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If you have been notified that you are a non-resident of California for tuition purposes, please complete the Residency Questionnaire.  You may submit the completed form to the Admissions and Records Office at any Chaffey campus.  Once we receive your completed form you will be contacted by a Residency Advisor who will work with you to verify your status.
Veteran Students – Please contact Laura Rodes in the Veterans Resource Center at

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens, or who are citizens but have resided in California for less than two years, should bring proof of residency status with them when they submit their application for admission. Non-citizens must show proof of immigration status. Students must apply well in advance of the start of the term in order to ensure their residency status will be determined in time to register.

To be eligible to establish residency for the purpose of attending a California community college, applicants must be citizens of the United States or legal aliens with an immigration status which allows them to establish domicile according to the laws of California. The regulations regarding alien students are extensive and cannot be reprinted here. Contact the Admissions and Records Office for information regarding domicile requirements, documentation required and eligible immigration status.

Students eligible to establish residency who have lived in California for less than two (2) years prior to the start of the semester for which they are applying, must clearly demonstrate the following:

a. Intent to make California their permanent residency at least one year before the start of the semester. (T5 54024)

b. Physical presence in California for at least one year immediately before the start of the semester. (T5 45022)

c. Financial independence from anyone who is not a California resident. (several requirements must be met in this area) (T5 45032)

One-Year Waiting Period:
(T5 54028)

The residence period which a student must meet to be classified as a resident does not begin to run until the student is present in California and has manifested clear intent to become a California Resident.

Residence Determination Date:
(ECS 68060)

The residence determination date is the day immediately preceding the opening day of instruction of the semester or summer term, during which the student proposes to attend college.

Evidence of Intent:
(T5 54024)

Actions which are consistent with the intent to make California the place of permanent residence include, but are not limited to at least two of the following:
  • Obtaining a California Driver’s License (or California I.D. card if no license is held in any state)
  • Registering in California all vehicles owned
  • Possessing a California motor vehicle license plate
  • Continuously occupying rented or leased property in California
  • Registering to vote in the State of California
  • Holding a California state license for professional practice
  • Assuming permanent employment
  • Establishing and maintaining active California bank accounts
  • Having children in a California public school
  • Filing suit in a California court
  • Petitioning for divorce in a California court
  • Possessing a marriage license in California
  • Having paid nonresident tuition in another state
  • Filing taxes as a California resident
  • Owning residential property in California for personal use
  • Showing California on military records (Leave and Earnings Statement)
  • Active resident membership in service or social clubs
  • Indicating a California address on California State and Federal income tax forms (i, e., W-2, 540, 1040)
  • Possession of hunting or fishing license as a resident of California
  • Section 68062A of the California Education Code states that a person may have only one principal place of residence. Vehicle Code Sections 125-2 and 12505 require that a resident obtain a California driver’s licensing within 10 days from the date of residence is established. Maintaining an out-of-state license is considered inconsistent with the intent to make California a place of permanent residence.
Note: The actions listed in the preceding paragraph must have taken place at least one year before the start of the semester for which the student is applying.

(T5 54024; Voluntary Tax Assistant Program Guidelines of 1990, California Franchise Tax Board)

Conduct inconsistent with a claim for California residence includes but is not limited to:

a. Maintaining voter registration and voting in another state.

b. Being a petitioner for a divorce or lawsuit as a resident of another state.

c. Attending an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state.

d. Declaring nonresidence for California income tax purposes.

(ECS 68041, T5 54026)

In the event that an applicant’s residency is in question, it is the responsibility of the applicant to present clear proof of residency. The burden of proof is on the student.


Applicants who do not meet California residency requirements may still apply; however, they will subject to nonresident tuition fees in effect of the time of registration. Questions regarding residency should be directed to the Admissions and Records Office.

(documentation required)
  • Active duty military personnel stationed in California
  • Dependents of active duty military personnel stationed in California
  • Certain minors who remained in California when their parents moved
  • Self-supporting minors
  • Full-time employees of the college or a state agency, or a child or spouse of the full-time employee.
  • Certificated K-12 teachers (must submit copy of teaching contract and copy of California Multiple or Single Subject Credential)
  • Agricultural Employees (check with Admissions and Records – ECS 68100; T5 54048)

Unmarried minors (those younger than 18 years of age) are, by law, incapable of establishing their own residences, notwithstanding their physical presence within California. The Admissions Office will use the following guidelines for determining a minor’s residence.
  • A minor’s residence is the residence of the parent with whom the minor is living;
  • If the minor is not living with either parent, then the residence of the parent with whom the minor last lived will be the residence of the minor.
  • When the residence of a minor student is derived from the parent, the durational requirement (one year in California before the start of the semester for which they are applying).
  • A minor whose parents are not living and who does not have a legal guardian may establish his or her own residence.


Exceptions to the above guidelines will be made under certain circumstances. If a student would otherwise be classified as a nonresident, but fits within one of the following exceptions, he or she may be granted resident classification provided he or she has resided in California for one year (prior to the start of the term for which he/she is applying) with the intent of establishing residence (documentation required):

a) A student who was not an adult for more than one year before the start of the semester may add the amount of time lived in California prior to his or her eighteenth birthday (provided the student’s parent was a California resident during the period), if any, to the length of residence in California since that date to obtain the durational requirement of one year.

b) Adult aliens who are in the process of adjusting their status to a permanent resident or who have been lawfully admitted as a permanent resident for one year and one prior to the beginning date of the semester (documentation required) and who has resided in California for one year.

c) A student 19 years of age or older who can document refugee or asylee status with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (dated one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester) and who has resided in California for one year (students younger that 19 years of age should review the first item above).

d) An adult alien who is in the process of adjusting visa status to, or possesses one of the following visas: A, E, G, H, I, H-4, I, K, L, O-1, R, or T dated at least one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester and who meets California residence criteria.

e) A student who is a minor (under the age of 18) and who, immediately before enrolling at a California educational institution, has lived with and was under the continuous direct care and control under legal guardianship for at least two years of any adult or adults (other than a parent) who had established residence in California at least one year and one day prior to beginning date of the semester (documentation required).

AB540 Exemption Information

All residency determinations must be made during the current term. Residency status cannot be changed once a term has ended.

For more information regarding residence classification, exceptions, and examples of evidence showing intent, please contact the Admissions and Records Office.

Rev. 1/7/15

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