Exceptions & Exemptions
This section lists exceptions (to the policy) and exemptions (receiving a waiver) when applying for residency for tuition purposes. These are special cases.
In some cases, students who do not meet residency requirements may be eligible for a nonresident supplemental tuition exemption. If you believe your situation applies to any exemption listed below, please submit documentation as proof of meeting the requirements of the exemption(s).
Depending on the exemption, you may be considered a resident, but you may be required to submit documents every semester or every year to maintain eligibility for the nonresident supplemental tuition waiver. In other cases (for example, AB 540, former member of the military, etc.) you might be classified as a nonresident but will receive a waiver that will cover the nonresident supplemental tuition.
Note: These exemptions remain in effect so long as the student remains eligible and the UC Regents and the State of California continue to waive and fund the nonresident supplemental tuition.
If you or a parent is temporarily absent from California, you will not necessarily lose residence status. However, you and your parents have the burden of providing clear and convincing evidence of maintaing their continuing California residence during all absences from the state.
Steps that you or your parent should take to retain a California residence during a temporary absence include, but are not limited to:
- Satisfy resident income tax obligations. Individuals claiming California residence for tuition purposes are taxable on their total income from the date they establish California residence, which may include income earned elsewhere. California also does not recognize Foreign Earned Income exclusion.
- Continue to use a California permanent address on all records.
- If attending an out-of-state public institution, attend as a nonresident for the entire period of enrollment.
- Retain a California voter's registration.
- Maintain a California driver's license and vehicle registration when possible. If it is necessary to change a driver's license and/or vehicle registration while temporarily residing in another state, these documents should be changed back to California as soon as possible.
- Maintain a residence in California.
- Store belongings in California.
- Return to California for leaves and vacations
If you're classified as a nonresident because it is deemed that you did not maintain California residency during the entire absence, you must take steps to re-establish residency by satisfying all the residency requirements.
If you are a minor (unmarried and 17 or under), your parent's residence is considered your residence. For example, if you're a minor and live with your parent who resides in Hawaii, your residence is considered Hawaii. If you are a minor on the first day of instruction/residence determination date, you are considered a minor for the term.
If you are a minor who does not live with either parent, your residence is that of the parent with whom you last lived.
Parents’ Permanent Separation or Divorce
If you are a minor and your parents are separated or divorced, the residence of the parent with whom you spend the majority of your time will be considered your residence. (Minors derive residence through a California-resident parent only if they begin living with the parent prior to reaching the age of 18. The parent must satisfy all applicable residence requirements.)
If you fall under this exception, you must provide clear and convincing evidence that you changed your physical residence to the California-resident parent’s home prior to your 18th birthday.
If you are a minor, you may establish residence when both your parents are deceased and no legal guardian has been appointed. Until you establish residence, your residence remains that of the last living parent. If the last parent to die was not a California resident, you must establish residence in the same manner as an adult student. If a guardian is appointed, you will assume the residence of the guardian.
If you are a minor who was legally adopted by a California resident parent, you are eligible for a resident classification for the ensuing term if you've fulfilled all other applicable residence requirements. You must provide official, legal documentation (such as a court order) proving the adoption.
Parent of Minor who Moves from California
If you are a minor whose parent(s) move from California to establish residence elsewhere, you will be entitled to a resident classification if you remain behind and enroll full time in a postsecondary institution within one year of the date that your parent(s) establish their new residence. Your resident classification will continue as long as you maintain continuous full-time attendance at the postsecondary institution.
If you are a minor who has been totally self-supporting and physically present in California for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date, with the intention of establishing residence, you are eligible for a resident classification so long as you continue to be self-sufficient. You must provide clear and convincing evidence of complete self-sufficiency.
Two-Year Care and Control
If you are a minor or an 18-year-old student, you may be eligible for a resident classification if, immediately prior to enrolling in a postsecondary institution, you've been living with and been under the continuous direct care and control of, a California-resident adult, other than a natural or adoptive parent, for a period of not less than two years. Requirements:
- must have lived with an adult, or series of adults, other than a parent, for at least two years immediately prior to enrollment
- must not receive support or income from any source outside of California
- The California adults must not receive support or income on your behalf from any sources outside of California
- during the two-year period, you must have been under the continuous direct care and control of the adult(s) with no assistance provided by others, including your parents
- during the one year immediately prior to the residence determination date, the adult(s) must have met the requirements for residence for tuition purposes
- if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must be in an eligible immigration status
- you must maintain continuous enrollment at a California public postsecondary institution
- if you've enrolled in more than one postsecondary institution, attendance in all postsecondary institutions must amount to continuous, full-time attendance throughout the prescribed period
- you must live with the person having care and control, and at no other address
You may be exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition if you meet all of the following criteria:
- attended a California high school for at least three years
- graduated from a California high school
- do not carry a nonimmigrant visa as defined by federal immigration law
As of January 1, 2015, you may be eligible for AB 540 if you are a University of California nonresident student who has successfully completed three years of high school academic credit in fewer than three years, provided you document that you've been enrolled in school in California for at least three academic years during K-12 enrollment.
You may be entitled to a conditional resident classification if:
- you have not lived in California for at least 366 days) since arriving in the state or since reaching 18, and
- are the dependent child (natural or adopted) of a parent who is considered a California resident for tuition purposes immediately prior to the residence determination date, and
- you maintain continuous attendance at an educational institution
If you are granted conditional residency, you must submit a new Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) for the semester you meet the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
This exemption expires after one full year. To maintain a residence classification once the exemption expires, you must have satisfied the "Physical Presence" and "Intent to Remain in California" requirements to establish your own residence during that year.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 provides any student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty for a period of more than 30 days and whose domicile or permanent duty station is in California, or the spouse, registered domestic partner, or dependent child of such a member, may be entitled to an exemption from nonresident supplemental tuition.
Domicile, for purposes of applying the federal law, is the one location where a person is considered to have the most settled and permanent connection; the place where s/he intends to remain; whenever temporarily absent, s/he has the intention of returning to. Evidence of domicile during the entire period of absence includes but is not limited to:
- maintaining all legal ties to California (including driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter’s registration, filing California resident state tax returns and paying income taxes to the state of California)
- maintaining a permanent address in California
- listing California as the permanent state of residence (for example, DD 2058 with the military)
- listing California as the permanent state of residence on the most recent Leave and Earnings Statement
Permanent duty station, for purposes of applying the federal law, is defined as the post of duty or official station to which a member of the Armed Forces is assigned or attached. A member of the Armed Forces assigned to a military base or installation in California would meet the requirements of having a permanent duty station in California. Evidence of permanent duty station includes:
Official documentation from the commanding officer or personnel officer verifying the military member is on active duty for a period of more than 30 days and whose permanent duty station is in California.
If the active duty member is not domiciled in California or is not permanently stationed in California, the individual will be considered a nonresident for tuition purposes.
In compliance with Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113146), the University may provide a nonresident supplemental tuition exemption to qualifying nonresident veterans or their dependents if the student can document that they meet both of the following requirements.
1. They will be or currently receiving VA educational benefits under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery) or Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) GI Bill after June 30, 2015, while enrolled at the University of California
2. The student or their military sponsor separated from a period of at least 90 days of active duty in the U.S. military within 36 months (including terminal leave) of the start of their first term of enrollment after June 30, 2015.
If the former member of the military does not meet both requirements as listed above, the individual will be considered a nonresident for tuition purposes.
Students who believe they qualify for this nonresident supplemental tuition exemption should contact the Veterans Benefits Specialist in the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-642-1592, or visit 123 Sproul Hall, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
An unmarried dependent child or the spouse or the registered domestic partner of a full-time University employee whose assignment is outside California (e.g., Los Alamos National Laboratory or the University of California Washington, DC Center), may be eligible for a waiver of nonresident supplemental tuition. The UC employment status of your parent/spouse/registered domestic partner must be determined each semester before a waiver is granted.
The spouse, registered domestic partner, or unmarried, dependent child under age 21 of a member of the University faculty, who is a member of the Academic Senate, may be eligible for an exemption from nonresident supplemental tuition. Verification from the University’s Academic Senate office confirming the faculty member’s membership must be sent to the Residence Affairs office each semester before a waiver can be issued.
If you possess a T or U nonimmigrant visa but would otherwise meet the requirements of Section AB 540 (Cal. Ed. Code § 68130.5), you are exempt from paying nonresident tuition until you are eligible to establish resident classification. You are required to submit documents confirming your current immigration status each semester before a waiver is issued.
If you reside in California and are 19 years of age or under at the time of enrollment, are currently a dependent or ward of the state through California’s child welfare system, and are no longer being served either due to emancipation or aging out of the system, you are entitled to a resident classification so long as you remain continuously enrolled.
Native American Graduates of a BIA School
If you are a graduate of a California school operated by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and enroll at one of the UC campuses, you are eligible for a resident classification so long as you maintain continuous attendance at an institution of higher education. Currently, Sherman Indian High School in Riverside is the only California high school operated by the BIA.
Student Athlete in Training at U.S. Olympic Training Center: Chula Vista
If you are an amateur student athlete in training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, you are entitled to a resident classification for tuition purposes until you've resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident. The Chula Vista Athletic Center or a related U.S. Olympic Training Center official will provide you with a verification letter confirming eligibility.
Spouse, Registered Domestic Partner, or Child of Deceased Law Enforcement or Fire Suppression & Prevention Public Employee: Alan Pattee Scholarship
A student who is a child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a deceased law enforcement officer or firefighter who, at the time of death, was a resident of California, may be entitled to a waiver from nonresident supplemental tuition and mandatory systemwide fees.
Recipient or Child of a Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor
A recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, including the child of a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is eligible for an exemption from nonresident supplemental tuition and mandatory systemwide fees. The student must be the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, or the undergraduate child, under the age of 28, of such recipient who is a California resident or was a California resident at the time of his/her death. The student’s annual income, including the value of any support received from a parent, must not exceed the national poverty level.
Nonresident graduate doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy by the beginning of the semester are eligible for a reduction to $0 of the nonresident supplemental tuition for a maximum of three years (six consecutive semesters, excluding summer). Such students who continue to enroll or re-enroll after the three-year period will be assessed the nonresident supplemental tuition and other mandatory fees in full.
Note: This requirement is not handled by the Residence Affairs Unit. Please refer to the Graduate Division for more information.
If you who hold a valid California teaching credential and are employed by a California public school district in a full-time certified position, you may be eligible for a nonresident supplemental tuition waiver. You must submit eligibility forms each semester before a waiver is granted.