Academic Catalogs

Residence Requirements

California Residence

The initial residency classification will be made at the time the student applies for admission. Students may file residency questionnaire forms through the third week of the semester to request a review of their residency status. Final residency determination is made by Enrollment Services.

Verification of residence status may be required. Generally, California residence is established by one of the following:

  1. If the applicant is under the age of 18, his or her parents must have had legal residence within the State of California for 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester.
  2. If the applicant is 18 but not yet 19 years of age, the applicant and the applicant’s parents must have had legal residence within the State of California for 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester.
  3. If the applicant is 19 years of age or older, the applicant must have had legal residence within the State of California for 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester. If the applicant’s parents or legal guardians reside out-of-state, the student must be financially independent. (See Non-California Residents #2.)
  4. A non-immigrant holding a status that does not preclude the student from establishing residency in California must have legal residence in California for 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester, and a restrictive immigration status dated at least one year and one day prior to the semester start date.

Persons generally ineligible to establish California residency include: students under age 18, students dependent on out-of-state parents/guardians, students with certain non-immigrant status, etc. For further information regarding eligibility to establish residency, contact a Residency Specialist at the Enrollment Center on first floor of Watson Hall or via email at

Non-California Residents

Students who do not meet the California residence requirements as of the day immediately preceding the first day of the semester or summer session are required to pay the non-resident tuition fees and capital outlay fees. This includes:

  1. Minors (under 18 years of age and not married) will be required to pay the non-resident tuition fee if their parents or legal guardians reside outside the state even though such minors may have lived in the State of California for one year or more.
  2. Students who are financially dependent on their parents or legal guardians will be required to pay non-resident tuition and capital outlay fees if their parents or legal guardians reside outside the state, even though such students may have lived in the State of California for one year or more.
  3. Students holding non-immigrant status that precludes them from establishing residency in California may be restricted in their enrollment and will have to pay non-resident tuition and capital outlay fees.

Exemptions authorized by the State of California:

  • Active military personnel stationed in California are exempt from non-resident tuition fees. Beginning Summer 2017, active duty military students and their dependents who are only enrolled in fully online classes at any of the Coast Community College District sites are exempt from the capital outlay fee.

Expansion of Resident Classification for Purposes of Determining Tuition and Fees

Active Duty, Veterans & Dependents

Education Code section 68074 provides that specified dependents of members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are stationed in California on active duty are entitled to “resident classification only for the purpose of determining the amount of tuition and fees.” In Assembly Bill 172 (2017), the Legislature extends this resident classification to specified dependents of transferred or retired members, provided the dependent was admitted to a public postsecondary institution prior to the transfer or retirement. (Ed. Code, § 68074, subd. (b).)

This includes:

  • Dependents of military personnel stationed on active duty in California are classified as a resident.
  • Armed forces members who were stationed in CA for more than one year and remained in the state following discharge.
  • Students who are eligible as covered individuals as defined in the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACA Act).

AB 540 Exemption

Under Senate Bill 68 and AB 540, a student is exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the Californian Community Colleges if the student meets all three of the required criteria.

  1. The student must have:
    • attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College1 for the equivalent of three years or more, or
    • attained credits earned in California from a California high school or California adult school1 equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years, and
  2. The student must have:
    • graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam), or
    • completed an associate degree from a California Community College, or
    • completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California, and
  3. The student must file an affidavit with the college stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.

Students under certain visa classification may not be eligible for this exemption. Additional criteria is available on the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request. Please contact the Residency Specialist for more information at

Nonresident Tuition Exemptions for Refugees, Special Immigrant Visa Holders, and Others

In 2017, the California Legislature also enacted Assembly Bill 343, which establishes a new exemption from nonresident tuition for refugees with special immigrant visas (SIVs). Please contact the Residency Specialist at for more information.

California Education Code section 68075.6 further specifies exemptions to nonresident tuition, effective January 1, 2018. In addition, under California Education Code section 68122, T and U visa holders are also exempt from nonresident tuition by extension of Assembly Bill 343. Assembly Bill 343 also states that the exemption for a student is only available for the maximum time it would take for the student to establish residency.

Incorrect Classification

A student incorrectly classified as a California resident is subject to reclassification as a nonresident and payment of nonresident fees. If incorrect classification results from false or misleading statements, the student will be responsible for any fees associated with the incorrect classification.

For evaluation of residency status, students must complete the Statement of Residence form and submit appropriate documentation as proof of California Residence (Sections 54012 and 54024 of AP 5015 Residence Classification) through the third week of the semester.


Reclassification to resident status must be requested by the student. The appropriate Statement of Residence form along with the required proofs that establish both physical presence (minimum requirement of 12 consecutive months prior to the residency determination date) and intent to make California their permanent home must be submitted to the Enrollment Center prior to the term in which the student wishes to establish residency. Although a minimum of two proofs are required for residency reclassification consideration, the burden of proof remains with the requestor. Therefore, the Enrollment Center reserves the right to request additional documentation in its efforts to determine California Residency for tuition purposes. For additional information, contact a Residency Specialist at the Enrollment Center on the first floor of Watson Hall or via email at

International Students

Orange Coast College is authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to admit international students under F-1 visa status.

At OCC, we believe that our international students provide ethnic and cultural diversity to the campus and help increase the awareness and understanding of students from other countries and cultures. In addition, we provide an opportunity for international students to study in the United States and learn about our culture.

Interested international students can request an application for admission by emailing the Global Engagement Center at An application packet can also be downloaded by visiting the Global Engagement Center website at Our admission process allows for acceptance to OCC during the fall, spring, and summer semester. Applicants must submit all required documents prior to the application deadline for the semester in which they wish to attend. Approximate semesters start dates are late August for fall, late January for spring, and early June for summer semesters. International students must enroll in and complete a minimum of 12 units each semester in order to maintain their valid F-1 status. In addition, all international students must maintain continuous medical coverage that is provided through the Global Engagement Center throughout their studies at OCC. All international students pay non-resident tuition fees in addition to all other applicable fees during their entire attendance at OCC.

The following are admission requirements for international students who are, or intend to be under F-1 visa status: 

  • Completed and signed international student application. 
  • Application fee in the amount of $55 USD. 
  • Academic records from all previous institutions attended.
  • English requirement: A minimum score of 500 (paper-based) or 61 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an acceptable score on many other standardized tests or completion of an acceptable level in an approved intensive English program.  For a complete list of acceptable tests and acceptable scores as well as intensive English programs and acceptable levels, please visit
  • Financial support documentation
  • Documents related to current or past legal status in the U.S.

DHS prohibits international students from unauthorized employment. International students must obtain approval from the Global Engagement Center before they engage in any on- or off-campus employment. For further information or specifics regarding admission and submission of documents, please refer to the International Student application packet or contact the Global Engagement Center by telephone at (714) 432- 5940 or via email at, or visit the Global Engagement Center.

IEC@OCC is a not-for-credit intensive English program primarily for international students who do not meet the English proficiency level. For more information, please visit the website at or call 714-432- 5940.

Students with Visas

Students with certain types of visas who are eligible for admission may enroll (limitations of units and/or restrictions may apply) provided they have a valid status that does not expire before the end of the term for which they are enrolling. Students with a non-immigrant visa classification must ensure that enrollment in College does not interfere with their primary intent of non-immigrant status.

A student who is precluded from establishing domicile in the United States shall not be classified as a resident unless and until he or she has been granted a change in status by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to a classification which permits establishing domicile and has met other residency requirements.

Students with B1 or B2 visa status are not eligible to take courses. They must contact the Global Engagement Center to inquire about changing their visa status.