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Immigration Issues/Domicile in California



My family will soon be migrating to the United States (we were petitioned by a grandparent). We plan to live near our relatives in California and I intend to continue my college education when we get there.

I have a few concerns regarding what my status (resident or nonresident) would be since there is a huge difference in the tuition fees as well as eligibility issues for many financial aids.

According to this guideline:

"A resident is any individual who meets any of the
• Present in California for other than a temporary or
transitory purpose .
• Domiciled in California, but outside California for a
temporary or transitory purpose. (See “Meaning of
Domicile’’ on page 9)"

And on page 9:

"Domicile is defined for tax purposes as the place
where you voluntarily establish yourself and family,
not merely for a special or limited purpose, but with a
present intention of making it your true, fixed, permanent
home and principal establishment . It is the place where,
whenever you are absent, you intend to return."

We do intend to be established there permanently so would that make me qualified for a resident status? And if so, how long does the process usually take (is there a minimum time of stay required?).

I am very grateful for the time you spent in reading this and I will be infinitely be more so if you can help me with this problem.

Sincerest thanks,


Hi Eli,

This is technically not an immigration question but a state law question.  I believe each school has different interpretation of what make a resident.  You should consult with the school you are applying to determine if you meet the residency requirement.

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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