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Residency Requirements: Graduate Students

Find out how to fulfill the residency requirements as a Graduate Student.

Residence Deputy Availability

The Residence Deputies are unavailable for in-person or phone advising. Please review the contact information located at the bottom of this page for other ways to connect with a Residence Deputy.

Residency Requirements

To receive a Resident Classification for purposes of UC tuition, the Student must:

  • be in an eligible immigration status for at least one-year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date
  • establish a primary and permanent Domicile in California and fulfill the physical presence requirement for at least one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date
  • fulfill the intent requirements by the relevant deadlines

In rare cases, Students may demonstrate eligibility for a Special Circumstances Resident Classification which includes eligible immigration status.

Graduate Students are considered as Independent regardless as to age and will be evaluated without regard to Parents or source of financial support. 

Eligible Immigration Status

All Graduate Students must have the legal ability to establish a permanent domicile in the United States, meaning that they must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or hold a valid, qualifying nonimmigrant visa. Further, Graduate Students must demonstrate at least one-year of continuous physical presence immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date while in an eligible immigration status, and which continues for duration of enrollment.

Read the full policy on immigration status (pdf)

Physical Presence

All Graduate Students must provide objective evidence of a permanent Domicile and physical presence in California on a continuous basis for a period of at least one year immediately before the relevant Residence Determination Date (dates indicated in the tables below).

Physical presence in California solely for educational purposes does not constitute the establishment of California residence, regardless of length of stay. Students whose absences exceed 6 weeks in total during this qualification period are presumed to be disqualifying.

Read the full policy regarding physical presence (pdf)


All Graduate Students must establish required legal ties to California through acquisition of one or more items of required governmental evidence of intent listed below by the relevant deadlines. Any and all ties to the past place of residence must have been severed at least one year prior to the Residence Determination Date for the relevant term.

Required Governmental Evidence of Intent (subject to applicable deadlines indicated in the tables below):

  • State of California Driver License or State of California Identification Card for non-drivers and the relinquishment of driver licenses or ID cards issued by other states
  • Valid voter registration in California, if legally eligible to register
  • State of California car registration for all motor vehicles owned by the Student
  • State of California tax return filed as “resident” status effective with date of declared California residency; tax returns amended after the submission of a Statement of Legal Residence, Petition for Reclassification, or issuance of a Nonresident Classification will not be accepted for the Resident Determination Date for term being evaluated; state and federal tax transcripts may be requested

Please note: An Graduate Student who takes steps to establish a residence in California but whose activities and circumstances suggest temporary or indeterminate residence will be considered as Nonresidents for purposes of UC tuition. Such activities and circumstances include, but are not limited to, maintaining ties to and the continued maintenance of the prior residence, and returning to the prior residence during periods of non-instruction. Graduate Students who have satisfied the one-year physical presence requirement and have acquired one or more items of required governmental evidence of intent but have not timely obtained other California legal indicia and/or continue to hold out-of-state legal indicia may be denied a Resident Classification for the term for which a Resident Classification has been requested.

Read the full policy regarding intent to remain in California (pdf)

Residence Determination Dates and Deadlines to Acquire Intent

Graduate Dates and Deadlines

2024 - 2025 Academic Year Establish Physical Presence Residence Determination Date Deadline to Acquire Intent
Fall Quarter 09/26/2023 09/26/2024 12/15/2023
Winter Quarter 01/06/2024 01/06/2025 03/22/2024
Spring Quarter 03/31/2024 03/31/2025 06/14/2024
2025 - 2026 Academic Year Establish Physical Presence Residence Determination Date Deadline to Acquire Intent
Fall Quarter 09/25/2024 09/25/2025 12/15/2024
Winter Quarter 01/05/2025 01/05/2026 03/31/2025
Spring Quarter 03/30/2025 03/30/2026 06/15/2025

Changes may be made to the residence requirements between the publication of this page and the relevant Residence Determination Date. Students should review the UC Residence Policy and Guidelines prior to applying for a Residency Classification to ensure compliance with the most recent requirements for the relevant academic term.

Contact Us

Prospective students may email the Residence Deputy or drop-in to Zoom for virtual office hours from April 1st - June 1st.

Current UC San Diego students may email the Residence Deputy or drop-in to Zoom for virtual office hours. 

Zoom Office Hours:
Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. | Thursdays 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

NOTE: Zoom Office Hours will be unavailable on the following dates: 06/19/24, 06/20/24 and 07/04/24.