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Frequently asked questions

These answers may help you understand how residency works, but for questions about your situation, you should contact your campus residence deputy.

When can I apply for California residency? 

If you’re a new UC student, submit a Statement of Legal Residence to your campus residence deputy’s office after you submit your Statement of Intent to Register. (Both statements are generally submitted online.)

If you are a continuing student hoping to petition for resident classification, check with your campus residence deputy for the filing deadlines for upcoming terms.

If you hope to become a resident after entering UC as a nonresident: Keep in mind that even though you probably won't submit a petition to change your residency status until the end of your first academic year, you must start the process of establishing residency as soon as you move to California. Pay close attention to campus deadlines, and remember that changes in residency classification will only apply to future terms.

I forgot to submit a Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) but am now a California resident. Can I get a retroactive reimbursement? 

No. If you become re-classified as a California resident, your new classification only applies to tuition for future terms — you will not be retroactively reimbursed for previous years.

I was classified as a California resident at a California community college. Do I keep that classification at UC?

Not necessarily. The University of California will determine your residency for UC tuition purposes independent of how you may have been classified at other institutions.

If I enter UC as a nonresident, can I become a resident for my sophomore/junior/senior year?

If you're an undergraduate under the age of 24 and your parent(s) are not California residents, it is very unlikely that you will be able to qualify as a California resident for purposes of UC tuition because of the university’s two-year financial independence requirement

Also, you do not become a resident for purposes of tuition and fees simply by living in California for a year or more. If you’ve moved to California primarily to attend the University of California, you are here for educational purposes and may not be eligible for a resident classification for purposes of tuition and fees.

If I'm initially classified as a nonresident student, am I locked into nonresident status for the rest of my time at UC?

No: if you enter UC as a financially independent undergraduate (or graduate student), you aren't necessarily locked into nonresident status for the duration of your attendance. Once you've satisfied all applicable requirements to establish residency, you can submit a Petition for Resident Classification.

I’ve unexpectedly run into financial hardship. Can I appeal my residency decision?

No. Financial hardship is not a consideration in residency.

My parents and I currently live in another state, but we lived in California from 2005 to 2013. Can I be classified a resident for purposes of tuition?

If you just graduated from high school in another state, it's unlikely. For financially dependent undergraduate students, resident determination is derived from the residence of their parents. Because you and your parents are currently residents of another state, you are a nonresident for tuition purposes.

If you graduated from high school in California, you might be eligible for an AB 540 nonresident exemption.

If you're financially independent and intend to move back to California permanently, you are currently a nonresident but may be able to become a resident again. Talk to your campus residence deputy to make sure you understand the process.

Do I have to be a resident of California for 366 consecutive days prior to the application submission date, or prior to the actual term start date?

You must have satisfied 366 consecutive days of physical presence and intent immediately prior to the residence determination date (RDD) of the term for which you wish to receive a resident classification — which is generally the first day of classes.

Is there a fast track to residency?

No. To be a resident for tuition purposes, undergraduate students generally must either have parent(s) who are considered California residents or must have been completely financially independent for two years

I recently graduated from a UC, and will be doing AmeriCorp service in another state. Will I still be able to qualify for in-state CA tuition when I return?

If you do not establish any legal ties to another state and maintain all legal ties with California, your absence from California may be considered a temporary absence. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell in advance whether your circumstances will qualify as a temporary absence. Once you seek admission as a graduate or professional student, your campus residence deputy will conduct a full review of your circumstances as well as the information you report in your Statement of Legal Residence.

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