Basic Requirements for Residency

There are four requirements students must fulfill in order to be a California resident (eligible for residency) 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 you request a resident classification. 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 residency. 

You (or your parents) who:

  • are U.S. citizens are eligible to establish residency 
  • have been permanent residents of the United States on a continous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date 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 are eligible to establish residency. You (or your parents) must remain in a qualifying nonimmigrant visa status in order to continue paying the in-state tuition.

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.

  • 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 total of six weeks.
  • A residency classification will not be granted for absences that exceeds 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:

  • obtain a California Driver’s License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • register vehicle in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • register to vote in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • file 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 to California
  • file out-of-state income tax returns as a nonresident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving to 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 which you wish to enroll.

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 you're seeking a resident classification.