Basic Requirements for Residency

There are four requirements a student must fulfill in order to be considered a California resident for tuition purposes at the University of California, including the UC Berkeley campus.

All of these requirements must be met by the residence determination date (the first day of classes) of the term for which a resident classification is sought. In some cases, the residency requirements must be met within 30 days of arrival to the state (i.e. intent requirements). Parents of dependent students under the age of 24 who claim California residency must fulfill all UC residency requirements as well.

Immigration

You and/or your parents must be in an eligible immigration status in order to establish California residency. 

This means that you (or your parents):

  • Are a U.S. citizen eligible to establish residency
  • Have been a permanent resident of the United States on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction) and are eligible to establish residency
  • Have a qualifying nonimmigrant visa on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction) and are eligible to establish residency

Physical Presence

You (or your parent) must be physically present in California on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction).

  • Residency may not be established in absentia and the prior residence must have been relinquished.
  • You or your parent must be able to demonstrate physical presence in California with sufficient documentation.
  • Within the 366-day period, you or your parent can be absent from California for a cumulative maximum total of six weeks. A residency classification will not be granted for absences that exceed six weeks.

Intent to Remain in California

You (or your parent) must demonstrate the intent to make California your permanent home and relinquish ties to your previous place of residence. Examples of establishing California legal ties include but are not limited to: 

  • Obtaining a California Driver's License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • Registering vehicle in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • Registering to vote in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • Filing California state income tax returns as a resident or part-year resident on all taxable income earned in or out of the state after arriving in California
  • Filing out-of-state income tax returns as a nonresident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving in California

Financial Independence

If you are an unmarried undergraduate under the age of 24, you must be financially dependent on a California-resident parent. If your parent does not meet the UC residency requirements, you must be able to verify financial independence for the two full years immediately before the term in for which a resident classification is sought.

Graduate students under the age of 24 are presumed to be financially independent unless they were claimed as a dependent on their parents' federal tax return for the most recent tax year. If you have been claimed as a dependent, you can also verify financial independence by being employed by the university 49 percent (or more) in the term for which a resident classification is sought.

For more information on the financial independence requirement, please refer to the UC Residency Policy and Guidelines. You can also find a list of the documents our office will require you to provide in order to prove financial independence here.