CALIFORNIA RESIDENCY AND AB 540/2000*
* California Nonresident Tuition Exemption
All students are classified as either a resident of the State of California or nonresident when applying for admission. This page is designed to help define resident versus nonresident, how to apply for residency reclassification and offer the opportunity to apply for instate tuition reduction through the adoption of Assembly bills (AB) 540 and 2000.
Reclassification to resident status or reduction of status must be initiated by the student in the semseter/term they are requesting to be reclassified. The student must be able to prove they lived in the state of California for at least one year and one day prior to the start of the semester/term start date. The student must also be able to prove the intent to make California their permanent residence and financial independence.
To establish residency in California a student needs to meet both requirements of residency:
- Physical presence is provided by being physically and continuously present in California for at least one year plus one day prior to the start of the semester/term.
- Intent is proven by providing evidence demonstration intent to make California a permanent home of residence.
There are essentially three conditions Admissions and Records (A&R) must examine for residency purposes:
- Legal Status (US Citizen, Permanent Resident, Temporary Resident, Visa Status, etc., Title 5 § 54045)
- California Status (Physical presence and intent to make California your home, Title 5 § 54020 and § 54022)
- Financial Independence (Title 5 § 54032)
RULES OF RESIDENCY
ALL RESIDENCY PETITIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY THE START OF THE TERM IN QUESTION.
GENERAL RESIDENCY POLICY: Under the California Education Code, the general rule is that a student
1) must have been a legal California resident for at least one (1) year and one (1) day prior to the start of the semester or term you are applying for to qualify as a resident student; 2) the student must have demonstrated intent to establish California residency for a minimum of two years; 3) has not engaged in conduct that is inconsistent with a claim for California residence; 4) is not prohibited by law from establishing California residency.
RESIDENCY STATUS CAN ONLY BE CHANGED BY SUBMISSION OF A PETITION FOR RECLASSIFICATION FROM NON-RESIDENT TO RESIDENT STATUS AND ALL REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS. THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE STUDENT.
THE PETITION FOR RECLASSIFICATION FROM NON-RESIDENT TO RESIDENT STATUS CAN BE DOWNLOADED OR OBTAINED FROM THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE DURING OFFICE HOURS.
PETITIONS SUBMITTED AFTER THE POSTED DEADLINE WILL BE DENIED AND CANNOT BE APPEALED.
Please consult the appropriate class schedule for the deadline.
STUDENTS WHO FAIL TO CLEAR RESIDENCY ISSUES PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SEMESTER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NONRESIDENT TUITION FEES FOR ANY CLASSES NOT DROPPED BY THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SEMESTER.
As stated above, the burden of proof to demonstrate both physical presence in the state of California and intent to establish permanent California residence (if your citizenship status does not preclude you from establishing residence in the United States) is on the student. This means you must provide:
1. A MINIMUM OF TWO (2) ITEMS (at least 1 primary and 1 secondary) from the list below.* If you submit two primary proofs, a secondary is not necessary. However, If you do not have a primary proof you must submit a minimum of three (3) secondary proofs.
2. If you are not a United States citizen you must also submit documentation of a valid legal status that is eligible to establish residency under U.S. immigration laws. For students under 19, proof of legal status is required for both the parent/guardian AND the student .
* Some students may be required to show more than two proofs of residency depending on the circumstances of their non-resident status.
All documents submitted must be valid, legible, and dated at least one (1) year and one (1) day before the session/semester start date and include NAME and A PHYSICAL CALIFORNIA ADDRESS, NO P.O. BOXES. With the exception of the driver’s license or California ID, documents CANNOT be older than 2 years prior to the start of the term for which residency is being requested.
***Only one item from any one source will be accepted.***
1. Valid California Driver License/ID or CA DMV Printout (Online printout not accepted) or CA car registration
2. California 540 tax form with California as the home address for the previous year including signature page
(540NR form NOT acceptable) The Federal Tax Form 1040 cannot be used as proof of residency.
3. Voter’s registration card or proof of voter registration stamped by County Registrar’s Office (Receipts not
1. Utility bill (DWP, gas, telephone, electric, cable, etc.) Bills from multiple utilities will not be accepted.
2. Apartment/home lease or rental agreement (one-year current) - NO ROOM RENTALS OR MONTH TO MONTH
3. California car insurance. Student, or parent if student is under 19, must be Primary Insured Driver.
4. California bank account statement (Statement end date is the date that is used)
5. California health insurance—must include resident address and issue date.
6. California public library membership, if dated or, Printout of library account information w/ library address stamp
7. Paystub or, employment verification on company letterhead w/ paystub if paystub does not include address
8. Military discharge papers (DD 214) that include Character of Service field if discharged within three years of start of semester or, Leave and Earnings statement indicating California as home of record
9. Marriage license or divorce decree issued in California (for the appropriate time period)
10. California State Aid, Social Welfare, California Court documents
11. Union membership in a California Local—must include resident address and a date
12. Licenses or certificates issued by the state of California with issue date - NO DIPLOMAS
Students who are under 19 years of age cannot establish their own residency, they derive residency from their parent or legal guardian. If a student is under 19 and classified as Out-of-Country, documentation of legal status (visa, permanent resident card, notice of action, etc.) for the student and the parent must be presented. All documentation must be for the same parent or guardian. If the student lives with a legal guardian, court guardianship documents must also be submitted.
AB 540 STUDENTS
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).
o The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.
o 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).
o An alien student who is without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has 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.”
• California State Assembly Bill 131 (AB 131) allows for any student who meets AB 540 eligibility criteria to apply and receive, if eligible, state based financial aid at all California public colleges and universities. State based financial aid includes the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW), Cal Grants, and Chafee Grants. Students are also eligible to apply for state categorically funded programs including the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE), and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act (CalWORKs). Program eligibility requirements must be met prior to admittance and is contingent on program funding.
PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING THIS EXEMPTION FROM NONRESIDENT TUITION
Print out the AB 540 Request Form or obtain the form from the Admissions Office. Submit the form along with an official high school transcript to the Admissions Office. If your transcript does not have your graduation date you must also bring your high school diploma to the Admissions Office.
Requests for the AB540 exemption must be made in person. They cannot be submitted by a third party or by mail.