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Residency Requirements - Admissions and Records

California Residency and Citizenship Requirements

A California resident is a student that has been physically present in the state for more than one year and one day immediately preceding the residence determination date, and has demonstrated intent to make California their permanent home.

However, a student that has not lived in California for more than two years at the time of application may be required to provide objective evidence of their residency. Objective evidence is documentation of both a physical presence in the state for one year and one day prior to the start of the term and their intent to make California a permanent home.

The residence determination date is the day immediately proceeding the opening day of instruction for the semester, regardless of the very first day of instruction for a specific course or program.

What Does Physical Presence Mean?

Physical presence means you have a home in California which you live in for the majority of the year, and to which you return to after temporary absences. A temporary absence for business, education, or pleasure will not result in the loss of California residency if, during the absence, the person always intended to return and did nothing inconsistent with that intent.

Physical presence within the state for solely educational purposes does not constitute establishing California residency, regardless of the length of that presence.

What Is Intent?

Intent is taking manifest and demonstrable action to make California home for other than a temporary purpose. That means establishing ties to the state and community, and includes but is not limited to, establishing a physical home, paying state and local taxes, registering to vote in California, obtaining a state ID or drivers license, and joining active, local community groups.


A non-resident is a student unable to demonstrate residency or ineligible to establish domicile for the term they plan to attend. Non-resident students are required to pay the non-resident tuition fees.

You may be considered a non-resident for a variety of reason. Determination of non-residence is made automatically when you apply and is based on the answers you provide on your application for admissions.

Residency Reclassification

If you are considered a non-resident based on your application, you can request a residency reclassification. Please read Residency Information for Students prior to making your request. You can request residency reclassification by submitting the Residency Request Form and supporting documents. The required documents are listed on the form.

Requesting a change to your residency does not guarantee that you will be classified as a resident. After you submit your request form and documents, they must be reviewed and a determination will be made based on the information you provide. Be sure to provide all documents pertaining to your residency at the time you submit your request. Residency documents must be presented in person and must be original documents.

Due to the complexity of residency requirements, you are encouraged to contact Admissions and Records with any questions you may have about the process and the document requirements.

Residency requests must be submitted by census for the term a change in residency is being requested. You can find the census date for a term on the Academic Calendar. Requests for residency reclassification received after census may not be processed until the following term and refunds for out of state fees may not be refunded.

For additional information on residency and residency reclassification, please see AP 5015 Residency Determination.

Residency regulations may be found in sections 54000-54060 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

Residency Information for Non-citizens

Students who are not United States citizens must also verify that they are in a residency eligible immigration status. The status must be valid for at least one year and one day prior to the start of the term they plan to attend, and must also be valid during the term of attendance. Immigration documents must be presented in person and must be original documents.

Residency eligible immigration statuses are statuses the state or federal government have determined may establish domicile. While this information is subject to frequent changes and updates, you can find additional information on residency eligible statuses in our Residency Information for Students.

Students holding an immigration status that is precluded from establishing domicile may not be considered a state resident, regardless of the length of their stay.

For additional information on residency, please contact Admissions and Records at (510) 659-6100 or email us at

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