A resident student is one who has been physically present in the state for more than one year and one day prior to the start of the term they will be attending. A person capable of establishing residency in California must be able to provide objective evidence of their eligible immigration status, physical presence in the state of California, and their intent to make California a permanent home.
Residency status is determined at the time of admission. Applicants who cannot establish residency, as defined above, will be considered as non-residents or international students.
Eligibility for California Residency
1. You must be a United States citizen, permanent resident, asylee/refugee, or have a visa status that is eligible to establish residency. That includes the following visa categories: A 1-3, E 1-3, G 1-5, H-1B, H-1C, H4 (if dependent of H-1B or H-1C), I, K 1-4, L-1A, L-1B, L-2, NATO 1-7, N-8, N-9, O-1, O-3 (if dependent of O-1), R 1-2, T 1-5, U 1-5, and V 1-3.
2. You must have lived in California under a residency eligible immigration status for at least one year and one day prior to the start of the term for which you seek residency.
Exemption for Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) & Refugee Students
Education Code section 68075.6 grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption
to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled
in California upon entering the United States. 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 who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or in 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.
In accordance with Assembly Bill 540 and AB 2000, 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 student must have attended a high school (private or public) 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 (eg. 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 stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his/her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he/she is eligible to do so. You may obtain the required form, 'Student Affidavit for Exemption from Nonresident Tuition', in the Admissions Office.
Students who are nonimmigrant (for example, F or B visas, etc.) are not eligible for this exemption.
Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempt from the payment of nonresident tuition and will be classified as California residents.
If you need to update your residency, please fill out the Residency Reclassification Petition and return it to the Admissions Office along with your supporting documents. All documents must be in the student’s name and dated appropriately for the term in which residency is requested. Original documents are required—we cannot accept photocopies.
All valid supporting documents are stated on the petition.