AB-540 Students and permanent residency: What’s the Affidavit Requirement About?

If you are an undocumented immigrant who attended high school in California and want to attend a California public community college, college, or university, you may qualify to be an AB-540 student.

An AB-540 student is eligible to pay in-state tuition rather than out-of-state tuition in schools belonging to the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges systems. One of the requirements to be an AB-540 student is that you must file or plan to file an affidavit with the institution you attend. The affidavit must state that you will apply for legal residency as soon as possible.

If you are considering a path to permanent residency or citizenship, think of talking to a qualified immigration lawyer. Becoming a legal resident may make you eligible to receive scholarships, grants, student loans, and other types of financial aid, such as federal work-study jobs. This can help you lighten the financial burden while you are in school. It will also minimize the amount of debt that you will have after graduation. There is a big difference between planning for applying for legal residency and actually making steps toward that goal. Even if it takes months or years to change your status, the progress you make may lead to your becoming a legal resident upon graduation. If you are a legal resident, you will likely be much more attractive to employers.

An affidavit is a written declaration made upon an oath to a person authorized to administer an oath. An AB-540 affidavit usually consists of a written, sworn statement made to a college admissions office staff member. An affidavit may ask you to provide the name of the California high school that you attended, the dates that you attended, and your name, address, student ID number, and signature. California law does not allow the college or university to share information on the affidavit with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

If you have applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), note that a DACA application is not a step toward legal residency.

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