Residency Procedures


Use this guide to determine if your nonresident status may be changed to resident status for tuition and fees purposes.

Deadlines to Submit Documentation to Prove Residency

The PDF FileResidency Reclassification Questionnaire and supporting documents should be submitted prior to the start of the term the student is requesting to be reclassified as a resident.

Residency Requirements

To establish residency, a student needs to meet the three conditions below, subject to verification by submitting the PDF FileResidency Reclassification Questionnaire and supporting documentation. The burden of proof to demonstrate legal status, physical presence, intent to establish residence in California and financial independence is on the student (EC 68041).

  1. Legal Status that permits the establishment of domicile in the United States. Essentially, student must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, eligible Temporary Resident, hold eligible Visa, etc. Legal status must be sustained for at least one year plus one day prior to the start of the term. This date is known as the Residency Determination Date (Title 5 § 54045).

  2. Physical presence is proved by being physically and continuously present in California for one year plus one day prior to the start of the term (the Residency Determination Date). (Title 5 § 54020 and § 54022).

  3. Intent is proven by providing evidence demonstrating intent to make California a permanent home of residence (see "Acceptable Proofs" section below). Taking any of these actions (not an exhaustive list) demonstrates a lack of intent to make California a permanent home of residence: filing taxes in another state as a resident of that state; filing for divorce or a lawsuit in another state; paying resident tuition in another state; voting in another state. Moving to California for educational purposes alone does not grant residency (Education Code, Section 68062(d)).

Financial Independence of Continuing Students 19 to 23 Years of Age

A student between 19 and 23 years of age who has been classified as a nonresident continuing student may request reclassification to resident status once the above three conditions have been met. A Residency Reclassification form must be completed, which requires the submission of documents demonstrating financial independence from parents or legal guardians (EC, Section 68044).

Residency Determination Dates

  • For Winter 2019 Session: 01/01/2018
  • For Spring 2019 Semester: 02/10/2018
  • For Summer 2019 Semester: 06/16/2019
  • For Fall 2019 Semester: 08/25/2019

Documents Necessary for California Residency

  • Documents submitted for consideration must be dated at least one year and one day prior to the Residency Determination Date. Please review the PDF FileResidency Questionnaire for examples of the types of documents that may be submitted.
  • Admissions & Records reserves the right to request additional proofs in instances when those presented do not sufficiently demonstrate legal status, physical presence, intent, financial independence (as relevant), and the "one year plus one day" requirement.

Nonresidency Exemptions

State law authorizes certain eligible students from paying nonresident tuition and fees. However, it does not grant students residence status. Details may be found on our Non-resident Tuition Exceptions webpage.

Submission of Residency Questionnaire and Documents

  • Please submit the completed and signed PDF fileResidency Questionnaire and as many documents necessary to prove California residency to Admissions & Records.
  • The Questionnaire and supporting documentation may be emailed to residency@smc.edu
  • Proofs must be scanned and submitted as a PDF document, Use a free app such as Scannable (for iOS) or ClearScanner (for Android) to prepare a PDF.

Residency Questions

Questions and/or comments may be addressed by emailing residency@smc.edu