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Assembly Bill 540

What is AB 540?

Assembly Bill 540 is a law that was passed in 2001 by the California legislature. This law is written for students who are undocumented or a U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident who went to High School in California. If students meet specific requirements, they are able to pay ‘resident fees’ instead of ‘non-resident fees’ if they attend a CA public institution of higher education.

The basic criteria to meet eligibility for AB 540 are the following:

  • Attended a California high school for a minimum of three years


  • Graduate from a California high school or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED, also called General Educational Development test)


  • Enroll in an accredited California institution of higher education (CCC, CSU, or UC)


File a “Non-Resident Tuition Exemption” Affidavit with the school. In the case of students without legal immigration status, they must state that they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immigration status as soon as they are eligible to do so. Download the form submit it to Admissions and Records.


California Residency

AB 540 and the California Dream Act does NOT establish legal residency for immigrant students or for undocumented students who are eligible for AB 540. Undocumented students who have questions about their legal residency should consult with an immigration attorney or immigrant advocacy groups. Visit E4FC for free legal services.

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