Steps to Enrollment

Back to SBCC

Residency Flags


Military Personnel
CA Nonresident Tuition Exemption
Residency Reclassification Submission Process



To establish residency in California, a person must:
(1) be a citizen of the United States, or possess or be an applicant for a permanent resident, amnesty or other visa that does not preclude establishing domicile in the United States

(2) be physically present in California for one year plus one day prior to the start of the semester

  • Provide date residency in California started
  • Rental lease agreement
  • Escrow papers for purchased property

(3) provide evidence demonstrating the intent to make California their permanent home of residence

In order to demonstrate intent, sufficient evidence must be shown that the person has abandoned their prior place of residency with the intent of making California their new state of permanent residence. The following will be accepted as proof of intent to establish California residence for the purpose of tuition:

  • California State Income Tax (Prior Years)
  • California Voter Registration (Date registered)
  • Documentation of California as military home state of record
  • Selective Service Registration with California permanent address
  • Federal Income Tax with California residence
  • Documentation of purchasing residential real estate in California and living there
  • Bank accounts, active for one year as of residence determination date (Date opened)
  • California Driver's License (Date issued)
  • California Automobile Registration (Date issued)
  • Documentation of entry into a legal agreement in California (Example: Marriage, Divorce)
  • License from California for professional practice
  • W-2 forms with California address

(4) Demonstrate financial independence. Exception: dependent children of California residents (for income tax purposes) who have not lived in California for a year prior to the start of the semester are entitled to resident classification during the first year they are physically present in California, but must establish California residency hereafter.

A student shall be considered financially independent if the student meets the following requirements:

1) Has not and will not be claimed as an exemption for state and/or federal tax purposes by his or her parent in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and the 2 years prior to the reclassification.

2) Has not and will not receive more than 50% of financial support from his or her parent, in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and the 2 years prior to the reclassification.

3) Has not lived and will not live for more than six weeks in the home of his or her parent in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and the 2 years prior to the reclassification.

4) Is able to provide relevant documentation to support the finding of financial independence (may include: tax returns, W2 Forms, bank statements, or other financial statements)

Non-resident students do not automatically become residents by being in California for one year. A student seeking reclassification from non-resident to resident status must complete and file a residency questionnaire and a statement of financial independence. Additionally, the student must provide evidence of intent to establish permanent California residency. Reclassification Petitions must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the student's registration date.

The burden of proof is on the student to clearly demonstrate physical presence in California, intent to establish California residence, and, in the case of students changing from non-resident to resident, financial independence.

Students on visas will be evaluated for residency based on the type of visa, length of stay in California, and intent to maintain California as their permanent home.

Military Personnel

Military personnel on active duty in California, their spouses and dependent children qualify as immediate residents.

If the military person becomes separated from the military service, he or she would be required to provide evidence of intent to establish California residence for a minimum of one year prior to the residence determination date.

A student who was a member of the military stationed in California on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being separated from the military is entitled to resident classification for up to one year for the time he or she resides in California. This one-year waiver after the military person's discharge allows the time necessary to establish residence. After the one-year waiver, the student would provide evidence as to his or her California residence.

Other exceptions may apply.

To discuss your specific situation, please email Ms. Ruiz at to set up an in-person or telephone appointment.

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption

California law (AB540) provides for students who meet the criteria to be considered as residents for tuition purposes. This applies to students who may be an alien without lawful immigration status, as well as to students who have moved out of state and subsequently returned to California. Students must have attended a California high school for three or more years and have graduated from such high school or have attained the equivalent, such as a High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) or Certificate of Proficiency (CHSPE). The AB540 Affidavit is available in Admissions & Records, in the printed class schedule, and at

Residency Reclassification Process

If you have previously attended SBCC as a non-resident and are now eligible for resident status, you must submit a completed Residency Reclassification Packet together with documentation proving residency. Please note: incomplete packets without the required residency documentation will not be accepted.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: The reclassification packet must be submitted by the Friday prior to the start of the semester the student is seeking reclassification.

Students who are ready to submit a completed Affidavit may make an appointment to meet with Rosa Ruiz by emailing her at: 

Please indicate a 1st choice appointment date and time and a 2nd choice appointment day and time. Appointments are scheduled every 30 minutes on the following days:

Wednesdays: 8:00am - 3:00pm

Thursdays: 8:00am - 3:00pm

Fridays: 8:00am - 12:00pm

721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2018 Santa Barbara City College