Eligibility

Students and Parents

Contact a Residence Deputy

Request to speak with a Residence Deputy about documents and changes to immigration or nonimmigrant visas:

Monday-Friday
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (PT)
530-752-3639

This information may be only a partial statement of the UC’s residence requirements.

You are eligible to establish residence if you are a:

  • U.S. Citizen.
  • Lawful Permanent Resident or other immigrant, Aslyee or Refugee.
  • Nonimmigrant who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S.

Nonimmigrants include those who hold valid visas of the following types: A, E, G, H-1B, H-4, I, K, L, N, NATO, O-1, O-3, R, T, or U. Nonimmigrant I-94 Departure Records must be dated 366 days prior to the Residence Determination Date.

Establishing Eligibility

In order to establish residence in California for purposes of tuition and fees, you must have the legal ability to establish a permanent domicile in the United States, meaning that you must be a citizen of the United States or Lawful Permanent Resident (green card) or hold a valid, qualifying nonimmigrant visa. To establish residence, an adult alien must have lawful presence in the US and be eligible to establish a domicile for 366 days concurrently with their required physical presence and intent to reside permanently in California.

Citizen with Alien Parent

Any student who is a U.S. citizen (minor or adult), whose parent is undocumented or out of status but has otherwise established a primary residence in California for more than one year, will be eligible for a resident classification. Adult students will not be subject to the financial independence requirement in this case.

Residence Deputies will require evidence of 366 days of their parent's:

  • Physical presence in California—from employment or banking records.
  • Legal or Other ties to California.
  • Permanent household.

Alien Minor Under Age 18

An alien student who is a minor is eligible to be considered for a resident classification upon admission or readmission if the parent with whom s/he resides has been domiciled (established residence) in California for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date. If the parent of the minor is undocumented, out of status, or holds a nonimmigrant visa that precludes the establishment of a domicile in the United States, the student is not eligible for a resident classification.

Residence Deputies will require evidence of 366 days of the parent's:

  • Visa or immigration status.
  • Physical presence in California—from employment or banking records.
  • Legal or Other ties to California.
  • Permanent household.

Immigration and Eligibility

Non-citizen Students and Parents are cautioned to be familiar with the UC Residence Policy regarding Non-Citizens, and further definitions of the glossary terms appearing on this site, as UC Policy requires more than one year of verified lawful presence immediately prior to the term resident status is claimed for tuition purposes.

366 Days of Lawful Presence

UC Residence Policy requires non-citizen students and  parents to demonstrate a valid legal status for 366 days that is concurrent with their physical presence and intent to reside permanently in California, immediately prior to First Day of Instruction—the UC Residence Determination Date.

Students or parents with an insufficient history of lawful presence; that is, less than 366 days immediately preceding the First Day of Instruction for the term, will not be considered as meeting the UC eligibility requirement.

Required Documents: Residence Deputies will require a combination of documents showing lawful presence over the 366 days immediately preceding the First Day of Instruction for the term residence status is sought, including:

  • Permanent Resident Cards (green cards), Employment Authorization Cards
  • Notices of Action—Receipt Notices received after application for adjustment to Permanent Resident status
  • Current and prior Nonimmigrant Visa and I-94 Departure Records.
  • Current and prior Immigrant Petitions (I-130 or I-140).
  • Documents evidencing asylum, refugee, temporary protected status, VAWA or withholding of removal.

Eligible Non-Citizen Classifications and Documents Required

The following classifications of adult aliens and their dependents may be considered eligible depending on the validity dates and durations of their immigration status:

Immigrant
  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR): Verified by copy of Permanent Resident, or Resident Alien, card (Greencard).
  • Pending Adjustment to Permanent Resident: Verified by a properly filed Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Verified by copy of an I-485 Receipt Notice.
Certain Nonimmigrant Classifications
  • Nonimmigrant Visas: Verfied by copy of I-94 Departure Record and Visa Documents for: A-1, A-2, A-3, E-1, E-2, E-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, H-1B, H-4, I, K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4, L-1, L-2, N-8, N-9, NATO-1 through NATO-7, O-1, O-3, R-1, R-2, T-1, T-2, T-3, T-4, U, U-1, U-2, U-3, U-4.
    I-94s must be dated 366 days prior to the Residence Determination Date.
  • Asylee: Verified legal presence and asylum applicant status by a copy of I-589 and acknowledgment of receipt along with a valid Employment Authorization Document showing provision of law 274a.12(c)(8) or 274a.12(a)(10).
  • Refugee: Verified legal presence or paroled status as refugee by: form I-590 approval letter, form I-730 for dependents.
  • Temporary Protected Status: Verified by documents showing beneficiary or eligibility for TPS and an employment authorization document with code (a)(12).
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Verified legal presence with an approved form I-360, or by a pending I-360 and an valid Employment Authorization Document with code (c)(14).
  • Withholding of Removal: Verification of legal presence includes an I-94 stamped “Withholding of Removal (or Deportation), 243(h) or 241(b)(3)” or a copy of an Employment Authorization Document with code (a)(10).

Glossary

Alien
Any person who is not a citizen or national of the United States, generally classified as a Permanent Resident (Immigrant or LPR), Nonimmigrant or Undocumented Alien.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Authorizes a nonresident alien to work in the United States for a specified period of time.

I-94 Departure Records
For nonimmigrant visitors entering the United States with a visa, there is a requirement to fill a CBP Form I-94 (white form). This form has two specific perforated sections to it. The visitor or the carrier representative must complete both sections of CBP Form I-94 upon arrival in the United States. The bottom section of CBP Form I-94 is a departure record and must be returned to U.S. officials upon exiting the United States.

Internationals
There are two broad categories of foreign nationals who may enter the United States: immigrants and nonimmigrants. Nonimmigrants are admitted temporarily for a limited time and purpose, while immigrants are admitted for permanent residence. While immigrants enjoy many of the same rights as United States citizens, nonimmigrants have no right to remain in the United States beyond the period of stay authorized by the USCIS.

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)—Green Card
Lawful permanent residents of the United States enjoy most of the same rights as United States citizens; namely, they are permitted to live and work in the United States, own property, attend public school and college and leave and return under certain conditions. Lawful permanent residents may acquire their status based upon a family relationship, an employment relationship, or any of the special immigration programs the United States government administers, such as the diversity visa program (Lottery), political asylum and amnesty.

Nationals of the United States
A citizen of the United States or a person who, although not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States. Citizens of The Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Territory of Guam are now considered citizens of the United States. American Samoa and Swains Island are “outlying possessions” of the United States, and their citizens are considered U.S. nationals and shall be treated the same as citizens when determining residence for tuition purposes. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau are considered “foreign nationals” and shall not be treated as U.S. citizens when considering residence for tuition purposes.

Residence Determination Date
For quarter-based campuses at the University of California it is the day instruction begins at the last campus to open for the term. For semester-based campuses and schools, it is the day instruction begins at the Berkeley campus.

Visa
A travel document. A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States (U.S.) generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship. The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. Certain Nonimmigrant Visas are eligible to establish residence for tuition purposes.