The laws of California require every student attending a California State University to be classified as either a resident or nonresident for tuition purposes.  The residence classification is important because nonresident students pay an additional amount per unit each semester.

Generally, to be eligible for resident classification, a person must be able to establish or verify the following prior to the Residence Determination Date:

  • The legal right to establish California residency
  • Maintain a physical presence and permanent residence in California for one calendar year
  • Residence Determination Dates:
    • Fall Admissions - Must establish California residency by September 20th of the prior calendar year to qualify for resident tuition
    • Spring Admissions - Must establish California residency by January 25th of the prior calendar year to qualify for resident tuition

Forms and Instructions

When is the deadline for submitting documentation?

Submit a completed Residence Questionnaire along with all required supporting documentation, together at one time, to the Enrollment Center in Sage Hall (no FAX or email attachments) by:

For Fall 2017 New Students
June 9th, 2017

For New Students:
September 30th for Spring admits
July 14th for Fall admits

For Continuing Students:
End of fourth week of the current active term (Friday, by 5PM)**

**Any new documentation received after the fourth week of the current, active term will not be processed for that term. 

All documents may also be submitted via the following mailing address:
CSU Channel Islands
Records and Registration
One University Drive
Camarillo, CA  93012

Steps for New (Incoming) Students

All new, incoming students must provide clear copies of documents that support your claim for residency. Minor students must also submit supporting documents for their parent(s). Documents must be dated one year and one day prior to the Residence Determination Date for the term in which you are seeking residence status for tuition purposes.

  1. Complete a Residence Questionnaire (PDF, 153 KB)
  2. Include at least THREE of the following:
    California driver's license or ID card
    Vehicle registration in California
    Voter registration for California
    Lease agreement or California property tax statement
    Most current California tax returns
    Pay stubs, showing 12 months of California employment
    Active California bank account statements for 12 months
    Current licensing from the state for professional practice
  3. If you are a citizen of another country, you must additionally submit paperwork on your current immigration status such as:
    Copy of Green Card (front and back)
    Visas or Employment Card (front and back)
  4. Submit completed request and supporting documents before the Residence Determination Date either by mail or in person.

Steps for AB-540/AB-2000 Eligible New (Incoming) Students

For eligible California high school graduates requesting consideration for the non-resident tuition exemption as provided by AB-540/AB-2000:

  1. Complete a Residence Questionnaire (PDF, 153 KB)
  2. Complete a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (PDF, 1.7 MB)
  3. Submit official high school transcripts showing the date of your high school graduation or the equivalent.
  4. Submit completed request and official transcripts before the Residence Determination Date either by mail or in person.

Steps for Current (Continuing) Students

For non-resident students who are already attending the University and are eligible for reconsideration for their residency status for CSU tuition fees purposes:

 Provide clear copies of documents that support your claim for residency. Minor students must also submit supporting documents for their parent(s). Documents must be dated one year and one day prior to the Residence Determination Date for the term in which you are seeking residence status for tuition purposes.

  1. Complete a Residence Reclassification Request (PDF, 169 KB) 
  2. Include at least THREE of the following:
    California driver's license or ID card
    Vehicle registration in California
    Voter registration for California
    Lease agreement or California property tax statement
    Most current California tax returns
    Pay stubs, showing 12 months of California employment
    Active California bank account statements for 12 months
    Current licensing from the state for professional practice
  3. If you are a citizen of another country, you must additionally submit paperwork on your current immigration status such as:
    Copy of Green Card (front and back)
    Visas or Employment Card (front and back)
  4. Submit complete request and supporting documents before the Residence Determination Date either by mail or in person.

Residency FAQs

What is residency?
Residency determines if students will pay resident or non-resident tuition and fees.  The term "California resident" for tuition purposes may differ from other definitions of California residency.  A person who has a California driver's license/vehicle registration or who is a California resident for tax, voting, or welfare purposes may have established legal residence in the state but might not necessarily be considered a resident for tuition purposes.

A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the Uniform Student Residency Requirements.  The laws governing residency for tuition purposes at the California State University are California Education Code sections 68000-68090, 68120-68134, and 89705-89707.5, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900-41916. This material can be viewed on the internet by accessing the California State University's website at www.calstate.edu/sas/residency.

Regulations were established not to determine whether a student is a resident or nonresident of California, but rather to determine whether a student should pay University fees on an in-state or out-of-state basis. 

I am 19 years old, or older.  How do I qualify for California residency?
Applicants 19 years of age or older by the Residence Determination Date are considered adults for residency purposes.  To be eligible for resident status, adult students must:

  • Be a US Citizen or be granted and maintain an allowable immigration status for one year prior to the Residence Determination Date
  • Maintain a physical presence in California
  • Show intent to make California his or her permanent home

Evidence of intent (supporting documentation) to make California one’s permanent home may include, but is not limited to:

  • California driver's license or ID Card
  • California automobile registration
  • California voter registration
  • California State income taxes
  • Rental lease agreement or property tax statement
  • Active savings and/or checking accounts in a California bank
  • Licensing from California for professional practice
  • Membership in a California professional organization
  • Maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California
  • Military leave and earning statements showing California as legal residence
  • Immigration status with legal capacity to establish California residency
    • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other immigrants; or someone in nonimmigrant status who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S., may establish residence for tuition purposes in California

A married person will establish his or her residency independent of his or her spouse.

I am less than 19 years old.  How do I qualify for California residency?
Minor, unmarried students derive their legal residency from the natural parent or adoptive parent with whom the minor maintains, or last maintained, his or her place of residence.  

The residence of a minor cannot be changed by:

  • The minor's own act, by the appointment of a legal guardian
  • The relinquishment of a parent's right of control as long as the minor's parents are still living.

The parent must be a California resident, as established by the California Education Code, for at least one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date for the minor to qualify for California residency.  Supporting documentation must be submitted.

Minor students must report their own information, as well as their parent’s information, to verify California residence. 

Do I qualify for an exemption from non-resident tuition?
Teachers, military service members, or CSU staff members may be exempt from paying non-resident tuition.

Please contact Enrollment Management at 805-437-8500 for information.

What is AB540/AB2000?
If you have completed three years (or the equivalent of three years) of high school study in California and graduated from a California high school (or obtained your GED), you may qualify for a tuition exemption created by the laws AB540 and AB2000.  Those who believe they meet the requirements need to submit the California Tuition Exemption Request (PDF, 1.7 MB) form, CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF, 153 KB), and final, official high school transcript.  
 
Exemption requests will not be considered until after we receive official high school transcripts showing a graduation date.

More information about AB540 may be found at http://ab540.com/   

What is a Residence Reclassification Request?
Currently enrolled, nonresident students may apply for reclassification after one calendar year of physical presence in California.  Students seeking reclassification must complete the CSU Residence Reclassification Request (PDF, 169 KB) form, including questions concerning their financial independence, which is a non-negotiable requirement.

Physical presence and intent, along with financial independence, is reviewed when determining reclassification eligibility.  Supporting documentation must be submitted.

A Residence Reclassification Request (PDF, 169 KB) form can only be used for current active, or upcoming, terms.  Retroactive requests for a term that has already ended will not be processed.

What is financial independence?
The California Education Code (section 68044) mandates that any student who has been claimed as a dependent on anyone’s income tax return, who has accepted more than $750 in financial support in any form, or has lived with a parent during the current year or within the past three years shall not be considered financially independent and, therefore, will not be qualified as a California resident for tuition purposes.

This is a non-negotiable requirement for Residence Reclassification Requests.

Where can I submit my forms and supporting documentation?
Documents can be mailed or delivered to: **

CSU Channel Islands
Records and Registration – Sage Hall
One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012

** Please note: Faxed or scanned (emailed) documents will not be accepted

Can my residency status change?
Students incorrectly classified as residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition by the University are subject to reclassification as nonresidents and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears.  If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student is subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. 

Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify Enrollment Services.

What should I do if I think my residence status is incorrect?
Following a final campus decision on his/her residence classification, and within 120 days of notification, a person may appeal in writing to:

The California State University
General Counsel office
401 Golden Shore, Fourth Floor
Long Beach, California 90802-4210
http://www.calstate.edu/gc/contact_info.shtml

General Counsel's office can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review. 

Students have the ultimate burden of proving their residence status.

Where can I go for further information?
Please see the University Catalog and the CSU Residency website to learn more about the determination of residence status.

For more information about the laws governing residence for tuition purposes, please refer to California Education Code—sections 6800-68090, 68120-68134, 89705-89707.5—and in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, sections 41900-41916.

This summation is by no means a complete explanation of all the rules governing the establishment of California residency.

To view Adobe PDF documents, please download and install the free Adobe Reader.