Students must meet the following requirements to qualify as California residents for tuition purposes:
- PHYSICAL PRESENCE: Students must be physically and continuously present in California for one year immediately prior to the residence determination date in the semester they are reclassifying. The residence determination date is the first day of classes. Physical presence in the State solely for educational purposes does not constitute the establishment of California residence under State law, regardless of the length of stay. Students must provide proof of entry date (such as airline tickets) to establish the date of arrival in California. Lease agreements covering the one-year period must also be provided.
- INTENT: Students must provide documentation that they established ties to California and relinquished ties to any prior state. Evidence of intent to make California a permanent residence includes committing to a long-term lease; paying California income taxes as a resident, including taxes and income earned outside California from the date residence is established; registering to vote and voting in all California elections; designating California as the permanent address on all school and employment records, including military records if in military service; obtaining a California driver's license or California Identification Card; obtaining California motor vehicle registration; licensing for professional practice in California. The absence of these indicia in other states during any period for which California residence is claimed is also pertinent. Documentary evidence is required.
- FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE: For those students whose parents do not reside in California, documentation must be provided that they have been financially independent in the year prior to their application for resident tuition. A student shall be considered financially independent if he/she has not and will not be claimed as a tax dependent for state and federal tax purposes by his/her out-of-state parent(s) in the calendar year prior to the reclassification application.
- IMMIGRATION STATUS: A student's immigration status may affect eligibility, particularly with respect to visa type and the timing of filing for permanent residence in the United States through the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service (BCIS). Some visas preclude the establishment of California residence. Students whose permanent residence status is pending with the BCIS must demonstrate that they petitioned for permanent residence status one year prior to the College's residence determination date. Permanent residents must provide a copy of their alien registration card.
- MILITARY STATUS: Special rules may apply to students who are members of the military, dependents of military personnel, dependents of a veteran disabled or killed on duty or children of deceased public law enforcement or fire suppression employees.
LAWS GOVERNING RESIDENCE
Rules regarding legal residence for tuition purposes at Hastings are governed, in part, by the California Education Code and the Hastings Residence Policy as set forth in the Standing Orders of the Hastings College of the Law Board of Directors and the regulations of the General Counsel. Important: Please note that the Residence Policy adopted by the University of California Board of Regents does not govern Hastings College of the Law. There exists the possibility of qualifying as an instate resident for tuition purposes at other UC law schools but not at Hastings. A residency determination by another UC school is not controlling. UC Guidelines, however, are relied on when not in conflict with the Hastings Residence Policy, particularly with regard to visa issues and alien residence status.
MAINTAINING RESIDENCE DURING A TEMPORARY ABSENCE
A temporary absence from the State for business or educational purposes will not necessarily constitute loss of California residence unless the student has acted inconsistently with continued California residence during the absence. It is the student's responsibility to show retention of California residence during an absence. Steps that should be taken to retain California resident status include:
- Continued use of a California permanent address on all records, i.e. educational, employment, military.
- Satisfying California resident income tax obligations. Note that if claiming California residence, the student is liable for payment of income taxes on the total income from the date California residence is established.
- Retaining California voter's registration and voting by absentee ballot.
- Maintaining a California driver's license and motor vehicle registration.