Foreign Students

If you are in the United States with a visa or immigration status that allows you to establish residency, then you must demonstrate that you have been physically in California for one year and one day prior to the start of classes and intend to make California your permanent residence.  Follow the link for more information on 1 year and intent.

The following visas or immigration statuses can establish residency:

  • Permanent Resident/Resident Alien
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Refugee
  • Asylee
  • Family Unity Program
  • LIFE Act
  • A-1, A-2, A-3, E-1, E-2, E-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, G-5, H-1B, H-1C, I, K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4, L-1A, L-1B, L-2, NATO 1-7, N-8, N-9, O-1, R-1, R-2, T-1, T-2, T-3, T-4, T-5, U-1, U-2, U-3, U-4, U-5, V1, V2, V3
  • H-4 if the student is a spouse or child of a person who holds a H-1B or H-1C Visa
  • O-3 if the student is a spouse or child of a person who holds an O-1 Visa  
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

All visas must be valid on the starting day of the semester for which the student is requesting a change in residence status and must be dated at least one year and one day before the start of the semester.

Students who do not currently have a visa, but have applied for a visa that can establish residency at least one year and one day before the start of the semester, may establish residency. Documentation from the USCIS ( United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) must be provided showing the student’s name and must be valid. Expired paperwork will not be accepted. The student will also be required to demonstrate one year physical presence and intent.

Examples of USCIS documentation that will demonstrate that a student has applied for residence status:

  • Notice of Action stating the type of visa
  • Valid Employment Authorization card showing the type of visa
  • Receipt from USCIS showing the type of visa

Students who were not documented at the time of entrance to the United States and have not applied to adjust their immigration status may be eligible for a waiver of non-resident tuition. Please see more information at AB 540 or AB540 in Spanish.

The following Visas cannot establish Residency status for the community college:

B-1, B-2, C-1, C-1D, C-2, C-3, C-4, D-1, D-2, F-1, F-2, F-3, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4 (if spouse or child of H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3), J-1, J-2, M-1, M-2, M-3, O-2, O-3 (if spouse or child of O-2), P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, Q-1, Q-2, Q-3, S-5, S-6, S-7, TWOV (Transit Without Visa), and (NAFTA) TN/TD.  Also precluded from establishing residency are aliens under an “Order of Supervision,” on “parole” status, visitors possessing a Border Crossing Card (BCC), Bering Straits (BE) agreement entrants, Visa Waiver Program (VWP) entrants under nonimmigrant categories WB and WT, and aliens whose very presence is unlawful, or those who overstay their visas (undocumented or out-of-status).

Persons with F-1, F-2. J-1 and J-2 visas must contact our international student advisor at for information concerning application and admittance to Palomar College.  Visit the International Student Admissions webpage for more information.

Last modified on October 21, 2015