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Immigrant (Title III): WISEdata

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Immigrant (Title III) is an indication of whether or not a student qualifies as an immigrant under Title III, Section 3301 (6) of the ESSA.

Three criteria must be met in order for a student to qualify as an immigrant under the definition specified by ESSA:


  1. Aged 3-21 as of the Third Friday of September,
  2. Not born in U.S.,
  3. In U.S. schools for less than three full academic years, whether consecutive or not.

If the student has a confirmed immigrant status, you should submit this information to WISEdata. If a district submits immigrant information for a student, the student's record will then display a value of Immigrant in the Student Details characteristics of WISEdata. If no immigrant information is submitted on a student, this is assumed to be a No value and nothing displays in the Student Details for this characteristic. Elements are all stored at the student level and shared across districts. Native Language code will also be required for those marked with immigrant status (unless PPP, DOC, DHS).

USES: Federal funding is based in part on counts of students qualifying as immigrants qualified on the above criteria. In this case, English language proficiency is not a factor. Data about student status as an immigrant are also required by the U.S. Department of Education for some disaggregated reporting.


FAQs, Details, and Points to Note


  1. Legality: DPI does not collect information on the legal basis for any student’s current residence in the U.S. (e.g., citizenship status, permanent residency, visas, etc.).
  2. Adoption: Students adopted by U.S. citizens may have Immigrant (Title III) code Y if they meet the above three criteria.
  3. Born Outside the U.S.: DPI does not require information on where a student was born outside the U.S. 
  4. U.S. Territories: According to the USDE, students born in the territories of the United States other than Puerto Rico are not considered born in the U.S. for purposes of determining immigrants under Title III. These territories include American Samoa, Guam, Marianas Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands. These students are considered 'not born in the U.S.'. Children born outside the U.S. to military personnel and children born outside the U.S. and adopted by U.S. citizens are considered 'not born in the U.S.'.
  5. Foreign Exchange Students: Students studying in a state in the U.S. and students who accompany their families on international business and diplomatic missions may have Immigrant (Title III) status if they meet the above three criteria.
    • State is defined as the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  6. Determining Immigrant Status and Collecting Immigrant Data:

    To determine whether or not a student meets the Title III definition of an immigrant child and youth, a school and/or district should not ask about a student, parent, guardian, or sponsor’s citizenship or immigration status or date of entry into the United States. 

    For purposes of determining if a student meets the definition of immigrant children and youth under Title III, district staff should request only information about a student’s date of birth, place of birth, and prior school enrollment.

    • First, in seeking such information, the school and/or district should note in writing that providing the information is not required and that the requested information will only be used to determine whether the child may be eligible for programs offered in the district that provide enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youth.


      Second, the school and/or district should determine whether a student meets the first two criteria of the definition of immigrant child or youth (confirming age and birth outside the United States).


    • In collecting such information, schools and/or districts should pose the same question of all students and ensure that the information is not used to discriminate against students in any way.

    • Finally, only after determining that a student meets the initial criteria for Title III eligibility should the school and/or district then ask questions to determine the total cumulative number of months that the student has attended schools in the United States. District staff cannot ask about a student or family’s immigration status.


See also:

Title III, Part B, Section 3201 (5) - Definition of Immigrant Children and Youth

Title III - Immigrant Children


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