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Step 1: Apply for AB 540 Status

Under California law AB 540, certain undocumented and nonresident students are exempt from paying nonresident tuition, also known as out-of-state tuition. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.

Who is eligible

Students (including undocumented students) who, for various reasons, are classified as nonresidents may be eligible. You must meet all three of the following requirements to be eligible:

1. Time and coursework requirements


Attendance for three full-time years or the equivalent at any combination of the following:

  • California high school
  • California adult school (including non-credit courses offered by a California community college)
  • California community college (maximum of two years of credit bearing courses can count toward this requirement)


Three years of California high school coursework and three years of total attendance at a California elementary school, California secondary school, or any combination of the two.

2. Degree or unit requirements

Meet one of the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a California high school (or attainment of the equivalent)
  • Attainment of an associate’s degree from a California community college
  • Fulfillment of minimum transfer requirements from a California community college to a UC or CSU campus

3. Signed Nonresident Exemption Request

You also must have signed the California Nonresident Exemption Request, which states that you meet all the requirements to qualify for AB 540 status and, if you are undocumented, are in the process of adjusting your immigration status (or will do so as soon as you are eligible).

Who's not eligible

Students in possession of nonimmigrant visas (including, but not limited to any of the following visas: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T*, TN/TD, TWOV, U*, and NATO) are not eligible for this exemption.

 * Except for holders of T and U visas: UC policy permits T and U visa holders with approved I-485 applications who meet the requirements described above to be exempt from nonresident supplemental tuition until they are eligible to establish California residency according to UC policy.

DACA students who do not meet the AB 540 tuition requirements listed above will not be eligible for the exemption.

How to apply

  1. After you have accepted an offer of admission to a UC campus, submit your Statement of Legal Residence to the campus residence deputy.

  2. If you then receive a nonresident classification, the campus residence deputy may provide additional forms for you to complete to determine your eligibility for the AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption. Be prepared to provide official California school transcripts and proof of high school graduation.

Once UC grants you the exemption, you won't need to reapply as long as your visa status doesn't change and you're continuously enrolled in the program to which you've been admitted at a UC campus.

More information