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The following information is extracted from California Education Code sections 68000 and after, and California Administrative Code Title V,sections 54000-54072.
Residence Determination Factors:

  1. Physical presence in California one year prior to the residency determination date. The residence determination date is the day before classes begin. The one year period begins when you are not only present in California but also have demonstrated clear intent to become a permanent resident of California.
    Please note: Physical presence within California solely for educational purposes does not allow a student to establish residence, regardless of the length of time present in the state (ED 68043; T5 54022(c))
  2. Intent to make California your permanent place of residence. A person can only have one permanent place of residence at any given time. Some examples of demonstrated residence are:
    1.  Living in California for two consecutive years
    2. Owning residential property
    3. Registering to vote and voting in California
    4. Obtaining a license from California for professional practice
    5. Holding active membership in service or social clubs
    6. Showing California address on federal tax returns
    7. Having spouse, children or other close relative reside in California
    8. paying California state tax as resident
    9. possessing California driver’s license
    10. possessing California motor vehicle license plates
    11. maintaining California as legal state on Leave and Earnings Statement and W-2 Form while in the armed forces
    12. establishing and maintaining active California bank accounts
    13. being a petitioner for divorce in California
  3.  Examples of conduct inconsistent with a claim of California residency:
    1. maintaining voter registration in another state
    2. being a petitioner for divorce in another state
    3. attending an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state
    4. declaring non-residency for state income tax purposes; paying taxes in another state or country as a resident of that state or country or not fulfilling tax obligations to the State of California.
    5. maintaining a driver’s license and/or vehicle registration in another state
  4. Financial Independence. In deteriming whether the student has objectively manifested intent to establish California residence, financial independence shall weigh in favor of finding California residence and financial dependence shall weigh against finding California residence. When determining financial independence Palomar College shall look for evidence that the student has not and will not be claimed as an exemption for state and/or federal tax purposes by his or her parent in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and in any of the three calendar years prior to the reclassification application.

Palomar College considers these factors more important than the others.

Follow these steps to update your residency:

  1. Complete the Request For Review of Residence Status Form
  2. Obtain copies of documents to support your change in residency. For US citizens, generally, a copy of your CA driver’s license, vehicle registration, last year’s CA 540 state tax return, and proof of physical presence in the State of California dated one year and one day prior to semester of reclassification.  For non-US citizens, in addition to the above listed documents, please also submit the appropriate document from the list below (dated one year and one day prior to semester of reclassification):
    1. permanent resident card (green card)
    2. valid visa that can establish residency, or
    3. documentation from USCIS showing you have applied for a visa or immigration status that can establish residency
  3. If faxing, mailing, or emailing documents, please call the Admissions Office in 48 hours to confirm your items were received and processed.
  4. If you submit the Change in Residence Status form and receive a determination of Non-resident and you feel this is incorrect, you may submit a Residency Appeal Form along with any documentation that will support your claim. Submit the form to the Admissions/Financial Aid counter located in the Student Services Center at the San Marcos campus. Allow 5-10 business days for a response.

Gathering and submitting documentation for residency is the sole responsibility of the student

Special Residency Rules

  1. Active Duty Military & Spouse/Dependents. A person on active duty (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard) and stationed in California and spouse/dependents are granted courtesy residence as long as they are on active duty and stationed in California. Present your current military ID or military dependent ID to the Admissions Office.
  2. If you have been released within the past three years (regardless of station of separation) and are eligible to use (but do not have to use) Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, or the John David Fry Scholarship, please submit a copy of your (or your qualifying sponsor’s) DD-214 and your Certificate of Eligibility to the Admissions Office.  You can retrieve a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility online, here.
  3. If you have been released in the last year and were stationed in California one year prior to discharge, you are entitled to residency status for 1 year from date of discharge. Present your DD214 with your application. One year after discharge, you must submit proof of intent to make California your primary residence.
  4. Foreign Student – Aliens and refugees
  5. Minors – Minors, 19 years of age or under and unmarried, derive their residency from their parents. If the parent is a California resident and the minor student arrives in California before his/her 18th birthday, that student receives California residency. If the student arrives after his/her 18th birthday, proof must be shown that the student’s parent is a California resident and claimed the student on their CA-540 state income tax form for the preceding tax year.
  6. Undocumented and Non-resident Status, English , Undocumented and Non-resident Status, Spanish – AB 540 Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions, please contact Admissions at (760) 744-1150, ext. 2164 or email


Last modified on June 29, 2018

San Marcos Campus, SSC
Phone: 760-891-7512
Fax: 760-761-3536

Office Hours:
7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

My Palomar (eServices) Hours:
Phone: (760) 744-1150 x2140

Summer Hours:
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Friday 7AM – 6PM
Location: A-110