Establishing California Residence
Students who hope to establish California residence should consider three key factors. More details about these factors accompany the residence petition.
Students must be continuously physically present in California for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date (generally the first day of classes).
Actions throughout the Year
Summer actions count! Student actions during the entire year, including the summer, affect the determination made regarding residence status for tuition purposes. A student who is in California solely for educational purposes is not eligible for California residence for tuition purposes, regardless of the length of stay. If a student returns to the former place of residence (outside California), that student is presumed to be in California solely for educational purposes and only strong evidence to the contrary can refute this presumption. A student seeking to establish California residence who accepts employment or conducts research outside of California will be questioned regarding attempts to find employment and/or conduct research within California.
Leaving the state for a unique research opportunity or for special circumstances (such as a medical emergency) may not preclude the student from being classified as a resident, but the burden is on the student to provide convincing evidence that leaving California was not inconsistent with a claim of permanent residence.
Students must intend to make California their permanent home. This intent can be demonstrated by relinquishing legal ties to the former home state and establishing legal ties to California.
The financial independence requirement makes it extremely difficult for most undergraduate students whose parents are not California residents, including students from community colleges and other post-secondary institutions within California, to qualify for classification as a resident at the University of California. Transfer students who were classified as residents of California at their previous school should not assume that they will be classified as residents at UCLA.
Students are cautioned that financial independence for purposes of tuition and fees is determined separately and only by the campus residence deputy, and that outcome may differ from financial independence as determined by Financial Aid and Scholarships based on the FAFSA.
UC has issued the following COVID-19-related temporary guidance on establishing residence.
- Physical Presence: A student’s out-of-state absence for any length of time between March 9, 2020 and the fall term 2020 residence determination date will not count toward the six-week limit, if the absence is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Financial Independence: A student may accept or use financial resources from another individual between March 9, 2020 and the fall term 2020 residence determination date without loss of eligibility for in-state status, if the transfer of resources is made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For fall quarter 2020, the residence determination date is October 1, 2020; for fall semester 2020, the residence determination date is August 26, 2020.