Residency Requirements: Undergraduates

If you are a nonresident undergraduate student under the age of 24, whose parents* are not California residents, you most likely will remain classified as a nonresident for the duration of your undergraduate career. (*Please note: "parent," as defined by UC Residency Policy, is considered a biological or legally adoptive parent.)

This is due to UC’s two-year financial independence requirement. If you have moved to California specifically to attend UC Berkeley, you are here for educational purposes and may not be eligible for a resident classification for purposes of tuition and fees.

Requirements: Students Under Age 18

In order to meet the University of California residency requirements, undergraduate students under the age of 18 must be financially dependent upon at least one California-resident parent.

Both you and your parent must be in an eligible immigration status. However, only the parent is required to satisfy the "Physical Presence" and "Intent to Remain in California" requirements. (For exceptions to this rule, please refer to the Exceptions & Exemptions page, under "Minors.")

Eligible Immigration Statuses

  • U.S. citizens
  • Permanent residents of the U.S. who have been in that status on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction)
  • Qualifying nonimmigrant visa holders who have been in that status on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction)

Physical Presence

  • You and your parents 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).
  • Residence may not be established in absentia and the prior residence must have been relinquished.
  • You and your parents must be able to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that they have been continuously physically present in California.
  • During the 366-day period, you and your parents can be absent from California for a total of six weeks. If parents exceed six weeks of absence, a resident classification will not be granted.

Intent to Remain in California*
You and your parents must demonstrate the intent to make California their permanent home and relinquish ties to their previous place of residence. Examples of establishing legal ties to the state of California are as follows:

  • Obtaining a California Driver's License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • Registering a vehicle in California (if vehicle is owned and used in California) within the first 60 days of arriving in California
  • Registering to vote in California (if registered to vote in previous state of residence) within the first 60 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 resident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving in California
  • Designating and useing a California address as a permanent address on all school, employment, and military records

*Intent is not limited to the terms listed here.

Requirements: Students Age 18-23

In order to meet the University of California residency requirements, undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 23 must be:

  • Financially dependent on at least one California-resident parent 

or
 

  • Considered financially independent according to the UC residency policy

If you are dependent on a California-resident parent, both you and your parent must be in an eligible immigration status and satisfy the "Physical Presence" and "Intent to Remain in California" requirements.

If you are not dependent on a California-resident parent, you must be in an eligible immigration status and satisfy the "Physical Presence," "Intent to Remain in California," and "Financial Independence" requirements.

Eligible Immigration Statuses

  • U.S. citizens
  • Permanent residents of the U.S. who have been in that status on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction)
  • Qualifying nonimmigrant visa holders who have been in that status on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction)

Physical Presence

  • You and/or your parents 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).
  • Residence may not be established in absentia and the prior residence must have been relinquished.  
  • You and your parents must be able to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that you have been continuously physically present in California.  
  • During the 366-day period, you and your parents can be absent from California for a total of six weeks. If you and/or you parents exceed six weeks of absence, you will not be granted a resident classification.

Intent to Remain in California*
You and/or your parents must demonstrate the intent to make California your permanent home and relinquish ties to your previous place of residence. Examples of establishing legal ties to the state of California are as follows:

  • Obtaining a California Driver's License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • Registering a vehicle in California (if vehicle is owned and used in California) within the first 60 days of arriving in California
  • Registering to vote in California (if registered to vote in previous state of residence) within the first 60 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 resident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving in California
  • Designating and useing a California address as a permanent address on all school, employment, and military records

*Intent is not limited to terms listed here.

Financial Independence
You must demonstrate financial independence (total self-sufficiency) for two full years immediately preceding the residence determination date of the term for which a resident classification is sought. This means you must have supported yourself with your own resources (employment, commercial/institutional loans in your name only, financial aid, and savings from earnings, all of which require official documentation) for two full years prior to the residence determination date.

You should be able to cover your basic expenses, which include tuition, rent, food, and vehicle (if applicable).  

You also must not be claimed as an income tax dependent by any individual for the two tax years immediately preceding 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.

The financial independence requirement will not be a factor in the residence determination if you meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • You are a ward of the court or both parents are deceased.
  • You have a legal dependent, other than a spouse or registered domestic partner.
  • You are married or a registered domestic partner and were not claimed as an income tax deduction by any individual other than your spouse or domestic partner for the one tax year immediately preceding the term for which a resident classification is sought.
  • You reached the age of majority (18) in California while your parents were California residents for tuition purposes and the California resident parents left the state to establish a residence elsewhere and you continued to reside in California after your parents’ departures.

Requirements: Students Over Age 24

If you are over the age of 24, you must be in an eligible immigration status and satisfy the "Physical Presence" and "Intent to Remain in California" requirements by the residence determination date, which is the first day of instruction.

Eligible Immigration Statuses

  • U.S. citizens
  • Permanent residents of the U.S. who have been in that status on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction)
  • Qualifying nonimmigrant visa holders who have been in that status on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date (the first day of instruction)

Physical Presence

  • You 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).
  • Residence may not be established in absentia and the prior residence must have been relinquished.  
  • You must be able to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that you have been continuously physically present in California.  
  • During the 366-day period, you can be absent from California for a total of six weeks. If you exceed six weeks of absence, you will not be granted a resident classification.

Intent to Remain in California*
You must demonstrate the intent to make California their permanent home and relinquish ties to your previous places of residence. Examples of establishing legal ties to the state of California are as follows:

  • Obtaining a California Driver's License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
  • Registering a vehicle in California (if vehicle is owned and used in California) within the first 60 days of arriving in California
  • Registering to vote in California (if registered to vote in previous state of residence) within the first 60 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 resident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving in California
  • Designating and useing a California address as a permanent address on all school, employment, and military records

*Intent is not limited to terms listed here.