California Residency Requirements - Presence and Intent
The burden is on the student to demonstrate clearly both physical presence in California and intent to establish permanent California residence.
Presence and intent may be manifested in many ways — no one factor
is controlling — but all those ways fall into two main categories.
- An individual who is 19 years of age or over, and
who can provide sufficient evidence that he or she has maintained a
home in California continuously for the two years prior to the residence
determination date, and has not been a student during the two years,
is presumed to have met the presence and intent criteria, unless the
individual has taken any action inconsistent with the claim of intent
as described below.
- An individual who is under 19 years of age is presumed
to have met the presence and intent criteria if both the individual
and his or her parents can show that they have maintained a home in
California continuously for the two years prior to the residence determination
date, unless the student has taken any action inconsistent with the
claim of intent as described below.
- Evidence of two continuous years maintenance of a home in California
can take the same form as evidence of presence and intent as described
below. However, the documents presented must show continuity over
the two-year period. The more such documents presented, the stronger
the case for classification as a resident becomes.
- Students who do not fall into the “two-year” category
described above must present evidence of one year’s presence
and intent. Some types of evidence are better than others. A list
of acceptable items and their relative weights is available in the
Some examples of such items follow:
- California state income tax form, voter registration, driver’s
license, or automobile registration (high weight);
- active checking or savings account in a California financial institution
or active resident membership in a California professional, service,
or social organization (medium weight);
- utility deposit or installation receipts.
The more of these items presented, and the higher their relative weight,
the stronger the case for classification as a California resident becomes.
All documents presented must be valid, readable, dated at least one year
before the residence determination date, and properly identified with
respect to student name and address. Actions inconsistent with a claim
of intent to remain a permanent California resident will be counted against
that claim. Such actions include, but are not limited to, doing the following
in a state other than California:
- registering to vote,
- entering into a legal agreement,
- attending an educational institution as a resident of the other state
- or maintaining a driver’s license or automobile registration.
In some cases, financial independence
may also be considered in the evaluation of intent.