Residency status is determined by the information provided by the student on the Application for Admission.  Students who do not meet residency requirements will be classified as non-residents for tuition purposes only.  In order to establish a residence, it is necessary that there be a union of act and intent.

You are a resident if:

  • You intend to make California the home for other than a temporary purpose.
  • You have lived in California one year and one day prior to the start of the semester and meet eligibility requirements for establishing California residency.
  • You have applied or received immigrant status one year and a day prior to the start of the semester in addition to the above requirement.

You are a non-resident if the following is less than a year proceeding the first day of term you plan to attend:

  • You have not lived in California one year and one day prior to the start of the semester, even though you are a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant.
  • You have registered and voted in a state other than California.
  • You have petitioned for divorce in a state other than California.
  • You have attended an out-of-state educational institution as a resident of that state.
  • You have declared non-residence for California State income tax purposes.
  • You have been approved for admission as an International Student.
  • You are in the United States on a temporary visa/non-immigrant status.

The burden of proof to clearly demonstrate both physical presence in California and intent to Establish Residence lies with the student. The student is required to present evidence in accordance with the California Education Code 68040. The documents presented must be valid, readable, and dated to show continuous physical presence in California for one year and one day prior to the beginning of the term for which reclassification is requested. See Residency Reclassification Request form.


Under Assembly Bill 540 (AB540), you may be exempt from paying non-resident tuition. Governor Davis signed Assembly Bill 540 into law on October 12, 2001 and it became effective as of January 1, 2002.  California Education code 68130.5 creates a new exemption from payment of non-resident tuition.

Any student, other than a nonimmigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).


  • The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.
  • The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).
  • An alien student who is without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so. 
  • Students who are nonimmigrants [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption. 
  • The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above.  Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
  • Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
  • Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents.  They continue to be “nonresidents.” 
  • AB540 does not provide student financial aid eligibility for undocumented alien students.  These students remain ineligible for state and federal financial aid.