Your "How To" Guide for Establishing Residency at SMC
The Residency Reclassification Questionnaire and complete documentation (aka, proofs) must be submitted to email@example.com prior to the start of the term the student is requesting to be reclassified as a resident.
- Students are urged to submit all documents at least 3 weeks before the payment deadline for the term to ensure a timely decision is made. Our residency specialists cannot guarantee a timely review if documents are submitted late or are missing.
- 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.
- Documents will be reviewed in the order they are received and may take up to 14 business days to process. Students are encouraged to submit their documents as early as possible to avoid any delays in processing.
Residency Determination Dates
|Term Residency Determination Date||Proofs of Residency Must Be Dated in This Timeframe|
|For Fall 2020 Semester: 08/30/2020||08-30-2017 to 08-30-2019|
|For Summer 2020: 06/21/2020||06-21-2017 to 06-21-2019|
|For Spring 2020 Semester: 02/17/2020||02-16-2017 to 02-16-2019|
|For Winter 2020 Session: 01/05/2020||01-04-2017 to 01-04-2019|
Documents/Proofs 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 Residency Questionnaire
for examples of the types of documents that may be submitted.
Santa Monica College reserves the right to request additional documents when those presented do not sufficiently demonstrate legal status, physical presence, intent, financial independence (as relevant), and the “one year plus one day” requirement.
*All proofs of residency must be dated at least one year and one day prior to the start of the term for which residency is sought. Proofs should be no older than 3 years
Legal Status, Physical Presence, Intent, & Financial Independence
To establish residency, a student needs to meet the three conditions below, subject to verification by submitting the Residency Reclassification Questionnaire and supporting documentation. The burden of proof to demonstrate legal status, physical presence, intent to establish residency in California, and financial independence is on the student (EC 68041).
- Legal Status that permits the establishment of domicile in the United States. Essentially, the
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).
- 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).
- 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 or paying taxes in another state or country as a resident
of that state or country; filing for divorce or a lawsuit in another state; paying
resident tuition in another state; registering to vote or voting in another state.
Moving to California for educational purposes alone does not grant residency (Education
Code, Section 68062(d)).
- To establish or change a residence, a person capable of establishing residence must couple their physical presence with objective evidence that the physical presence is with intent to make California the home for other than a temporary purpose. EC §68062(d); Note: Physical presence alone is insufficient; intent alone is insufficient.
Unless precluded, a “resident” is a student who has been physically present in the state for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date (one year and one day) for a term and has demonstrated an intent to make California a permanent home. EC § 68017
A “nonresident” is a student who does not have residency in the state for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date for a term. EC § 68018
Examples Precluding Establishing Residency
- Possessing a driver’s license or state identification, and/or vehicle registration in another state.
- Being a petitioner in a divorce or lawsuit as a resident in another state.
- Attending an out-of-state educational institution as a resident of that state.
- Declaring nonresidence for California income tax purposes.
- Presence in the United States as a citizen of another country with a nonresident visa.
- Filing or paying taxes as a resident of another state or country.
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).
Current Tuition Exemptions
Certain students may qualify for a nonresidence tuition exception under the circumstances below, provided relevant documentation is presented:
- Any students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., and aliens who are not nonimmigrants (including those who are undocumented), may be exempt from paying nonresident tuition if they meet one of the following requirements:
- Total attendance of, or attainment of credits earned while in California equivalent
to three or more years of full-time attendance or attainment of credits at any of
the following: (a) California high schools; (b) California high schools established
by the State Board of Education; (c) California adult schools established by either
a county office of education, unified or high school district, or The Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation; (d) campuses of the California community colleges;
or (e) a combination thereof; or
Three or more years of full-time high school coursework, and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, or a combination of California elementary and secondary schools.
Additionally, the following requirements must be met:
- Graduation from a California high school or attainment of the equivalent thereof;
or completed an Associate degree from a California Community College; or completed
the minimum requirements at a California Community College, or fulfill the minimum
transfer requirements established for the University of California or the California
State University for students transferring from a campus of the California Community
Registration or enrollment in a course offered by any college in the District for any term commencing on or after January 1, 2002,
Completion of a questionnaire form prescribed by the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and furnished by the District of enrollment, verifying eligibility for this nonresident tuition exemption; and
In the case of a student without lawful immigration status, the filing of an affidavit that the student has filed an application to legalize his/her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he/she is eligible to do so.
Documents and information obtained in implementing this exemption are confidential.
A student who is a minor and remains in this state after the parent, who was previously domiciled in California and has established residence elsewhere, shall be entitled to retain resident classification until attaining the age of majority and has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident, so long as continuous attendance is maintained at an institution.
A student who is a minor and who provides evidence of being entirely self-supporting and actually present in California for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date with the intention of acquiring a residence therein, shall be entitled resident classification until he/she has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
A student who has not been an adult for one year immediately preceding the residence determination date for the semester for which the student proposes to attend an institution shall have the immediate pre-majority-derived California residence, if any, added to the post-majority residence to obtain the one year of California residence.
A student holding a valid credential authorizing service in the public schools of this state, who is employed by a school district in a full-time position requiring certification qualifications for the college year in which the student enrolls in an institution, shall be entitled to resident classification if each student meets any of the following requirements:
- He/she holds a provisional credential and is enrolled in courses necessary to obtain
another type of credential authorizing service in the public schools.
He/she holds a credential issued pursuant to Education Code Section 44250 and is enrolled in courses necessary to fulfill credential requirements.
He/she is enrolled in courses necessary to fulfill the requirements for a fifth year of education prescribed by subdivision (b) of Education Code Section 44259.
- A student holding a valid emergency permit authorizing service in the public schools of this state, who is employed by a school district in a full-time position requiring certification qualifications for the academic year in which the student enrolls at an institution in courses necessary to fulfill teacher credential requirements, is entitled to resident classification only for the purpose of determining the amount of tuition and fees for no more than one year. Thereafter, the student’s residency status will be determined under the other provisions of this procedure.
- A student who is a full-time employee of the California State University, the University of California or a community college, or of any state agency or a student who is a child or spouse of a full-time employee of the California State University, the University of California or a community college, or of any state agency may be entitled to resident classification, until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
- A student who is a natural or adopted child, stepchild, or spouse who is a dependent of a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in this state on active duty and is attendance at, or has been admitted to the District shall be entitled to resident classification. If the member of the armed forces of the United States later transfers on military orders to a place outside this state, or retires as an active member of the armed forces of the United States, the student dependent shall not lose his/her resident classification, so long as he/she remains continuously enrolled in the District.
- A student who is a member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in this state on active duty, except a member of the Armed Forces assigned for educational purposes to a state-supported institution of higher education, is entitled to resident classification only for the purpose of determining the amount of tuition and fees. If the student later transfers on military orders to a place outside this state, the student shall not lose his/her resident classification, so long as he/she remains continuously enrolled in the District.
- A veteran who was discharged or released from at least 90 days of active service less
than three years before the date of enrollment in a course commencing on or after
July 1, 2015, and his/her dependents, regardless of the veteran’s state of residence
is entitled to a non-resident tuition exemption.
An individual who is the child or spouse of a person who, on or after September 11, 2001, died in the line of duty while serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces who resides in California.|
- An individual who is entitled to a transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill program benefits by virtue of their relationship to a member of the uniformed services who is serving on active duty.
- A student who is a minor and resides with his/her parent in a district or territory not in a district shall be entitled to resident classification, provided that the parent has been domiciled in California for more than one year prior to the residence determination date for the semester, quarter or term for which the student proposes to attend.
- A student who is a Native American is entitled to resident classification for attendance at a community college if the student is also attending a school administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs located within the community college district.
- A student who is a federal civil service employee and his/her natural or adopted dependent children are entitled to resident classification if the parent has moved to this state as a result of a military mission realignment action that involves the relocation of at least 100 employees. This classification shall continue until the student is entitled to be classified as a resident, so long as the student continuously attends an institution of public higher education.
- A student who resides in California and is 19 years of age or under at the time of enrollment, who is currently a dependent or ward of the state through California's child welfare system, or was served by California's child welfare system and is no longer being served either due to emancipation or aging out of the system, may be entitled to resident classification until he/she has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
- A student who lives with a parent who earns a livelihood primarily by performing agricultural labor for hire in California and other states, and the parent has performed such labor in this state for at least two months per year in each of the two preceding years, and the parent resides in this District and the parent of the student has claimed the student as a dependent on his state or federal personal income tax return if he/she has sufficient income to have personal income tax liability shall be entitled to resident classification.
- A student who demonstrates financial need, has a parent who has been deported or was permitted to depart voluntarily, moved abroad as a result of that deportation or voluntary departure, lived in California immediately before moving abroad, attended a public or private secondary school in the state for three or more years, and upon enrollment, will be in his/her first academic year as a matriculated student in California public higher education, will be living in California, and will file an affidavit with the District stating that he/she intends to establish residency in California as soon as possible.
- A student who has a special immigrant visa that has been granted status under Section 1244 of Public Law 110-181 or under Public Law 109-163, or is a refugee admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code, and who, upon entering the United States, settled in California, shall be exempt from paying the nonresident tuition fee required by Section 76140 for the length of time he/she lives in this state up to the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
Select Special Immigrant Visa Holders Qualify for Exemption
Education Code section 68075.6 grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California upon entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.
This exemption applies to the following:
Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by
or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq (Pub.L. No. 110-181, § 1244)
Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Pub.L. No. 109-163, § 1059)
Afghanistan nationals who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Pub.L. No. 111-8, § 602}
Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code