California Residency

Forms

Statement of Legal Residence for Readmitted Students
Petition for Change of Legal Residence for Continuing Students
Student Affidavit Form
Parent Affidavit Form
California Tuition Exemption for Eligible California High School Graduate

Special Instructions for New Students

 

Residency Information

 

Basic Rule for Adult Students

If you are an adult student, to establish California residence, at least 366 days prior to the term for which you request classification as a California resident, you must have established a primary and permanent domicile in California and relinquished all ties to your past place(s) of residence.  You also must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or you must have an immigration status that allows you to establish California residence.

If you are not at least 24 years old by December 31 of the year in which you are requesting classification as a California resident, you must demonstrate that you are financially independent or that you are dependent on a parent who meets the University’s requirements for classification as a California resident.

Establishing Residency for Tuition Purposes
You may establish a residence in California for tuition purposes if you are a financially independent adult. You are not eligible to establish residence if you are an adult alien present in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant status that precludes you from establishing a domicile in the U.S. (including, but not limited to, B, F, H2, H3, J, M, O, P, Q, S, TN, and TD visas) or an alien without a legal immigration status. To establish residence you must be physically present in California with the intent to make California your permanent home, and you must demonstrate by your actions that you have given up your former residence to establish a residence in California. Once you have established your residence in California, you must reside in California for more than one year (366 days) before you will be eligible to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes. If you are in California solely for educational purposes, you will not be considered to have established a residence for tuition purposes, regardless of the length of your stay. Your residence cannot be derived from your spouse or from your parents unless you are a minor.

Demonstrating Intent
Your intent to be a California resident is judged by your actions. You must show, by the actions you take after you move to California, that you are present in California because you intend to reside here indefinitely, as opposed to being in California to go to school. Acts that may indicate your intent to make California your permanent home include, but are not limited to: establishing a home in California in which your personal belonging are kept; designating California as your permanent address on all records; registering to vote and voting in California elections; registering your vehicle in California and obtaining a California driver license; paying California income taxes on all income since the date you moved to California; remaining in California during non-instructional periods; establishing bank accounts in California; and the absence of these and any other indications of residence in other states or countries during any period for which you claim California residence.

Financial Independence
Unless you are supported by California resident parents, you must be financially independent to be classified a resident for tuition purposes. You are, by definition, financially independent if one or more of the following applies: (1) you are at least 24 years of age by December 31 of the year you request resident classification; (2) you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; (3) you are a ward of the court or both of your parents are deceased; (4) you have legal dependents other than a spouse or registered domestic partner; (5) you are married, are in a registered domestic partnership, or are a graduate or professional student, and you were not and will not be claimed as an income tax deduction by any individual other than your spouse or registered domestic partner for the tax year preceding the term for which you are requesting resident classification; or (6) you are a single undergraduate student who was not claimed as an income tax deduction by your parents or any other individual for the two tax years immediately preceding the term for which you are requesting resident classification, and you have been supporting yourself during those two years and the current year. Note: Graduate students who are graduate student instructors, teaching or research assistants, or teaching associates employed at 49% time or more (or awarded the equivalent in University-administered funds) in the term for which resident classification is sought are not required to be financially independent.

Rules Applicable to Minors
Generally, unmarried minors derive residence from their parents. If you are under age 18, your residence is the same as the residence of the parent with whom you live. Unless you are an alien who is in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa that precludes you from establishing a domicile in the U.S., once you become an adult (age 18), you may establish your own residence. Your residence for tuition purposes continues to be the same as that of your parents until you have been an adult resident of California for more than one year (and have fulfilled the other residency requirements). If you have a parent living, you cannot change your residence by your own act, by the appointment of a legal guardian, or by the relinquishment of your parents' right of control. If you live with neither parent, your residence is the same as the parent with whom you last lived. You can derive California residence from a parent if that parent satisfies the one-year durational requirement.

Exceptions to the Rules Applicable to Minors
There are some exceptions to the rules above related to minors. If you are a minor and any of the following circumstances apply to you, you may be eligible to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes: (1) You have a California resident parent and you move to California to begin residing with that parent prior to your 18th birthday; (2) Your parents were California residents who have moved to another state and you remain in California and enroll in a California public post-secondary institution within one year of your parents' departure; 3 You support yourself and you live in California for more than one year immediately prior to the term; (4) You have been living with and been supported by an adult other than your parents for more than two years immediately prior to the term.

Exemptions from Nonresident Tuition
The following categories of students may be entitled to an exemption from nonresident tuition: (1) members of the U.S. military stationed in California on active duty and their spouses, registered domestic partners, and dependent children; (2) unmarried dependent children under age 21, spouses, and registered domestic partners of members of the UC faculty who are members of the Academic Senate; (3) unmarried dependent children, spouses, and registered domestic partners of full-time UC employees who are assigned to work outside California; (4) full-time UC employees who are assigned to work outside California; (5) children, spouses, and registered domestic partners of deceased public law enforcement or fire suppression employees killed in the course of their official duties who were California residents at the time of their death; (6) dependent children of California residents; (7) graduates of a California high school operated by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs; (8) credentialed employees of a California public school; (9) amateur student athletes training at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista; (10) students who attended high school in California for three years and graduated from a California high school (or attained the equivalent), except students who are nonimmigrant aliens (application and affidavit) (11) surviving dependents of California residents killed in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks; (12) recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor and their children under age 27. For students in categories (3) & (4), a review will be conducted each term to verify continuation of the applicable status.

Temporary Absences
If you are in the process of establishing residence in California for tuition purposes and you leave California (e.g., if, during the summer break, you return to your former home state or to the state in which your parents reside), you will be presumed to be in California solely to pursue your educational objectives. Only convincing evidence to the contrary will rebut this presumption. Students who are in California solely for educational purposes are not eligible to be classified as residents for tuition purposes regardless of the length of their stay in California.

If you are have been classified as a resident and you leave California, your absence could result in the loss of your residence status unless you can show that your absence was temporary and that while you were away you maintained your California residence and did not acquire a residence elsewhere.

Petitions
You may petition for a change of classification from nonresident to resident status by submitting a Petition for Change of Legal Residence with copies of the supporting documents (see the section "Demonstrating Intent” for example of documentation).  For the California tuition exemption for eligible California high school graduates, submit California Tuition Exemption for Eligible California High School Graduate. Petitions and documentation must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the following dates:

Fall Quarter July 15
Winter Quarter October 15
Spring Quarter January 15
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Time Limitation for Providing Documentation
If additional documentation is required for residence classification or for the tuition exemption, you will be allowed until the last day of the quarter in which you are applying for classification of your status to provide documentation.

Incorrect Classification
If you have been incorrectly classified as a resident,or incorrectly determined to be exempt from nonresident tuition, such errors will be corrected and you will be required to pay all nonresident tuition not paid. If you conceal information or furnish false information resulting in an incorrect determination, you may be subject to student disciplinary procedures. Resident students who have become nonresidents must immediately notify the campus residence deputy.

Inquiries and Appeals
Inquiries regarding residence requirements, determination, and exemptions should be directed to Residence Deputy, Office of the Registrar, 500 Parnassus MU-200W, Box 0244, San Francisco CA 94143-0244 (Telephone: 415-476-8850) or Principal Legal Analyst, University of California, 1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor, Oakland CA 94607. No other university personnel are authorized to supply information regarding residence requirements and exemptions.

Information on the appeal process is available from the Office of the General Counsel.

Dependent Member of the Military
A student who is a dependent natural or adopted child, stepchild, spouse or registered domestic partner of a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in California on active duty is entitled to a resident classification. Graduate and professional students are entitled to the waiver for no more than one academic year. If, while the student is in attendance at UC, the member of the armed forces is (1) transferred outside California where he continues to serve on active duty or (2) is retired from active duty, the student will not lose his exemption until he has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident (366 days). Financial independence will not be a requirement and the waiver is available to all children who are dependents for federal income tax purposes; it is not limited to minors.

Requirements
The student must be the dependent of a member of the armed forces who:

  1. Is stationed in California on active duty on the residence determination date, or
  2. After serving in California on active duty has been transferred outside California where he continues to serve, or
  3. Has retired from active duty immediately after serving in California.

Additional Information
The Office of the General Counsel provides additional information on California residency requirements.

University of California policies governing residency for tuition purposes are established by The Regents and implemented by regulations established by the president, in consultation with the general counsel (Regents Standing Order 110.2; Regents Policies 3105 and 3106).

Disclaimer
This explanation is not a complete explanation of the law regarding residence.  Changes may have been made in the residence requirements between the publication of this information and the relevant residence determination date.  Following the final decision of the residence deputy, any student may appeal a nonresident classification in writing to the principal legal analyst within 30 days of notification of the residence deputy's final decision.