Residency Requirements

By law, every student must file a statement declaring his/her residence status. This is done while completing the residency section of the admission application when applying to college.

You qualify for California residency if:

  • You are living in California for other than educational purposes;
  • And you can provide proof you have resided in California for a year and a day (more than 365 days) prior to the beginning of the semester you wish to attend;
  • And you can prove intent of becoming a permanent resident of California and the first day of that intent began a year and a day (more than 365 days) prior to the beginning of the semester you wish to attend.

Reclassification Questionnaire (PDF)

Under Education Code section 68075.6, Special Immigrant Visa holders and refugees who settled in California upon entering the United States may not have to pay nonresident tuition fees.   This means that eligible visa holders and refugees may be treated like California residents for tuition purposes.  This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.  This exemption applies to the following:

  • Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq (Pub. L. No. 110-181, § 1244)
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Pub. L. No. 109-163, § 1059)
  • Afghanistan nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Pub. L. No. 111-8, § 602)
  • Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code.

  • If you are an active duty member of the United States Military stationed in California, or are their dependent and can show the required documentation, you may qualify for a tuition exemption even if you do not otherwise qualify for California Resident status

OR

  • AB 13 and VACA Act:You may qualify for a tuition exemption from non-resident fees even if you do not otherwise qualify for California Resident status if:
    • you are a discharged member of the United States Military eligible for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11 GI Bill;
      • or their spouse or child,
      • or the spouse or child of a deceased member of the United States Military using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship;
    • And the service member’s last active duty period lasted 90 days or longer;
    • And it is within three years of the service member’s last day of active duty;
    • And you live in California.

A combination of at least two of the following items must be presented to prove intent. The burden of proof is on the student to provide this verification of having the following within the residency determination period:

  • Proof of renting or leasing a residence in California
  • Purchase of a home in California
  • Registering to vote and voting in California
  • Obtaining a valid California Driver's license or California State ID card
  • Purchase of a California Motor Vehicle registration
  • Filing California State Tax Returns and filing Federal Tax Returns with a California address
  • Having a Checking or Savings Account in a California Bank or Credit Union
  • Having a California Resident’s Hunting or Fishing license
  • Membership in a California location of a Service or Social Club

Additionally, if the student is under 19 years of age and their parents DO NOT live in California, the student must provide two of the above AND must prove they are self-supporting by:

  • Proving they were not and will not be claimed on the parent's tax returns in the calendar year the reclassification is made and any of the 3 calendar years prior to the reclassification application;
  • And providing proof of their independent income

Students who attended High School in California may be eligible for the AB 540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption. Students cannot be nonimmigrant aliens, must meet all admission requirements for eligible California high school graduates, and must have attended a high school in California for three or more years to be exempt from paying nonresident tuition. Eligible students must file an exemption request including a signed AB 540 form. Prior to the start of the term, the student must have:

  • Graduated from a California high school OR
  • Attained the equivalent of a high school graduation in California (passed the GED or California High School Proficiency Exam, et al)
AND
  • Attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, OR
  • Attained an equivalent of three years of California high school course work AND have attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for three or more years.

If you qualify, you may complete and then print the AB 540 form here and then return it the Admissions and Records counter.

Students who were classified as non-residents can have their status reclassified once they have met the requirements to be considered a California Resident by completing the Reclassification Questionnaire along with a picture ID and two forms of documented proof of your intent to establish California as your permanent residence. You may complete and then print the Reclassification Questionnaire. You must submit your documentation as detailed above when turning in your completed questionnaire to Admissions and Records.

The regulations that we follow toward determining your status as a California Resident or a Non-Resident may be found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 5. Education, Division 6. California Community Colleges, Chapter 5. Students, Subchapter 1. Student Residence Classification.

For additional Residency questions, please contact the Admissions and Records office: 559-325-5200.