions about university admissions for Green Card holders. In this post, we’ll take a look at frequently asked questions in the area.

What about exams other than the TOEFL? If I’m a U.S. permanent resident, do I no longer need to take the ACT, SAT, GMAT, GRE, etc…? Or will score requirements for these tests be different?

The answer to this dual question about exams other than the TOEFL is “no and no.” For undergraduate study, you’ll still need to take tests such as the ACT and SAT, and you’ll also still need to take the GRE or GMAT for graduate school. And the minimum scores for these exams won’t change once your residency status changes. These exams are not designed to test English as a second language. Instead they test college readiness in general. So all applicants face the same requirements for these tests.

Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.

What are the best schools for me to apply to now that I have a U.S. Green Card?

The education that’s available to you does change when you get your Green Card. For one thing, having permanent residency makes you eligible for in-state tuition rates wherever you reside. In-state tuition can be 50% or even 75% cheaper than the tuition you’d pay if you enrolled as an international student.

Additionally, community colleges and two year technical institutions will be more likely to accept you if you have a Green Card. Many of these smaller vocational schools are not very experienced with international admissions, and are much more willing to deal with an applicant who doesn’t need a student visa.

Very little changes, however, with top private schools. At schools such as Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and the like, your tuition costs and chances of acceptance don’t change at all when you become a permanent resident.. These schools treat international applicants and local Green Card holders the same.

My Green Card is pending, but I don’t have it yet. Should I wait until I get my U.S. permanent residency before I apply to universities?

I touched on this in my last post too, but my answer bears repeating: Yes, if a Green Card is on the way, you should wait until your permanent residency is processed before you try to start school in the United States. Applying for a student visa when your permanent residency visa is already in process doesn’t make sense and can create problems with immigration. Moreover, the student visa application process is time consuming and very expensive. If you can avoid applying to schools as an international student, you should. Also, as I just mentioned above, many more edcuational doors will be open to you once your adjustment of status comes through. Good things come to those who wait!

Psst...Need more TOEFL practice? Start your FREE TRIAL today.

Most Popular Resources

149 Responses to College Admissions for U.S. Green Card Holders

  1. Lala October 23, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    I am a US permanent resident from Afghanistan, my schooling and university degree is from Pakistan. are my credentials acceptable in US institutions? and apart from GRE what other exam should I take to get admission for Masters in the US?

    • David Recine
      David Recine October 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

      As a general rule, Pakistani academic credentials are accepted by U.S. universities. However, sometimes certain course credits and even whole degrees may be rejected by an individual university. This can depend both on the university you’ve applied to and the kind of undergrad degree/major you have.

      Most Masters programs require either the GRE or the GMAT. The GMAT is for some business-oriented Master’s, and is an especially common requirement for MBA programs. Usually, you’ll only need to take one of these two tests. It’s very rare for a school to require both the GRE and GMAT. There’s some chance you’ll be asked to take the TOEFL, but as a US permanent resident, you usually can avoid that requirement.

    • Ariba September 30, 2017 at 10:58 am #

      Hi I’m ariba I’ve given ESL so is there any need to give toefl ?

    • Eppie Dizon May 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm #

      My son has already a green card, he entered the United States last August 7,2018. He was not considered a domestic student in a community college. He was considered an international student that’s why we were paying the rate of international student. Is that legal? Should he also then be considered a domestic student for the coming fall. I was told that he should establish a stay of 1 year and 1 day to be able to change his status to domestic from
      International. And can he go out of the country within that 1 year and 1 day without jeopardizing that length of establishing his permanent residence as a student?

      • David Recine
        David Recine May 9, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

        I’m sorry to hear you experienced this! If the community college actually tried to make your son apply for an international student visa, that would definitely not be legal. Charging your son international tuition when he has a Green Card but recently came into the US, presumably accompanied by family, is a practice I’ve heard of, but it’s not a common one. More often than not, someone in your son’s situation would either be charged out-of-state or in-state tuition, but not international. So you may want to look further into the official state rules, and possibly appeal the school’s tuition charge decision.

        As for leaving the country during that 1 yer and 1 day period, my guess is that it wouldn’t be an issue; as long as your son is maintaining an address int he state,a trip out of state shouldn’t count as moving out of state. I’m also not sure how the school itself could track out-of-state travel. But you may want to check with the school or state for its exact policies there, as the rules are set at the state level and interpreted differently by different school systems.

        This is definitely a tricky situation. Hope this helps!

  2. Ayush Patel December 4, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    I am also having a visa application process pending right now. I have given gre and toefl in India. How should I apply now to universities for Master’s. Do their minimum score requirements change.
    One more thing, if I am gonna be the green card holder, then the application deadlines will also be changed?? and please can you provide more details on admisiion process.

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 6, 2016 at 7:38 am #

      This is a tricky situation, Ayush. Until your Visa is approved, you are technically supposed to apply as an international student. However, once you actually get your Green Card, you will no longer be eligible to apply to American universities as an international school, and you’ll need to follow the requirements for Green Card Holders instead. If at all possible, I recommend waiting until your green card comes through before you actually apply to schools. If you want to file school applications while your Green Card is still pending, contact your target schools, explain your situation to them, and see if you should initially proceed as an international or domestic applicant.

      Now to answer your questions about possible differences in test score requirements and deadlines for Green Card holders vs. international students. First, know that your GRE score requirements won’t change at most universities. However, a very small handful of schools (Duke in North Carolina for example) hold international students to lower GRE score requirements. So double-check with your school to see if your GRE requirements change. Again though, they probably won’t. As for the TOEFL, there’s a chance you won’t need to take the TOEFL at all if you apply to school with a Green Card. If a school still does require you to take the TOEFL though, the score requirements won’t change once you get US permanent residency. Again, though, school policies vary and you’ll need to contact your schools to be sure.

      You are very likely to have different application deadlines/timelines as a Green Card holder. Generally, universities have two different sets of admissions deadlines: one for international students, and one for domestic students. With a Green Card, you will be classified as a domestic student. This does NOT vary from school-to-school, as your change in status is based on US federal law. To find the application deadlines for domestic students, look for the “domestic students” pages on university admissions websites. This will tell you exactly how your deadlines will be different if you have a Green Card.

      • Andrew February 7, 2020 at 3:44 am #

        Hi I’m from Nigeria and I’ve graduated high school. My dad is currently in the process of getting his green card along with mine. Should I apply into universities as a domestic or as an international after I get the green card and arrive in the U.S? And what credentials or requirements do I need to possess to apply for undergraduate courses?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm #

          Hi Andrew,

          I would recommend that you contact your target schools for more information about their rules regarding how to apply. You may need to wait until you have the green card to apply.

  3. rahul December 12, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    hii,i m Green card holder,i done graduation in india.Right now i m applying for the MS in civil engineering in USA. But i m littlebit confuse,with a greencard holder should i apply MS as a domestic applicant or an international applicant.And with a green card holder should GRE and IELTS is require in MS?

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 13, 2016 at 9:16 am #

      Congratulations on getting your Green Card, Rahul! 🙂 to answer your first question, as a Green Card holder, you should apply as a domestic student. In answer to your second question, you’ll have to meet the same GRE requirements now that you’re a Green Card holder. As for the IELTS, most American universities don’t make Green Card applicants take any English exams. But a few highly competitive schools may still ask you for an IELTS or TOEFL score, even though you’re a domestic student now. Double check with your schools to see if you still need to take the IELTS.

  4. Piya Bashnet January 5, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    I am a green card holder
    I want to start my study
    But my English is not good.
    How can I improve my language?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 6, 2017 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Piya,

      If you want to prepare for undergraduate or graduate studies and need to improve your English, I would recommend preparing for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The exam focuses on testing your communication skills, specifically Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. As such, preparation for this exam will also help improve your English! If you’re interested in this test prep content, check out our services here at Magoosh! Good luck Piya! 🙂

  5. Khan January 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm #


    I am living in the USA since 2014 as a green card holder. I did my seven-semester bachelor degree in Afghanistan and couldn’t finish the last semester when I moved to the US. now I am thinking how to go back to college and get more credit in order to complete my bachelor degree here in the US. It is worth to mention I evaluated my credit by certify company in the US and most of my credit has been transfer to US standard level.

    Would you please help me where to start, By the way, I am living in Virginia.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 27, 2017 at 2:26 am #

      Hi Khan,

      This is way beyond our expertise, and you will need to get in touch with people who handle these types of situations professionally if you have further questions about credit transfer, etc. Otherwise, you sound like you need to talk with admissions professionals in the area where you want to attend school. They can give you advice about scores and applications as well as guide you to take the appropriate classes to finish your degree. 🙂

    • Joe September 22, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

      So how did you go about your transfer of credits.? Could you get the that done ?
      From which agency did you validate the credits?

    • vik October 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

      hello sir my name is vikram i am from i almost completed my bachelor degree in electrical engineering in india but when i seventh semester i marry with us citizen and i got visa while i am 8th semester so i must have to move in USA i given last exam in my country in December 2016 how to transfer my credit what exam need to get admission like TOEFL/IELTS sir please let me know the process i am green card holder and live in Nashville Tennessee

      • David Recine
        David Recine October 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

        Congratulations on getting your Green Card, Vik! The most important thing you need to know as a Green Card holder is that you should NOT apply as an international student. You’ll apply as a domestic student, which is much easier and also gets you lower tuition at state schools.

        You also probably won’t need IELTS or TOEFL to apply, although some exceptionally competitive schools may ask for that. As for transferring your credits, the Magoosh TOEFL Blog has a whole post dedicated to that! Check out our article “Transferring Course Credit from Abroad.”

  6. anika February 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    i am a green card holder and i will be completing my 12th grade here in bangladesh. what would my process be to apply to universities like u-minnesota, u-wisconsin and other average universities? as my high school is from a different country, will i be considered as an international student while applying or i can apply as a permanent resident?

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 23, 2017 at 4:31 am #

      Hi Anika,

      Since you have a Green Card, you’d apply as a permanent resident, a domestic student. That’s great, because it means you can avoid the extra fees and complications that come with getting an international student visa. Still, make sure you clearly state your status when you apply to American schools. You may want to even include an special note about the situation and a copy of your Green Card, just to avoid any confusion during the application process.

  7. Rajvi March 15, 2017 at 3:51 am #


    i had just completed 12th in india in march 17 and i got green card in feb 17 .my first langaugei is english so what can i do for my futher study??

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

      Hi Rajvi,

      Happy to help 🙂 The first step will be researching the requirements for your dream schools! Most schools websites will have plenty of information about the requirements for admission. No matter what, you will have to start looking in to standardized tests for college admission. You may have to take the TOEFL, and you’ll have to choose between the SAT and ACT. I recommend that you check out our High School Blog which has tons of great information about the SAT and ACT so that you can choose the test that is best for you! When you are ready to get started, check out our study plans. Our structured self-study program will provide you with the skills and practice you need for success on all three of these tests 🙂 Good luck!

  8. Lisa March 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    Congratulation for the post!
    I am from Italy, where I graduated from an economy school with a great score. My green card is coming soon and I’d like to start college as soon as possible. My questions for you are:
    -Can my high school diploma be helpful for my application?
    -Am I supposed to take the TOEFL before to start college?
    -Am I going to be considered as an international student?

    • David Recine
      David Recine March 18, 2017 at 2:04 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      Congrats on your pending Green Card. 🙂 In answer to your questions:

      – Your high school diploma will of course be required for your application. The economy high school diploma may be useful if you are already planning to declare a major in something related to economics or business. Your diploma can also be useful if any of your classes were taught in English. And of course, you’ll need to submit your HS diploma to any college regardless.

      – Once you have your Green Card, you probably won’t need to take the TOEFL. Most universities only require the TOEFL if you are an international student. (To be sure about this, double-check with the schools you’re applying to.)

      – You won’t be treated as an international student if you have a Green Card. I recommend not applying to schools until after you have your Green Card. With your Green Card, you can be treated as a domestic student. This makes the application process simpler and increases your chances of acceptance. At public universities, applying as a domestic student also means that you pay less tuition and have access to US Department of Education grants and loans if you need them.

      • Lisa March 18, 2017 at 11:26 am #

        Thank you for your ready answer. I really appreciate it.
        I wanted just to ask you the last thing:
        So, since you said that I am not going to be considered as an international student, I was wondering if the school expect a me to have an excellent english. My English is not perfect… Can this be a problem for my scores. Am I going to be penalized for this luck of confidence with the language?

        • David Recine
          David Recine March 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

          American universities understand that immigrants don’t always have the same level of English as their American-born classmates. So you won’t be penalized for having a lower level of English. However, you will likely be given an English placement test before your first day of classes. This exam won’t be like the the TOEFL– it won’t determine whether you actually get accepted. However, if you have a low score on the placement test, you may need to take one or two extra English courses in order to graduate. These classes help Green Card holders get extra language training so that they can be successful in their academics.

          • Lisa March 20, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

            Thank you so much!! Your knowledge is very helpful.

  9. Haider March 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    Hi, my son is a green card holder, he is doing engineering graduate programme from india. My question is does he need to write gre& tofel. If he applly for MS in US university, Is he eligible for instate tution fees.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 24, 2017 at 6:55 am #

      Hi Haider,

      Typically having a green card removes some of these requirements placed on applicants needing visas, but the only guaranteed way to find out what he does or doesn’t need to do is to ask admissions departments themselves. In theory, he should not need to write the TOEFL, but the GRE will absolutely still be required. He may still be asked to give a TOEFL score if not enough of his education was in English.

      • Siddika April 8, 2019 at 10:51 pm #

        as a new green card holder can my daughter get financial aid for studying in college?

        • David Recine
          David Recine April 9, 2019 at 6:35 am #

          The short answer is “yes.” Although state regulations can vary, Green Card holders can generally get the same kinds of financial aid as US citizens. 🙂

  10. MANTHAN PATEL April 19, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    HI I am Indian citizen I am going to USA after one year on my permanent visa I completed my Bachelor of science in physics but in India B.Sc is of three years and in USA B.Sc is for years so what can I do to complete my remaining credits to get admission in M.Sc in physic.Should I have to give GRE OR TOEFL to get admission in USA

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 21, 2017 at 6:39 am #

      Transferring credits from an overseas program can be a little tricky. But it can be done. Different universities approach overseas classes in different ways. TO find out exactly how to transfer your course credit from India to a US school, contact the schools you’re applying to. They can give you some answers. Or, if you’re not yet sure where you’ll apply to school, read Magoosh’s blog post on transferring course credit from abroad. This should help you get started.

  11. AJV April 20, 2017 at 9:09 am #

    I’m an Indian citizen and I completed my 12th or higher secondary education in 1999,I joined an engineering course in India itself but unfortunately I couldn’t complete my course.i moved to US in 2014 and now I’m a Green card holder. I would like to join any Undergraduate courses.I would really appreciate if anyone could advise me on the procedures or requirements to join an Undergraduation course in US..

    • David Recine
      David Recine April 21, 2017 at 6:36 am #

      As long as you’ve completed high school in India, and your programme was equivalent to high school completion in the US, you can attend undergraduate studies in the USA. To go to a four-year university, you’ll probably need scores in either the ACT or the SAT. For a community college, you may not need to take an entrance exam. Most two year programs simply give you a placement exam so they can know your current academic skills and get you enrolled in the correct classes.

      Very few universities ask Green Card Holders to take the TOEFL. You also have a good chance at not needing the TOEFL because you’re from India. India is treated as a TOEFL exempt country by many American universities.

      The tricky thing here is that admissions policies for Green Card holders can be different on each campus. To find out the exact testing requirements you need to enter university, check with the schools in America that you are applying to.

  12. Ruhab April 24, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    Im from Pakistan and will be moving to U.S around september or october hopefully, as we’re waiting for the interview letter. I’ll be done with my highschool in the next month and will get my result in August. Im thinking to start preparing for the SAT test, as i dont want to waste any time and would like to start University in the winter or spring of 2018 in U.S. I’ll be moving to either Atlanta or Houston.
    My question is what tests should i take? Do i have to take TOEFEL or only SAT would be enough? And which colleges are best(and easy on the pocket) for me as i want to major in psychology?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 25, 2017 at 4:16 am #

      Hi Ruhab,

      You’re in a quite unique situation! I’ll do my best to give you starting information, but you are going to need to do a lot of research and probably contact universities yourself to get better, more detailed answers.

      Tests: You should look at the SAT and ACT because they are similar tests that are both used in undergraduate admissions. Also pay attention to what tests your desired schools ask for. There are times when only one is accepted, or that one is favored over another. Be aware of this and that can help you make the best choice. As for the TOEFL, sometimes if you can prove your education was delivered in English for x years (often I hear “the last 8 consecutive years,” but check with the university) you may not need a TOEFL exam. This should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

      Universities: It will typically be cheapest to attend a state school in the state where you have residency. Georgia’s rules are: “To be considered for in-state tuition privileges, you, your parent(s) and/or your legal guardian must have resided in the state of Georgia for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to enrollment at a college or university in Georgia.” From what I have found, the rules are the same in Texas. So if you arrive in October, you will need to wait until October 2018 to be eligible for resident (and therefore significantly cheaper) tuition in whatever state you live in.

      Once you know what state you will be living in, research the top universities in those states to help make your choice. You can cross reference these searches with lists that highlight the best psychology programs in the state, too. I hope this helps, and good luck! 🙂

      • Ruhab April 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

        Thanks alot! This was VERY helpful. 🙂

  13. Sora May 12, 2017 at 3:10 am #


    I’m going to move to US soon and get a green card holder. I finished high school and bachelor degree in my home country. I’m planing to study nursing in US as my career. Now let’s imagine that I have a green card so,

    Here are my questions:

    1) I’d like to ask you the processing to enter the nursing college? (as my high school results was not really good and I am not really good at math)

    2) Do I need to take any English test before enter college?

    3) If i am not good at math, can I still enter the college?

    4) Is there any entrance exam to enter college for a green card holder? If there is may you please tell me what is it?

    Thank you so much!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 12, 2017 at 5:17 am #

      Hi Sora! There are some questions here that we are not qualified to answer for you, but I will do my best to get you started. You should definitely start doing your own research into admissions, entry requirements, etc. That will help you a lot! 🙂

      (1) That depends on the college, and we are not nursing college experts here. You will need to decide what type of nursing school you want to attend, what degree/certification you want, etc. and then use that information to make the appropriate choices for your next steps. I recommend contacting a local nursing school when you arrive (or research some now and reach out) to get information and find out about open house days.

      (2) You might. The college will have its own rules regarding whether or not you need this, so find out based on the places you want to study

      (3) Yes! But you will have to meet some criteria. Typically there are pre-entry courses you have to take or rudimentary work you must complete as part of a conditional acceptance. Alternatively, you might have to take some local community college math courses before you are allowed to apply. It depends on the school again.

      (4) Your entry exams will be the same as others’. Some may want an SAT/ACT score, some may want a nursing-specific test, and some may have their own. You, again, need to research the specific requirements for your desired schools.

      Good luck! 🙂

  14. Vaibhavi May 19, 2017 at 5:46 am #

    I am about to go to chicago,usa. I m 12th pass in india so what exam should i give to talk admittion in usa for graducation. I m science maths scream that all exam i should give to take admittion in engi engineering in usa.

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 20, 2017 at 7:05 am #

      There actually isn’t a specific final exam for graduating high school in the USA. For the purposes of enrolling in university, you just need to show the university your foreign high school transcripts.(For some suggestions on how to do this, see my post on transferring course credit from abroad.)

    • Abhishek October 25, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi vaibhvi I am too coming to Chicago. I have passed 12th from India Delhi. I am a green card holder. Please suggest me the requirements for admission in college.

  15. Mim May 28, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    my sister is a green card holder
    Is it necessary to wait 1year to start her study. And in future to get a government job what kind of study will she start.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 29, 2017 at 1:54 am #

      Hi Mim,

      Congratulations to your sister. She won’t need to wait one year before she can be admitted to American universities as a domestic, non-international student. However, if she didn’t live in the USA before getting her Green Card, she may need a year of residency before she can get the in-state tuition discount that is offered at American public universities. (She should check with local public universities to find the exact rules for in-state tuition and residency.)

      As for the degree needed for a government job– that really depends a lot on the kind of government work your sister aspires to do. If you look at American government job listings, you’ll see the degree requirements for each kind of job.

  16. Lia June 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    Hello, I just graduated from a U.S. college in May with a bachelor’s degree. My husband and I registered a marriage in late May too. Right now my green card application package is on its way to IL USCIS. Since I cannot work without an EAD, I feel bored and would like to take an online class through LSU. I am not sure whether I am allowed to do that. Could you please tell me will taking an online class right now hurt my application progress? Thank you very much.

    • David Recine
      David Recine June 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

      Most public universities open their online classes to anyone, with any citizenship status, living anywhere in the world. So I will say– cautiously– that taking an online class at LSU probably won’t hurt your application progress. That being said, you want to be careful as you have your Green Card pending. I recommend contacting LSU’s office of international education (or their admissions office), and asking their advice. It is probably a good idea to also contact USCIS and double-check with them.

      But like I said, I think there’s a good chance you’ll be told that it’s OK. Good luck, and if you get a chance, come back to the comments field here and let us know how it went. 🙂

  17. Isabela July 14, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Hi! I am a green hard holder, but i did my undergrad degree in Peru. I was wondering, if I want tu apply to a public school to pay as a “in-state” would i have to prove with documentation that i have been leaving in that state for sometime or is that not the case?

    Another question, for private colleges, is there more chances to get in with a green card? does it give you more chances to get financial aid?

    Hope you can help me!

    Many thanks

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

      Hi Isabela,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I can’t provide perfect answers for you. In most cases, even for those born in the US, you have to prove residency to apply for in-state tuition. The documentation and requirements depends on the school, and this is information you can usually find on their website.

      I’m not aware of any situations where having green card increases your chances at a private school vs. a public school. This would really depend on the school and what they are looking for. Private schools are generally (but not always) more expensive and offer less financial aid than public schools, even for citizens. You would have to contact the schools to determine the exact answer to these questions 🙂

  18. Asra July 29, 2017 at 4:59 am #

    Hi i am green card holder … and i completed my 12 grade in Pakistan… and after a year i moved to America.. and now i am over aged for the college .. and they are suggesting me to go fr adult education… i want to go futher in psychology…. but i have no idea how to continue my studies futher .. can u please guide me
    It would so nice of you

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 31, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Asra,

      I am not sure what you mean that you are “over aged” for college as people of all ages enter college in the US. I advise you to double check what you were told and see if maybe some terms got mixed up? You are definitely not too old to get into any field, so keep asking until you get some better answers! 🙂

    • Natasha Agarwal September 22, 2020 at 4:14 am #

      Hello my daughter was born in America and has a american passport but she has done all her studies in India and will be completing college is planning to do MBA in USA. Does she need to give GMAT in india. Please let me know. Thanks

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm #

        Hi Natasha, it doesn’t matter where she takes the GMAT. Most business schools will require the GMAT, and she can take it in India, the US or online. I would recommend that you contact her target schools directly for more information.

  19. Yasir Anwer August 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    Hi, I’m a U.S. green card holder since 2015 and want to apply to Universities in California LA as most of my family lives there.

    I recently graduated from high school in CANADA (I also have Canadian PR card) so since 2015 I was not physically present in the United States.
    My Question is, in order to apply to a University in the U.S. do I have to be physically present for 1 year in the state in which I want to apply or can I just directly apply as a local student on the basis of my Green Card.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 4, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

      State residency requirements are different for many circumstances, and you will have to research this issue to be sure. The admissions departments of the universities you want to attend will certainly know. I would not be surprised to find out that you must reside for 1 year and do other things that imply residency (e.g. have a permanent address, state ID, etc.) so be prepared for that! 🙂

  20. Dhvani August 4, 2017 at 5:32 am #

    Hello, This is Dhvani. I am a green card holder of USA and I have completed my master in Biotechnology from India. I have appeared both GRE and IELTS as i am planning to pursue further master in US, but I’m not being considered as an in-state student for an admission purpose, so would please suggest me what should I do?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 4, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi Dhvani,

      You can either (a) move to the state and complete residency requirements; or (b) pay the more expensive tuition assessed to students not holding residency. The choice depends on your life and how much time you have. Good luck!

  21. Satya September 25, 2017 at 2:59 am #

    Hi, My son is green card holder and studying in 12th standard in NC.He has moved recently to join schooling in USA. He completed his 11th std from India. My wife and myself are also green card holder but could not move to USA due to our Government Job compulsion in India. My son is living under legal guardianship of his Aunt in Law in NC. Now i want to know whether he will be treated as In-State student OR International student next year while going for Undergraduate study in NC. In order to be considered In -State student next year what he requires to do. What are the eligibility or what documents he needs ? Please help us. I would feel oblized.

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 25, 2017 at 11:00 am #

      This is a pretty complicated situation. In most states, if a child is the legal guardian of an in-state adult, and if the child has attended their senior year of high school in state, the child will be eligible for in-state university tuition.

      But state laws can vary, and individual campuses have their own ways of interpreting state laws. I would ask some North Carolina public universities about whether or not your son could pay in-state rates. Like I said, I am optimistic that you’ll get what you need here. But you really should double-check with a few schools, just to be sure.

  22. Khan October 30, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi David,

    Need your help, I’m US permanent resident, and I studied Bachelor of Management Science and MBA from India plus 6 years of professional working experience but now my credentials were not evaluated just because the school is not accredited according to the school, where I have completed my BMS and MBA. I do not want going back to school to start from scratch, what’s your advice?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 31, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi Khan,

      Thanks for reaching out! Our expertise is in test prep, not professional advice, so I’m not sure that I have a great answer for you. I’m sorry about that–I know this is a frustrating situation! From my limited experience, the answer really depends on what you want to do. If you are applying for a PhD position, then you can contact the schools and determine requirements. If you are looking for a job, I recommend that you set up some informational interviews to speak with human resources personnel and ask them about their preferences for education. I know this isn’t a great answer, but I hope this helps at least a little!

  23. kavan November 16, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    I have completed bachelors in mechanical engineering but not with very good grades and currently in a job. What are my chances to get top b school in U.S.

    • David Recine
      David Recine November 16, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      You may have a shot if your work history is impressive enough and every other aspect of your application is really good (TOEFL, GMAT, letter of interest, interview, references, etc.). Poor undergrad grades are not ideal, but it’s a problem that can be overcome.

  24. Suman November 25, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi, Iam from nepal I have green card of USA ,, i have a certificate of bachelor degree in agreeculture program from Nepal . Now I want to continue my education so trying to join at master Degree in agreeculture in USA. Can you tell me how can I apply for it ???

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 27, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

      Hi Suman,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so you should know that we aren’t experts in this topic! However, you can find some of the information you’re looking for in our GRE Blog. The GRE is the standardized test that you will need to take for graduate school admission. You can start here: Applying to Grad School from Outside the US: Your Timeline. I know that you are not outside of the US, but all of the information in that post will be helpful for you! Good luck 🙂

  25. Nikita January 9, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    Hey, I am from Nepal. I’ll be getting my green card by the end of 2018. I’ve completed my high school with science from Nepal and I want to study pre med in the states. Do I have to take SAT and TOEFL before apply for colleges. And are there any other requirements?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 10, 2018 at 7:37 am #

      Hi Nikita,

      Thanks for reaching out 🙂 Each college has different test requirements. Almost all colleges in the US require either the ACT or SAT, so you will definitely have to take one of those tests. Some schools will require the TOEFL for green card holders, and some may not. You should do some research and contact the admissions offices of your target schools to learn more about their specific requirements 🙂

  26. Christine January 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    Hello! I am a US high school student, 12th grade. I am in a process to get the green card, and I am expecting it to come out during this summer or a little bit later. I am applying to colleges right now as an international student. I am not qualified for FAFSA, and some colleges make me write a financial declaration, saying that I will not be eligible for any kind of financial aid anytime during the undergraduate period. If my status changes to a permanent resident, am I going to be able to apply for financial aid?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

      Hi Christine,

      This is way outside our area of expertise. You will need to be asking these (very smart!) questions to the admissions and financial aid offices of the schools you want to attend. I wish I could help more, and good luck! 🙂

  27. Faruki January 19, 2018 at 7:27 am #

    Hi, I got my application for green card approved. Now just waiting for my interview.I will be moving to the New York area. Can you please suggest the good colleges for M.S in business analytics where I will have tuition advantage of a domestic student

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 20, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi Faruki,

      Congrats on getting your green card! I’m afraid that we can’t help you much with information on schools in the New York area (our expertise is test prep, not graduate admissions), but maybe other readers can 🙂 I also suggest that you check out our GRE and GMAT blogs for more information on admissions into master’s programs. Good luck!

  28. Sundas February 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm #

    Hello ….i am sundas …..i am a green card holder ….i completed my 12 years of education in Pakistan which is considered as high school here in USA ….now i want to know that can i continue my education in college ? if yes than which tests are required to prepare for admission in college ……… is my education is equivalent to that of here in USA ….or i have to repeat High school’s last two years ? Thank You

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

      Hi Sundas,

      Thanks for reaching out! Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid I can’t give you a perfect answer to this question. Each school sets it’s own requirements for admission, so I recommend that you research the schools you are interested in to find out about the requirements for students who graduated high school in other countries. You will probably have to take the TOEFL as well as either the ACT or SAT. Almost all American universities require students to take either the ACT or SAT, regardless of where they graduated from high school 🙂

  29. Tamara February 8, 2018 at 8:31 pm #

    As a green card holder, do you know what requirements or prerequisites I need to apply to law school?

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 9, 2018 at 7:15 am #

      Great question, Tamara. At the vast majority of law schools, even the most competitive ones, you’ll be held to the same requirements and prerequisites as a native English speaking US citizen.

      There’s one area where it might get tricky, however. If your undergraduate degree was completed outside of the United States, you’ll need to have your foreign credits analyzed by an American credential evaluator. If this applies to you and you’d like to know more, see our article on transferring course credit from abroad.

  30. Neel parikh March 14, 2018 at 3:47 am #

    Hello, Thank you for such valuable information. I have applied for F4 file for the USA and my priority date is Jan 20 – 2005 while my current filing date is Feb 1-2004. I am pretty confused about what should I do. I am in my 8th semester in Computer engineering and what file predictor shows is that it might get open around Jan 2020. So should I apply for a Student visa or is there any way I can get some financial aid off even though my file is about to get open.If not, would there be any problem if I apply for a student visa and get tampered with my immigration file?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 14, 2018 at 10:21 am #

      Hi Neel,

      I’m sorry to hear about this predicament! We are a test prep company and offer this information as a reference for students, but we are not immigration experts and can’t provide this sort of legal advice. I recommend that you search for free legal or immigration clinics in your area. Many schools and organizations provide legal advice for students. Good luck!

  31. Manav Sheth March 22, 2018 at 7:07 am #

    I m Manav from India…i am going to complete FYBCOM(12+1) in a month…and I m also a InterCA student appearing in this May.I m a greencard holder.
    I want to get some information about how to apply for college in USA n which exams do I require to give…?? SAT or TOEFL ??
    N I also want to know about in which year/grade I will get my admission in undergraduate degree??

    • David Recine
      David Recine March 22, 2018 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Manav,

      Because you have a Green Card, most universities will only ask you for the SAT or ACT (your choice). Some particularly competitive schools may also ask you for TOEFL, but that’s rare. Unless a school says otherwise, assume you’ll apply in the same way as any other domestic student, and look at the university’s requirements for domestic rather than international admissions.

      As for which year you will be placed in when you start your undergrad, that depends on how many of your Indian undergraduate credits transfer to your American program. To figure this out, you need to get your Indian course credit evaluated for American study. FOr more info on this process, see my article on transferring course credit from abroad.

  32. Rajershi March 26, 2018 at 1:53 am #

    Hello, I’m a US permanent resident since 2017 but currently completing my 12th grade at my home country, Bangladesh. But I’ll go back to Texas,USA in AUGUST, 2018. I would like to apply for undergraduate program in US university in this Fall, 2018.
    So, my question is-
    Will I be eligible for ‘In-State’ tution fee if I apply this Fall, 2018 in Texas ( specially at UT Austine, Texas A&M @ College Station?
    OR, I should wait for next year fall to get In-state tution?

    • David Recine
      David Recine March 26, 2018 at 11:19 am #

      That’s a tricky question. Every state has its own policies on what counts as in-state resident, and each state campus has its own office for interpreting and enforcing those rules. I don’t know about Texas in particular, but I know that in a lot of states, if you graduated high school out of state (including out of country), you need to be back in-state for a year after graduation to regain state residency. But I recommend contacting UT Austin and Texas A&M, explaining your situation to them, and asking them what the rules are for getting in-state rates. Your situation is a little unusual, so you’ll want to double check.

  33. Sarabjit April 14, 2018 at 11:04 pm #

    I did my bsc in India with chemistry botany zoology and bed then did msc with forensic science now I am going to became a permanent resident in USA , tell what type of study would be possible for me to gat a state job

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 16, 2018 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Sarabjit,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not visa and employment advice, so I’m afraid that I’m not sure how to answer your question. You can find general information about this on usajobs and other employment sites. Good luck 🙂

  34. David May 8, 2018 at 12:27 am #

    I am a green card holder and planning to further my
    college education in U.S. What kind of tution fees will I be dealing with? International fees or local fees. If the answer is local, do I need to be residing some period in U.S. to be a local student.


    • David Recine
      David Recine May 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

      The answer is indeed “local fees.” 🙂 But you will probably need to reside for at least one year in any state where you want to pay in-state tuition at a public university. I say “probably” because every state has different residency requirements for in-state tuition. Contact your local public university for more details.

  35. Presage Khyaguli May 13, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

    I have a green card and I am willing to join a university for MS in CS. I did my UG from India. Can you tell me the documents and process required for the same. Also do I have to get my transcripts verified from USCIS like an international student to apply for the program. Help will be highly appriciated.

    Thank You.

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 14, 2018 at 6:51 am #

      Hi Presage. Congratulations on your Green Card. 🙂 You will apply as a domestic student, meaning that USCIS will not be involved in the process. You will need to have your Indian degree evaluated by a transcript evaluation company, though. For details on this process, see my article on transferring course credit from abroad.

  36. Shankrith June 18, 2018 at 2:08 am #

    Hi, I am a US citizen but I will be receiving my undergraduate degree from India. I have written my GRE exam in April. Is it required for me to write any English proficiency exam?

    Some colleges have specified this requirement but others have not mentioned anything about not taking any English proficiency tests for US citizens who have got degrees outside English speaking countries.

    Can you please help?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Shankirth,

      I think that your best option is to write directly to the admissions officers for your target schools to ask about the requirement. Most schools require some proof of English level–in some cases, getting your degree in an English-speaking school is enough, but since your undergraduate degree is from India, you may have to take the TOEFL or IELTS. I recommend that you seek information directly from the source, because you definitely don’t want to delay or hurt your chance at admissions because of a missing test!

  37. najin June 20, 2018 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi! I got my BS in Biology from the Philippines, I wonder if I can possibly apply for Medical School here in the US and get the MD in 4 years (supposedly i passed all tests) since I am already a GC holder and my degree is a preparatory course for medicine. Thanks! 🙂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 21, 2018 at 9:19 am #

      Hi Najin,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid we aren’t the best people to answer this question! I recommend that you contact the admissions office of some of the medical schools that you are interested in so that you can get the correct information directly from the source!

  38. Vyas July 7, 2018 at 5:58 am #

    Hi , i just finished my Btech in computer science from India and my green card application is still pending. When should i start applying for MS in US universities? Is there a difference in application process as i am gonna be a Permanent Resident there? And also i am allowed for the in state tution fees?

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm #

      You’re in a strange gray area right now, Vyas. Until your Green Card is fully processed, schools may ask you to apply instead as an international student. Do not do this unless you’ve been assured by American immigration that holding a student visa will not disrupt or delay your pending Green Card application.

      In fact, I would say hold off from applying as an international student and simply wait for your Green Card to go through, even if that means slightly delaying grad school enrollment. If you have a Green Card, you go through a much simpler application process, the same application process that a full citizen would go through. And yes, in most cases, you’ll also be eligible for in-state tuition. (Exact regulations on this vary from state-to-state, of course!)

      Finally, I recommend calling the international student support offices of any grad schools you may want to apply to. Most international education offices are aware of these kinds of gray areas, and can give you detailed advice on when and how you should apply. (Again though, if any office tells you to apply for an international student visa while your Green Card is pending, double check with US immigration and ideally also an immigration lawyer to see if that’s actually OK.)

  39. nick July 24, 2018 at 7:22 am #

    I am green card holder(originally from nepal) and i have studied 12 years in nepal which is equivalent to high school in usa do you know what requirements or prerequisites I need to apply to med school?

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 24, 2018 at 10:09 am #

      Hi Nick. first, congratulations on your green card! Second, in the USA (unlike many other countries), med school itself is a graduate degree. So with just high school equivalent,you will instead want to apply to a regular undergraduate university and major in a field that will give you the biology pre-requisites you need so that you can eventually go to grad school for medicine. A biology or pre-med degree is usually best. But consult with the med school you’re interested in, to make sure you get an undergrad degree that meets the requirements.

      Finally, in terms of application requirements and processes, you’ll go through the exact same application process as a US citizen would. No international student visa needed, and you will be potentially eligible for in-state tuition. 🙂

  40. Nick August 19, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Thanks David, Do I need to give the Tofel test as well?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 23, 2018 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Nick,

      You should definitely look up the requirements for your target schools, but you may need to take the TOEFL unless your language of instruction in Nepal was English. I recommend that you reach out to some admissions advisors to get the most up-to-date information about the admissions requirements for your target schools 🙂

  41. tooba September 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm #

    i have done master in business administration from pakistan and i am the permanent resident in united states. U.s evaluation service has given me a U.s bachelor degree equivalency. But as everyone knows that foreign education is not appreciated in United states so i have to get a degree here to get a good job but being cost effective, should i go for second bachelor degree in U.S or should i go for master degree in U.S ?

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm #

      If you decide to get a degree in the U.S., I would honestly recommend a second Master’s rather than a second bachelors. Having an American Master’s and a Pakistani undergrad degree would lend some extra credibility to your bachelor’s. This is because it would make it clear that your foreign 4-year degree allowed you to qualify for and obtain US higher education.

      With that said, you may want to consider simply applying for jobs. It’s definitely true that certain foreign credentials are very underappreciated in the US. Foreign degrees related to healthcare or education, for example, are often viewed with skepticism by American employers. However, foreign business degrees are appreciated by many employers. Would an American business degree still make you a little bit more attractive in the American job market? Possibly? But your Pakistani degrees just might open a lot of doors for you as well.

  42. Jagadish September 5, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Hy , I am Jagadish Sharma permanent resident of united state . I did my Masters degree in Business Studies and Masters degree in Economic from Nepal . Now I want to do one Degree in Economics or Business studies in the USA . please provide the required information about the requirement regarding admission . Thanks in advance .


    • David Recine
      David Recine September 6, 2018 at 7:22 pm #

      A a permanent resident of the United States, you will apply as a domestic student. That means you don’t have to worry about getting an international student visa. It also means you may be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities. (Polices regarding in-state tuition vary, so always check with any public school you’re applying to.) You will also probably not have to take the TOEFL. Most universities only require TOEFL scores form international applicants. Again, though, double check with the schools you’re applying to.

      Finally, you will need to take a grad school entrance exam if you’re applying for a graduate-level business degree. Most business grad programs require the GMAT, but some also accept GRE scores.

      Hope this helps. And congrats on having US permanent residency! 🙂

      • Jagadish Sharma September 25, 2018 at 10:27 pm #

        Thank you so much for your advice . Can i directly apply to Phd Program or another masters degree of united state is needed to join Phd program ?

        Thank you

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 28, 2018 at 1:07 pm #

          Hi Jagadish,

          This will depend on the school that you apply to! Most PhD programs require a certain amount of post-graduate (Master’s level) study in order to be eligible to apply for admission, and the school will have to determine if they will accept the Master’s degree from Nepal. I recommend that you reach out to the admissions counselors and department heads of your target schools for more information 🙂

  43. Madhav Dahal September 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

    I am green card holder at USA and I am here since one month. I have completed my masters degree at Mathematics Education from Nepal. I want to continue my studies through accuracy Mathematics.
    What should I have to do for this.
    I would be grateful to get the answer of this question.
    Thank you.

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 7, 2018 at 9:16 am #

      Congratulations on completing a Master’s degree and getting a US Green card. 🙂 If I understand correctly, you’re looking to go to grad school for more math education here in the USA? If that’s the case, there are a few things you should know. First, know that you’ll be treated as a domestic student for the purposes of application. That means you won’t have to apply for a student visa. You also probably won’t have to take the TOEFL. And you may be eligible for in-state tuition discounts at public universities. Check with individual schools to see what their domestic student application process requires.

  44. Naina September 10, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

    I have been living and studying at a community college in Texas for the past two years, as an international student. I got married to a citizen recently and now I am applying for my green card. I applied for pharmacy school as an international student, but that starts next August, by which time I should have my green card. Will I be eligible for in-state tuition fees or will I have to live here with a green card for a year to be eligible for in state tuition?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Naina,

      Congratulations on your wedding and I hope the green card process goes smoothly! I think that the best thing you can do is to reach out to the school and ask directly…each school has slightly different policies and processes for this sort of thing, so it’s best to get your information straight from the source. I wish we could be of more help…good luck!

  45. Anuj patel September 14, 2018 at 9:35 am #

    I am in 12th grade in india and when my 12th grade is complete i will come to usa with immigrant visa with green card. Which exams is needed to give for community colleges and other … for my further studies….

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm #

      Hi Anuj,

      This depends on the school; each college has it’s own admissions requirements and application process. You may have to take an English proficiency test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. I recommend that you contact some community colleges near your future home in order to get the most accurate information 🙂

  46. Ramesh Gupta September 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm #

    My daughter is an Indian citizen, and is currently a high school senior in California, USA. She is applying for colleges this year as an International student on H4 visa. Our Green Card application is pending and she may get hers likely during her first year of college, after her admission. Will she be eligible for in-state tuition fees after getting her Green Card. Also, does she need to take exams like TOEFL for the college admission?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 21, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi Ramesh,

      I recommend that you reach out directly to admissions counselors at your daughter’s target schools to get information about their policies and procedures. As David mentions in this article, it might be a good idea to wait to apply to school until after the permanent residency has been processed. However, as you know, the immigration process is complex, and we aren’t immigration experts. The best source of information for this question is the school itself!

  47. Fatima November 15, 2018 at 8:07 am #

    I am a green card holder. I am studying in doctorate of Business administration in US university for two years. I am going to apply for PhD of Mathematics but the university I chose , tell me TOEFL is needed for PhD of math? Is it correct?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

      Hi Fatima,

      Each university and graduate program chooses its own admissions requirements. Often, they ask for proof that you have completed a degree in an English-speaking university, or they require a standardized test like the TOEFL. In your case, I recommend that you reach out to the admissions counselor at your target school. They may be able to provide more details about their requirements or allow you to apply for some sort of waiver. Good luck!

  48. Miraj December 1, 2018 at 6:34 am #

    Thank you for your post. I’m going to be settled in USA within few days as my family have got the immigrant visa. I’m from Bangladesh.Here in Bangladesh, I’ve completed my O level and A level equivalent degrees. Problem is, my passport and academic certificate contains information that are not similar . There has some spelling that doesn’t match. I need time to resolve the issue but my family want to move there as soon as possible. Has there any significant value of my certificates(I am not a english medium student) in USA in the case of admission in university?

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 4, 2018 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Miraj,

      From the sounds of it, your certificates will be of interest to US universities for admissions purposes. The misspellings and other issues on your passport and academic certificate are unfortunate. But those problems can likely be resolved if you hire a professional foreign credential evaluator. This is something you’ll likely need to do anyway as part of the international university admissions process. For more information, see my blog post on transferring course credit from abroad.

  49. Jingyi December 5, 2018 at 11:37 pm #

    Thank you the post and I appreciate the information given. This is going off the topic a little but I wonder if you could help me since you are much more experienced. I currently a sophomore who hold a permanent resident visa (not a green card but a sticker/stamp in the passport) and goes to a liberal art college in Ohio. I’ve been planning to apply for the University of Michigan which is a state school. I will not receive my green card until later next year (passing the application deadline for fall semester 2019). Do you happen to know whether I’m qualified as a permanent resident or still an international student? Thank you in advance!

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 6, 2018 at 6:47 am #

      Hi Jingyi,

      If you already have permanent residency, you should be able to apply as a domestic student, even if your actual Green Card hasn’t been issued yet. If your current school in Ohio is treating you as a permanent resident/domestic student, then the next school you go to should also treat you as the same.

      Since you haven’t been issued an actual Green Card yet, there’s a chance a school could mistake you for an international student. But from what you’ve told me, you should not be considered an international student. And if a school does ask you to apply as one, you shouldn’t necessarily listen to them. If you have permanent status and a pending Green Card, I’d advise against applying for a non-permanent student visa unless USCIS tells you that you can do so without it affecting your current permanent residency status.

      With all that said, I am not a trained immigration expert per se– just someone with a background in international education. You may want to talk with a student visa specialist at the University of Michigan, or consult with an immigration lawyer, or call USCIS. (Or do all three!)

      Best of luck!

  50. sachin December 10, 2018 at 6:36 pm #

    Hello,I am from nepal I’ll getting my green card by the end of 2018 .I’ve completed my higher school with science from nepal and also I’ve completed SAT2 subjective test in physice,chemistry and biology and I want to study pre med(MBBS) in united States of america.and are there any other requirement ….

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 12, 2018 at 7:42 pm #

      Hi Sachin!

      There aren’t MBBS programs in the US. However, if you’d like to study pre-med at a university, the first step will be researching the requirements for your dream schools!

      Most schools’ websites will have plenty of information about the requirements for admission. No matter what, you will have to start looking in to standardized tests for college admission. You may have to take the TOEFL, and you’ll have to choose between the SAT (not subject tests) and ACT. I recommend that you check out our High School Blog which has tons of great information about the SAT and ACT so that you can choose the test that is best for you! 🙂

  51. Sidra December 19, 2018 at 11:14 am #

    Hi, I am from Pakistan, I have green card of USA ,, i have master degree in Master of commerce ( from university of lahore . Now I want to continue my education in USA kindly please suggest me which program provide me better opportunity & Can you tell me how can I apply for it ???

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 19, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

      Hi Sidra!

      Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid we aren’t the best people to answer this question! I recommend calling the international student support offices of any grad schools you may want to apply to. Most international education offices are aware of these kinds of gray areas, and can give you detailed advice on when and how you should apply. Here’s a great place to start your grad school research:

      Best Grad Schools

      Depending on the types of programs you’re interested in, you may have to take the GRE, GMAT, and/or TOEFL. 🙂

  52. kelly January 19, 2019 at 10:23 pm #

    Hi, I have green card of USA but not citizen of the U.S. I finished my undergraduate study in California. I am applying for master degree in the U.S this year, I wonder am I gong to be treated as “domestic applicant ” or “international applicant”? Do domestic applicant have advantage over international applicant in graduate school admission (I applied to mostly private schools)? Thank you so much!!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 25, 2019 at 8:47 am #

      Hi Kelly,

      This will really depend on the school and how it views green card holders. Some schools might treat you like a domestic applicant while others (particularly private schools) may treat you as an international applicant. There is not necessarily a difference in you likelihood of being admitted, but the international student tuition is generally higher, and you may not have the same access to student aid. I recommend contacting your target schools directly to ask how they process applicants with green cards!

  53. Jasmine March 17, 2019 at 10:51 am #

    I have completed my 12th here in India and I’ll shortly be moving to the US in 2-3 months as a permanent resident. I am really confused as to what qualification will the colleges be needing in order for me to get admission

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 22, 2019 at 6:37 am #

      Hi Jasmine,

      You will have to reach out to the colleges themselves and find out what they and the immigration authorities require. It varies considerably, and I would recommend against trusting our advice here. Good luck!

  54. Isabelle April 21, 2019 at 2:17 am #

    Hi. I’m so glad I found this blog, I need some answers! I just became a green card holder and I really want to go back to school. I live in LA and been living here during the whole process (1,5 years). Now, am I eligible for in-state tuition already since it’s been 1,5 years or do I have to wait another year?
    Also, I might move to NY. Does this mean I need to wait another year before getting in-state tuition since I’m moving from one state to another?
    Thank you so much!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 3, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Isabelle, congrats on getting your green card!

      I actually recommend that you reach out directly to the admissions office of your target schools for more information on this. Each state and school has it’s own determinations for in-state tuition, and you’ll have to make sure that you are following their guidelines. I don’t want to give you incorrect information for such an important question!

      In most cases, when you move to another state for school, you will have to wait to establish residency. If you want to go to school in New York, it could be a good idea to move there a year before starting–that can save thousands of dollars! You should also look into funding options for your schools. Some schools will grant in-state tuition to teaching or graduate assistants, for example. Again, it’s best to talk directly with an admissions advisor for the most accurate information. Good luck!

  55. Heena May 13, 2019 at 4:38 am #

    Hi David

    I am a Indian citizen and completed my MSc in physics in India. Now I am interested to study masters in medical physics. I may come to usa in nearly Februaray’20 by family immigration process. So, can I eligible to get admission in masters degree in fall 2020 ? And if yes, then how university will consider me as domestic student or international student? And if they consider me as international student then can I eligible for financial aids and covert my status from international student to domestic student? Will this all process affect my immigration process?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 24, 2019 at 8:40 am #

      Hi Heena,

      These are all great questions! Unfortunately, our expertise is in test prep, not admissions or legal immigration advice! I recommend that you contact some schools directly to understand their process, how they determine financial aid and whether you will be eligible to apply for fall 2020. Good luck!

  56. mana shah May 22, 2019 at 10:00 pm #

    Hello sir is there any need to give any exam for green card holder to do master in USA??

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 24, 2019 at 9:07 am #

      Hi Mana,

      Most master’s programs in the US require all incoming students to complete a standardized test. Most require either the GRE or the GMAT. If you did not complete high school or university in an English-speaking country, you will also have to take the TOEFL or IELTS, which are both English language exams. I recommend reaching out to the admissions counselor for some of your target schools to get the most accurate information about what is required.

  57. Dave dexter July 28, 2019 at 6:33 am #

    Hello sir, my green card application is in process but I intend to enroll at my local community college in fall 2019 I’ve lived in the us for over a year and I’ve contacted the school and they said I can apply but I will need to take a placement test after my application to determine if I’m college ready and that’s totally fine
    I just want to know will enrolling at the community college affect the green card application which is in process thank you.

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 13, 2019 at 8:46 am #

      First, Dave, congratulations on your pending Green Card! Second, I would advise talking to an immigration expert (or calling US immigration) to see if enrolling in a local community college would affect your Green Card application. My guess is that it wouldn’t, as long as you don’t enroll as an international student or apply for an international student visa. But I don’t know for certain, and a visa expert would give the best answer.

  58. Eva Ann October 1, 2019 at 11:31 pm #

    Hi I have a cousin who has her permanent resident card. She intend to study at a community college in Washington state. She has completed almost 4 years of undergraduate in the Philippines. What requirements does she need to apply to a community college? Also, can she apply for scholarships or financial aid?

    Thank you so much. Your response will be greatly appreciated!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 8, 2019 at 5:47 pm #

      Hi Eva 🙂 Unfortunately we don’t keep information like this because it varies so much by school and by state. I would recommend that you or your cousin get in touch with the international students offices at a few community colleges and see what their admissions policies are. They’ll definitely be able to help give you this sort of information 🙂

  59. Minakshi June 15, 2020 at 9:40 am #

    I’m a green card holder and I currently finished my 12th grade from my home place Nepal and now i want to apply for my Undergraduate studies to US so is financial aid opportunity provided to me by the colleges is as same as the in-state students? How does the colleges come to know that i’m a green card holder?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 15, 2021 at 12:50 pm #

      Hi Minakshi, you should reach out directly to the admissions department at your target school for the most updated and correct information.

  60. mawra June 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm #

    hey , i am a US permanent resident but its been 7months I am outside US. I am looking forward to apply to few universities for fall semester; I wanted to know for filling my application should I give my international home address? since I dont have a permanent address in US yet. last year when I got my green card we were staying in MD after that we moved to newyork state and there we got an apartment on rent and then we flew back, and until now we are outside US but we will be going back in a month. so kindly guide me about address and application also asks of parents occupation so what to say about occupation like my father has a shop in this county but in US he works at a store. I am confused please reply ASAP

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 24, 2020 at 10:43 am #

      Our expertise is in test prep, not immigration rules/laws. I recommend that you contact an immigration attorney, look up the requirements on the government website, or contact your target schools about their application. Good luck!

  61. Sara July 28, 2020 at 11:42 pm #

    Hey there, I am a student from pakistan. I did my bachelors degree from pakistan too, i went back to complete the last year without residing in states for a year after coming to USA as immigrants.My guardian stayed here only I traveled back. But as we are immigrants and greencards holders. I was wondering if i am eligible to take admission as local student or not.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 15, 2021 at 12:46 pm #

      Hi Sara, you should reach out to your target schools to learn about their specific policies for residency.

  62. Sohail September 11, 2020 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi, i am a green card holder and i have completed my 12th in india with 75%. .will i need to write india’s entrance exam(NEET) or directly the SAT/ACT for undergraduates program.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 28, 2020 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Sohail, this depends on what school you want to attend! Make sure to check the admissions criteria for your target schools to see what exams they require.

  63. NEHA September 30, 2020 at 4:28 am #

    I am 12th grade student and my visa process once i will complete my 12th i will get visa for the USA and also green card within a year, I wanted to know that how will i get admission in USA colleges, what are the procedures,test required for the same.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Neha, our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so I’m afraid we aren’t the best people to answer this question! I recommend using this post as a starting point, and reaching out to your target schools for more information on their admission requirements.

      • Tamirlan November 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm #


        My name is Tamirlan and I am applying to the SUNY Farmingdale State College in the Fall 2021. I am about to finish my application before the Junuary 15th deadline. I would like to know if refugees or asylum granted international applicants? My status is “asylum granted”. If I am not considered an international student then I do not need to take TOEFL, is that right?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 8, 2021 at 1:51 pm #

          Hi Tamirlan,

          Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions or immigration advice, so I’m afraid we aren’t the best people to answer this question. I’d recommend contacting the international admissions offices at SUNY–they should be able to point you towards helpful resources. Good luck!

  64. Edwin December 9, 2020 at 3:37 am #

    Hi Magoosh,

    Just arrived as a Permanent Resident in WA from Kenya. I did my Undergraduate in Kenya and would like to take on a completely new Undergraduate Degree in the US. Will i need to take the SAT/ACT to be accepted to a public university or Is there a way those can be waived because I already have a Degree from a different country? How will my first degree (from Kenya) be helpful in getting admitted for my Undergrad Degree in the US? Thanks a lot


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 8, 2021 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi Edwin, welcome to the US! Our expertise is in test prep, not admissions advice, so we may not be the best people to answer this question. You should definitely check directly with the admissions offices for the universities you are interested in attending. Some schools have waived the SAT/ACT requirement for all students, though in some cases it’s still a good idea to take the test. In your essay, you can write about how your experience in Kenya prepared you for success in your second undergraduate degree. Good luck!

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply