Frequently Asked Questions About California Residency

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about California residency.  Can't find the information you need?  Visit the Residency Department, located in Multi-Use Building (MUB) Room 188 at the Ocean Campus or contact us at 415-239-3287 or

Please review the guidelines for California residency. If you think you meet the requirements, please contact our Residency Team at

Students who attended college outside of CA within the last two years will be flagged for residency. CCCapply will flag these students to make sure that they have not established residence outside of CA before returning to CA. A student’s residency won’t change if he/she have not taken any steps to make residence elsewhere and always have the intent to return to CA after completion of program/degree.

CCCapply can’t determine if you attended online or in-person at college outside of CA. CCCapply will flag these students to verify their residency.

You can’t lose your CA residence until you have established residency elsewhere. You can only have one residence at a time.

Physical presence alone in CA doesn’t make you a CA resident until you have taken steps to make CA your home. You must also couple with intent to make CA your home residence.

Student under 24 years old and unmarried are required to show proof of financial independence/dependence. Dependent students who are claimed by parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for tax exemption outside of CA are not eligible to establish CA residence. Your residence is derived from your parents/guardians.

Students who are 24 years old and older filed tax returns out of state as residents and didn’t file CA tax returns previous year won’t qualify for CA in-state tuition. As a CA resident, you are required to file CA state tax return whether income was earned in CA or not.

Students can’t establish residence without lawful immigration status or filing for adjustment of status. Students without lawful immigration may qualify for the AB540 exemption. Please note, except T or U visa holders, non-immigrant aliens do not qualified for this exemption (i.e. F1/F2, B1/B2,J1/J2 visa holders).

Per our college policy, we do not prorate our determination date. Students can either qualify for this semester or wait until next qualifying semester to establish CA residence. You will be considered a non-resident for tuition purposes if you have lived in CA for less than a year before the semester start date except students who can qualify for non-resident tuition exemptions/exceptions.

A student can’t derive residence from his/her spouse with the exception of active military member’s dependents (spouse, children). For more information, contact our Residency Team.

Certain working visa allows holders to establish CA residence. Review the list of eligible immigration status to see if your visa is eligible for establishing CA residency.

It all depends on the previous immigration status. If your previous immigration status does not allow you to establish residence, we can only use your current pending immigration status to establish residence. The one year and one day requirement will start on the receipt date of your pending status. Previous presence under other status will not be included due to its limitation.

You can derive CA residence from your parents only if you are also here lawfully or currently in pending immigration status. If you are here unlawfully or on expired visas, you will need to apply for an adjustment in immigration status before you can be considered.

The one-year residence period does not begin until the student is both present in CA and has manifested clear intent to become a CA resident.

Yes. Once you have established residence elsewhere, in order to reestablish your CA residence, you will need to wait one year and one day with proof of intent and physical presence. You may qualify for non-resident tuition exemptions/exceptions

For tuition purpose, you cannot have two different status for residency. Asylee or pending asylee students can establish CA residence as long as they have fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above and are no longer in an F1 status. Please contact our International Department for more information.

Yes. However, J-1 visa holders will be charged non-resident tuition fees if taking credit courses.

No. B1/B2 visa holders are not allowed to take credit courses unless that visa is expired or until this student has different immigration status.

Approved I-130 alien relative petition beneficiary is not allowed to establish CA residence since it is not a visa or an immigration status. Students must apply for permanent residence or visas that would allow students to establish residence.