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Residency Requirements


California state law requires that each student enrolled in or applying for admission to a California community college provide information and evidence as deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees of the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District to determine their residence classification.

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.

  1. An individual who is 19 years of age or over, and who can provide sufficient evidence that they have 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.
  2. An individual who is under 19 years of age is presumed to have met the presence and intent criteria if both the individual and their 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 Admissions Office.

Some examples of such items follow:

  1. California state income tax form, voter registration, driver’s license, or automobile registration (high weight);
  2. registering to vote,
  3. maintaining a driver’s license or automobile registration.

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:

    • entering into a legal agreement,
    • attending an educational institution as a resident of the other state,
    • 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.

In some cases, financial independence may also be considered in the evaluation of intent.

Students who are members of the armed forces of the United States on active duty stationed in California, except those stationed in California for educational purposes only, and their dependents are exempt from paying non-resident tuition. There is no requirement for the military person to establish residence; however, the student must be on active duty on the residence determination date. 

Per Assembly Bill 2411 & 1346 proof of active duty status may be required. If a nonresident student who is a member of the military becomes separated from the military, they 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 member of the armed forces who was stationed in California on active duty for more than one year prior to being discharged from the service, may be granted resident classification for up to one year if they live in California after being discharged. After the one-year exception, the student would have to prove that California residence has been established (AB 723).  

Once a student has been classified as an out-of-state resident, they must provide proper documentation before they can be reclassified as a California resident for the purpose of paying California enrollment fees. 

1. Physical Presence - submit one document from the following options:

  • California State Income tax form 540, 540A, 540EZ from previous year
  • Official rental/lease agreement
  • Escrow papers
  • Passport to Services
  • 12 months utility bills in your name with your CA address
  • 12 months CA unemployment documents

2. Intent - submit one document from the following options: documents must be at least a year old before the start of the term

  • California Driver's License/ID (at least a year old before the start of the term)
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Voter Registration
  • Professional Practice Licensing
  • Register for selective service in CA

Tuition fees may not be refunded to a student classified as a nonresident due to lack of documentation if at a later date documentation is presented for that previous semester.

If you cannot provide the proper documentation, you will remain classified as an out-of-state resident until you can do so.  However, you may still enroll as a non-resident. Non-resident tuition is currently $391 per unit in addition to the $46.00 per unit enrollment fee.  All fees are subject to change. 

In addition to the above, if you are not a U.S. citizen, or on a visa that allows you to establish California residency, please provide verification that you have applied for residency with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS ). 

ca residency questionnaire form

Nonresident Tuition Exemption

Nonresident students may be exempt from nonresident tuition if they meet the following criteria.

Education: You must meet at least ONE criteria from BOTH Section A and Section B

Section A

  • Three years of attendance at a California high school.
    • The law does not require consecutive attendance nor require that the student attended the last three years in California (in the case of four-year high schools). Such attendance could be at multiple California high schools. Attendance at continuation high schools, charter high schools, and K-12 approved independent education is acceptable. Attendance at a home school is not acceptable unless the home schooling was provided in a manner recognized under state law. The law does not distinguish between public or private high schools. There is no time limit on how far in the past the student might have attended a California high school.
  • Three or more years of high school coursework and 3 years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of California elementary and secondary schools.
  • Attended or attained credits at a combination of California high school, California adult school, and/or California Community College for the equivalent of (3) years or more.
    • A year’s equivalence at a California Community College is either a minimum of 24 semester units of credit or 36 quarter units. Only two (2) years of full-time attendance in credit courses at a California Community College will count toward the three (3) or more years of attendance. For noncredit courses, a year’s attendance is a minimum of 420 class hours per year (a semester is equivalent to a minimum of 210 hours and a quarter is equivalent to a minimum of 140 hours). Full-time attendance at a California adult school is a minimum of 420 hours of attendance for each school year.

Section B

  • Have graduated or will graduate (before the first term of enrollment at Allan Hancock) with a California high school diploma or the equivalent (i.e., California-issued GED, CHSPE). There is no time limit on how far in the past the student might have attained this status.
  • Completed or will complete (before the first term of enrollment at Allan Hancock) an associate’s degree from a California Community College.
  • Completed or will complete (before the first term of enrollment at Allan Hancock) the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University.


Other Criteria:

  • Student must currently reside in California to be eligible for the exemption.
  • In the case of a student without lawful immigration status, an affidavit must be filed with the college that indicates the student has applied for legalization or will do so as soon as the student is eligible to do so. The law does not require the institution to explore the student’s eligibility for legalization nor does it require the institution to monitor future changes in eligibility. Students may obtain the California Non-resident Tuition Exemption Request form from Admissions and Records or access it by clicking on the link below.

Those that have a current nonimmigrant visa (not including a T and U visa) as defined by federal law, are not eligible. This includes nonimmigrants that have been admitted to the U.S. on a temporary visa including, but are not limited to, foreign students (holding F visas) and exchange visitors (holding J visas).

With these exceptions above, any nonresident student who meets these requirements shall be exempted from nonresident tuition even if they are a US citizen or a lawful or unlawful immigrant. This includes, among others, U.S. citizens, permanent residents, DACA recipients, and individuals without current or valid immigration status. However, they will not be classified as California residents.

Nonresident Tuition Exemption AB540

  1. Fill out the form completely
  2. Save it as a copy by adding your full name and Hancock ID number (if available) to the filename.
    For example this-form-name-Allan-Hancock-H12345678.pdf 
  3. Upload your form and high school transcript

AB 540 High School Graduation Letter
(To be completed by high school seniors, and their high school counselor, if completing the application for admission before the actual graduation date.  High schools please print on your official letterhead.) 

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Exemption

The student must provide evidence that they, or their parents with whom the student is living, earn a livelihood primarily performing agricultural labor for hire in California and has performed such labor for at least two months in each of the preceding two years. The Seasonal Agricultural Exemption Request form may be obtained at the Admissions and Records office or accessed by clicking the link below.

Seasonal Agricultural Exemption Request  

The California non-resident tuition exemptions discussed above are not available for students who are not physically present in California. This would apply to students who are taking Distance Education education classes from California community colleges. Non-resident students who meet the criteria above will be exempted from paying non-resident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents.

Students are eligible if:

  • The student is physically present in California
  • Military member was active duty at least 90 days
  • Spouse/child of eligible member who has transferred benefits

Eligible to use one of the following:

  • “John David Fry” scholarship
  • Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapters 30 or 33)

May continue to benefit after 3 year discharge is up if student is continuously enrolled

Student must complete the AB13 VACA Affidavit

Students must submit the Department of Veterans Affairs Certificate of Eligibility, military member’s DD-214 and the VACA Affidavit to the Admissions & Records Office before they register.

Chapter 35 Dependent Education Assistance (DEA) – must submit a Certificate of Eligibility

Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) – must submit DD-214 and the School Certifying Official (SCO) can provide an authorization from the VA Voc Rehab counselor for approval of benefits.

For information regarding residency contact the Admissions & Records office at ext. 3266.

Right To Appeal
Students who have been classified as non-residents have the right to a review of their classification (Title 5 Section 54010 (a)). Any student, following a final decision of residence classification by the Admissions and Records Office, may make written appeal to the Vice President, Student Services within 30 calendar days of notification of final decision by the college regarding classification.
Appeal Procedure
The appeal is to be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office which must forward it to the Vice President, Student Services within five working days of receipt. Copies of the original application for admission, the residency questionnaire, and evidence or documentation provided by the student, with a cover statement indicating upon what basis 
the residence classification decision was made, must be forwarded with the appeal. The Vice President Student Services shall review all the records and have the right to request additional information from either the student or the Admissions Office.  Within 30 calendar days of receipt, the Vice President Student Services shall send a written determination to the student. The determination shall state specific facts on which the appeal decision was made.  Appeals must be made during the semester the change is to be made.

Residency appeal form