At the time of the application (or reapplication) for admission, a student’s residency status will be determined based on the answers provided on the application for admission.

Students classified as nonresidents who feel they should be reclassified can do so by filling out the Saddleback College California Residency Reclassification Questionnaire. Ensure you provide all possible documentation available to assist us in deciding with your case. For more information, visit Residency Reclassification.

Residency Determination Dates

Term Term Start Date Proofs to be Considered Must be Issued On or Before Deadline to Request Residency Reclassification
Spring 2024 January 16, 2024 January 15, 2023 January 30, 2024
Summer 2024 May 27, 2024 May 26, 2023 June 13, 2024
Fall 2024 August 19, 2024 August 18, 2023 September 6, 2024
Spring 2025 January 21, 2025 January 20, 2025 January 31, 2025

Establishing Residency

In order to be eligible for California residency, you must be a United States (U.S.) citizen or hold a U.S. Immigration status that does not preclude you from establishing residency. The following are eligible/ineligible visa types for residency:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Permanent Resident Aliens, including conditional permanent residents, and applicants for permanent resident status or to adjust status (Form I-485)
  • Asylees and asylum applicants
  • Applicants for "withholding of removal"; (formerly called "withholding of deportation")
  • Applicants for the Family Unity Program, LIFE Act (LIFE Legalization), and LIFE Act Family Unity Provisions
  • Applicants for Temporary Protected Status
  • A-1 to A-3
  • E-1, E-2, E-2C, E-3
  • G-1 to G-5
  • H-1B, H-1C, H-4
  • I
  • K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4
  • L-1A, L-1B, L-2
  • N-8, N-9
  • NATO 1 to 7
  • SIV
  • T-1 to T-6
  • U-1 to U-5
  • V-1, V-2, V-3
  • B-1, B-2
  • C-1 to C-4
  • D-1, D-2
  • F-1, F-2, F-3
  • H-1B1
  • H-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4
  • J-1, J-2
  • M-1, M-2, M-3
  • O-2, O-3
  • P-1 to P-4
  • Q-1 to Q-3
  • S-5, S-6, S-7
  • TN/TD
  • TWOV

If you wish to apply for a change of status, you must do so by following the Residency Reclassification Questionnaire procedure and submit all required documents before the beginning of the semester in which you plan to enroll. If that deadline is not met, the status change won't take effect until the next term for which you enroll.

If there is any question about residency, the burden is on you to clearly prove both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence.

To establish California residency and qualify for in-state tuition rates and fees, you must:

  • Have been physically present in California for one year and one day prior to the term in which you wish to enroll.
  • Intend to make California your permanent home for other than a temporary purpose.
  • Have an eligible status that does not preclude you from establishing residency in the U.S. under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. This status must have been established one year and one day prior to the beginning of the term in which you wish to implement the change.

You may establish your residency by submitting the following required documentations:

Option 1

Request the Federal Tax Return Transcript directly from and provide that Transcript with your copy of the CA 540 or CA 540 NR for the most recent tax year. (The 1040 and W-2 are not sufficient).
A California issued driver’s license or ID card (issued at least 1 year and 1 day prior to start of term).

Option 2

If you do not have both Federal Tax Return Transcript showing CA address and California taxes with a valid California driver's license or ID, you must provide 2 forms of proof.

Any items submitted from either Group A or B must have an issued date at least 1 year and 1 day prior to the start of the term the reclassification is being requested.

  • You need one (1) item from group A;
  • You need one (1) item from group B;

Group A

  • CA driver’s license or ID card
  • Marriage license issued from CA
  • Filing a lawsuit or divorce in California as a resident
  • CA Voter registration card
  • CA license for professional practice
  • CA Vehicle registration
  • W-2 form for the year prior to the start of the term
  • Two Paystubs with California address one recent and one prior to the residency determination date
  • Recipient of CA state services e.g. unemployment, disability
  • Payment of non-resident tuition at an out-of- state institution, if attending within the past two years.

Group B

  • Ownership of residential property as primary residence
  • Continuous occupancy of rented or leased property in CA
  • Provide two (2) complete bank statements (Savings or Checking) drawn on a California Bank Branch. The statement must also show a customer address within the state of California dated prior to the residency determination date and most recent
  • Selective Service registration with a California address
  • Federal Tax Return Transcript showing CA address AND CA 540 State Income Tax return
  • California Home Utility bills (e.g. electric, gas, or cable bill) covering a one-year period (need 2 statements: one from the past 3 months and one from 12-13 months ago)

Members of the armed forces stationed on active duty in California are considered instate for tuition purposes. Spouses and dependents of an armed force member stationed on active duty in California shall be entitled to instate tuition for the duration of the student's enrollment at the California Community College. Fill out the California Residency Questionnaire and submit supporting documentation to the Admissions & Records office to be reclassified as Military Personnel for tuition purposes.

In 2001 the California legislature passed a law (AB 540) that exempts certain categories of students from paying nonresident tuition. To be eligible you must have competed at least three years of high school and have graduated (or earned a high school equivalency) while living and attending school in California. The three eligible populations are:

  • currently undocumented immigrants;
  • previously documented students on a "nonimmigrant alien" visa who have taken actions to correct their status; and
  • U.S. citizens who are returning to California after having graduated at some point in the past, left the state, but are now returning to college in California.

The law allows U.S. citizens who met the AB 540 requirements to be charged the resident rate of tuition without meeting the one year and one day requirement to reestablish residency.

NOTE: Students who hold nonimmigrant visas, [for example, Tourist (B-1, B-2), Foreign Student (F-1), NAFTA (TN & TD) and Exchange Student (J), etc.] are not eligible for this exemption..

If you feel you may be eligible, please complete the *AB540 Affidavit (E- form). If your see a window with "SOCCCD Sign In" enter your Saddleback College username and password. Your username is your email in this format:

NOTE: For student record security, forms are required to be sent from district issued email addresses or district student accounts only. Forms from other accounts will not be processed.

District issued emails are "" or "".

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have indicated a yes to questions 1-4 listed below and/or a No to question 5. If so, you might have met the intent, but you might not be able to meet the physical presence in California.

  • Did you leave California to attend an out of state college or university?
  • Did you leave California to participate in an internship in another state?
  • Did you move to another state as a result of a job transfer?
  • Did you move to another state temporarily other than a vacation?
  • Have you lived in California for at least the last two years?

If you fall into one of the above categories, please view the California Residency Questionnaire to find out what documents you will need to meet the physical presence requirement.

Do any of these questions apply to you?

  • Were you born in another country?
  • Is your legal status other status?
  • Has your visa expired or will it expire before the end of term in which you are applying?
  • Have you changed or adjusted your legal status recently?
  • Have you just arrived in this country after a visit to your country?

You may have met the intent requirement; however, you might not have met your INS status. An individual’s approved INS status to establish domicile in the U.S. must be consistent with the one year and one day residency determination date required for tuition purposes. If you fall into one of the above categories, please view the California Residency Questionnaire to find out what documents you will need to meet the legal status reclassification. Please note that although you may have the California state documentation, you must first meet the legal status.

Answering the questions and more importantly, signing the Questionnaire form gives Saddleback College permission to change the original information you provided when you submitted your application for admissions. In addition, the Questionnaire form is a point of reference for our state auditors when they come annually to audit our non-resident records.

No, an application is a legal document which becomes part of a student’s record. When an application is filled out incorrectly, the student still needs to fill out the Residency Questionnaire form and attach the pertinent documentation to correct the error.