Residency Requirements

Residency determination is made for each student at the time the application for admission is received. An application must be submitted by new and returning students (did not attend for two consecutive semesters). The burden is on the student to demonstrate clearly, with proof, both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence. California Education Code, Sections 68000-70902.

Rules of Residency Adults over 19 years of age: 

A student over 19 years of age may establish California residency by meeting the following criteria:

  1. Verification of physical presence in California one year and one day prior to the day before the start of the semester. Residence is determined by actions and intent. The one-year period begins when a person is not only present in California but also has demonstrated clear intent to become a permanent resident of California.
  2. Intent to make California a permanent place of residence can be verified by the following actions:
    1. live in California for two consecutive years
    2. own residential property or continuously occupy rented or leased property in California
    3. register to vote and vote in California
    4. licensing from California for professional practice
    5. hold active membership in service or social clubs
    6. show California as a home address on California State and Federal Tax forms
    7. spouse, children, or other close relative reside in California
    8. pay California State tax as a resident
    9. possess a California driver’s license
    10. possess California motor vehicle license plates and registration
    11. maintain California as the home of record on Leave and Earnings statement while in the armed forces
    12. establish and maintain active California bank accounts
    13. petition for divorce as a resident of California

Conduct inconsistent with a claim of California residency includes but is not limited to:

  1. maintaining voter registration in another state
  2. attending an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state
  3. declaring non-residence for California State income tax purposes
  4. renewing a driver’s license and/or registering a vehicle in another state during the time period for which California residency is claimed

Rules of Residency – Minors 18 years of age or under:

  1. A married student under 18 years of age may establish residency in the same manner as an adult.
  2. An unmarried student under 18 years of age derives residency from the parent with whom he/she last resided. The student may be classified as a resident if the parent with whom he/she last resided has been a legal resident of California for more than one year immediately preceding the semester of admission.

Resident Classification: A student is entitled to resident classification under the following circumstances:

  1. Student has been present in California for more than one year prior to the semester of admission and has been entirely self-supporting for that time and met the residency requirements.
  2. Student is a permanent resident alien over 18 years of age and has resided in California as a permanent resident more than one year prior to the semester of admission.
  3. Student is a permanent resident alien under 18 years of age and has resided with parent(s) who has been a permanent resident(s) more than one year prior to the semester of admission.
  4. Student is a full-time employee of a public school district or state agency.
  5. Student is an apprentice and provides evidence of such apprenticeship status.
  6. Student earns livelihood primarily by performing agricultural labor for hire in California for at least two months per year in each of the two years preceding the semester of admission.
  7. Student lived with parent(s) who is (are) agricultural laborer(s) as specified in number 6 above and is claimed as a tax dependent.
  8. Minor student has been under continuous care and control of adult(s), not a parent, for more than two years prior to the semester of admission. Such adult(s) must have been California resident(s) during the most recent year.

Exceptions: A student is entitled to resident classification for the minimum time necessary to become a resident if the following circumstances apply:

  1. A minor student in continuous attendance, whose parents had established California residence (for one year), and who left the state may be classified as a resident until he/she has attained the age of 18 years and may achieve residency on his/ her own.
  2. A student is on active duty in the military service, stationed in California, and has not been assigned to California for educational purposes.
  3. Meets criteria as a foster youth.
  4. A student who is a dependent child (i.e., natural, adopted, or step) or spouse of an active military service person stationed in California is given resident classification for the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
  5. A student is a full-time employee, or child or spouse of a full-time employee, of an educational institution or any California State Agency may be entitled to resident classification until he/she has resided in California the minimum time necessary to establish residency.

Non-Resident Determination

A student classified as a non-resident will be required to pay tuition at the time of enrollment. Non-immigrants precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing residency in the United States include, but may not be limited to, those with B-1, B-2, C, D-1, D-2, F-1, F-2, H-2, H-3, J-1, J-2, M-1, M-2, O-2, P-1, P-2,P-3, P-4, Q, TN and TD visas and their dependents. Any student not holding a valid visa is precluded from establishing California residence. Non-immigrants who are not precluded from establishing residence solely on the basis of their status as aliens may be classified as residents if they meet the requirements of State law. Information regarding Nonresident tuition fees and refunds may be found in the Fees/Refund Policy section of this Catalog.

Incorrect Classification: Nonresident students enrolled without payment of fees because of falsification of information shall be excluded from classes upon notification pending payment of fees. Written notification may be given at any time. Students excluded because of falsification shall not be readmitted during the semester or summer session from which they were excluded, nor shall they be admitted to any following semester or summer session until all previously incurred tuition obligations are paid.

If a student is erroneously determined to be a nonresident and a tuition fee has been paid, the fee is fully refundable, provided acceptable proof of state residence is presented within the period for which the fee was paid.

Reclassification: Reclassification to resident status must be requested by the student. Financial independence during the current year and preceding two years will be considered at the time the student requests reclassification. Information regarding requirements for reclassification is available in the Office of Admissions and Records.

Participation as a member of a varsity athletic team does not qualify a non-resident student for resident status.

Limitation of Residency Rules: If this summary of rules regarding residency determination does not provide a complete explanation, contact the Office of Admissions and Records. Students should also note that changes may have been made in the statutes and in the regulations between the time this statement is published and the beginning of the semester for which they are applying.

Non-Resident Tuition Exemption

Tuition exemption forms are available on the college website, under “Forms”, for students who wish to be considered for this exemption under State Law AB540.

  1. Any nonresident AB540 student, other than a nonimmigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, may be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at a California Community College:
    1. The student attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years,


    2. Has a combination of three or more years of California elementary, secondary and high school coursework,


    3. The student has graduated or will graduate with a California high school diploma or have the equivalent (i.e. California-issued GED, CHSPE)


    4. Has completed or will complete an Associate’s Degree from a California Community College

    5. Has completed or will complete the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California.

  2. Any student seeking an exemption shall complete a self-attestation form prescribed by the State Chancellor’s Office verifying eligibility for this nonresident tuition exemption. The student may be required to provide documentation for the information provided on the self-attestation to verify eligibility for an exemption. All nonpublic student information shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed unless required by law.
  3. A student seeking this tuition exemption has the burden of providing evidence of compliance with the requirements of this section.
  4. Nothing in this statute modifies eligibility standards for any form of student financial aid.
  5. Nothing in this statute authorizes a refund of nonresident tuition that was paid for any term commencing prior to January 1, 2002.


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.