AB-540 for Undocumented Students

AB-540 for Undocumented Students

Frequently asked Questions about AB 540

Apply for state financial-aid through: https://dream.csac.ca.gov/

Do I qualify for in-state tuition?

  • I am undocumented –You may qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in California if you satisfy the requirements under (AB 540). All students regardless of their immigration status can qualify for in-state tuition at The University of California (UC system), California State Universities (CSU) and community colleges if they meet ALL of the following requirements:
  1. A student may qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition…either by high school attendance in California for three or more years
  2. or by either elementary or secondary school attendance,
  3. or both in California for a total of 3 or more years and
  4. attainment of credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to 3 or more years of full-time high school coursework and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of these schools.”
  5. Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California;
  6. Must file or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that the filer will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
  7. Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.)
  • I am a non-immigrant with a currently valid visa (for example, student or tourist visa). Do I qualify for in-state tuition? You do NOT qualify for in-state tuition under the new law (AB 540). However, you may qualify for in-state tuition as a “resident” if your non-immigrant status allows you to “establish domicile” in the U.S., and you satisfy other requirements for residency. For example, persons with “V” or “K” visas, and citizens of Micronesia or the Marshall Islands should be able to pay in-state tuition if they have lived in the state for more than one year. If you have questions about your non-immigrant status, please contact one of the numbers below.
  • I pay or have paid out-of state tuition, but I am now eligible to pay in-state tuition under the new law (AB 540). Will I be able to get a refund? You will not be eligible for a refund if you paid out-of-state tuition for any term before January 1, 2002. You may be eligible for a refund only if you have paid out-of-state tuition for any term that begins on or after January 1, 2002. Contact the university or college administration for more information.

Is the affidavit confidential? Yes. The affidavit will be filed with the college or university – not the INS. Here is the link to the affidavit: http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/ab_540_affidavit.pdf

Do I qualify for financial aid programs or other assistance? If you are a U.S. citizen or a “qualified” immigrant with evidence from the INS that you are in the U.S. on more than a temporary basis with the intent to become a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for federal and state financial aid programs as long as you meet the criteria for the program. “Qualified” immigrants include: lawful permanent residents; refugees, asylees, persons granted withholding of deportation, conditional entry, or paroled into the U.S. for at least one year; Cuban/Haitian entrants; and certain victims of domestic violence (and their parents/children).

If you are not a U.S. citizen or a “qualified” immigrant, but qualify for AB 540 you may be able to receive state financial aid such as Cal Grant and institutional grants ; but, you are NOT eligible for federal financial aid programs. You may also want to contact your college or university for information on any available fee waivers. Please refer to the scholarship resources in this site. Check out scholarships for AB-540 students here.


** Remember**

Do not give false statements about your immigration or citizenship status for purposes of tuition and financial aid. Pretending to be a U.S. citizen or using a false social security number can prevent you from obtaining lawful immigration status.