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Residency Information
Looking toward the Golden Gate

Notice To Students Who Are Not United States Citizens Or Permanent Resident Aliens

Adult Aliens

Subject to the following exceptions, an adult alien may be classified as a California resident for tuition purposes if he or she has resided in California for more than one year immediately prior to the residence determination date, demonstrated the intent to remain permanently in California and shown financial independence. (Please refer to the How to Establish Residency for Tuition Purposes page for detailed information.) Resident status shall not be available to aliens whose presence in California is solely for educational purposes, or to those aliens who hold the following types of visas/nonimmigrant statuses:

Visa / Nonimmigrant Status Classifications
B-1, B-2 Visitors for business or pleasure
C Aliens in transit
D-1, D-2 Alien crew member
F-1, F-2 Academic students and their spouse and children
H-2, H-3 Temporary workers' and trainees' spouse and children
J-1, J-2 Exchange visitors and their spouse and children
M-1, M-2 Nonacademic or vocational students and their spouse and children
O-2 Alien accompanying and assisting an O-1; spouse and children of an O-1 or O-2
P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4 Internationally recognized athlete, artist or entertainer and spouses and children
Q International cultural exchange program
S Alien supplying critical information relating to organized crime
TN/TD Trade NAFTA visa/nonimmigrant status holders
TROV Transit without visa/nonimmigrant status

Adult aliens who entered the United States with one of the above visa/nonimmigrant status types who are in the process of adjusting their status to either permanent resident or to a non-immigrant category other than one of the above shall not be precluded from establishing residence in California if, more than one year prior to the residence determination date, the adult alien has submitted an application for a change of status (s/he must remain on a current valid immigration visa/nonimmigrant status while waiting for a decision on her or his permanent residence application) and has received one of the following:

  • An approved Petition to Classify Status of Alien Relative
  • An approved preference petition
  • An approved labor certification
  • An approved application for an A, E, G, H-1 & H-4, I, K, L, N, NATO, O-1 & O-3, R, or V.
  • An approved Request for Asylum in the United States (I-589)

Adult aliens who received their permanent resident status via the immigration lottery program may be eligible for resident status one year from the date that they are notified of their interview date, as long as they remained on a current valid immigration visa/nonimmigrant status for the year in question and fulfilled all the other residence requirements.

Minor Aliens

Subject to the following exceptions, a minor alien may be classified as a California resident for tuition purposes if the parent with whom s/he lives has resided in California for more than one year immediately prior to the determination date, and during that time the parent with whom the minor resides has demonstrated the intent to remain permanently in California (please refer to the How to Establish Residency for Tuition Purposes page for detailed information). Resident status shall not be available to a minor alien if the parent with whom the minor resides holds one of the following types of visas/nonimmigrant statuses:

Visa/Nonimmigrant Status Classifications
B-1, B-2 Visitors for business or pleasure
C Aliens in transit
D-1, D-2 Alien crew member
F-1, F-2 Academic students and their spouse and children
H-2, H-3 Temporary workers' and trainees' spouse and children
J-1, J-2 Exchange visitors and their spouse and children
M-1, M-2 Nonacademic or vocational students and their spouse and children
O-2 Alien accompanying and assisting an O-1; spouse and children of an O-1 or O-2
P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4 Internationally recognized athlete, artist or entertainer and spouses and children
Q International cultural exchange program
S Aliens supplying critical information relating to organized crime
TN/TD Trade NAFTA visa/nonimmigrant status holders
TROV Transit without visa/nonimmigrant status

A minor, whose custodial parent entered the United States with one of the visa/nonimmigrant status types listed above, may be eligible for residency if more than one year prior to the residence determination date the minor's parent applied for a change of status to either permanent resident or to an eligible visa/nonimmigrant status type for residency purposes (the student and the parent must remain on a current valid immigration visa/nonimmigrant status while waiting for a decision on his/her permanent residence application), and if the parent has received one of the following: 

  • An approved Petition to Classify Status of Alien Relative
  • An approved preference petition
  • An approved labor certification
  • An approved application for an A, E, G, H-1 & H-4, I, K, L, N, NATO, O-1 & O-3, R, or V.
  • An approved Request for Asylum in the United States (I-589)

The reader is cautioned that this summation is not a complete explanation of the laws regarding residence. Please note that changes may be made in the residence requirements between the publication date of this statement and the relevant determination date.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, May 03, 2011