Frequently Asked Questions

AB 540

What is AB 540?

It is a California State Law that allows certain undocumented students and U.S citizens in California to pay in-state tuition in a higher education institution.

What are the requirements for AB 540?

Requirements for AB 540/ AB 2000 are:

  • Have attended a California High School for three or more years, ORhave attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle/secondary, and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years
  • Have graduated from a California High School or attainment of the equivalent thereof (i.e., GED or Certificate of High School Proficiency) prior to the start of the term
  • The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so

Note: all students who meet AB 540/AB 2000 requirements must file an affidavit with the College. The affidavit is included in the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form which is available in the Admissions and Records Office.

What colleges or universities are available for AB 540 students?

AB 540 students can apply to any community college, four-year university, private university or vocational school.  However, public and private institutions offer financial aid and scholarships based on different criteria.

How do I fill out my college/university applications as an AB 540 student?

Generally, there are two sections that need to be left blank when filling out a college/university application: the Social Security Number box (unless you have a valid social security number issued by the Social Security Administration that may be used for purposes other than work) and the Immigration Status box. Then you will proceed to fill out the AB 540 affidavit stating that you meet the in-state tuition requirements.

What type of financial aid do I get as an AB 540 student?

AB 540 students can apply for scholarships that do not require citizenship.  They are also eligible for Cal Grants based on academic achievement and financial need.  To determine what Cal Grants or state financial aid is available for the student, a CA Dream Act application needs to be completed.

AB 540 students are not eligible for any Federal Financial Aid.  AB 540 students should not apply for the FAFSA, which is a financial aid application for U.S. citizens and legal residents.

What is the AB 540 affidavit?

The affidavit is a sworn statement in which the student claims he or she meets the AB 540 criteria and that he or she will adjust their status as soon as they become eligible.

Is the AB 540 affidavit confidential?

Yes, the information provided in the AB 540 affidavit is confidential and will not be shared with ICE or USCIS under California law.

Does the AB 540 law change a student’s immigration status?

No, the AB 540 law only waives a student from paying non-resident tuition prices.

California Dream Act

What is the CA Dream Act?

It is a financial aid application in California that determines financial assistance for AB 540 students.  The CA Dream Act consists of two parts: AB 130 and AB 131.  AB 130 allows students to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds.  AB 131 allows students to apply for and receive financial aid from state funds.  The deadline for this application is March 2.  For any Cal Grants offered under the CA Dream Act, the student needs to submit a GPA verification form.

How do I apply for the CA Dream Act?

The application can be found at www.caldreamact.org.  Students with a valid Social Security Number issued under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals should enter the number accordingly.  Box should be left blank if a number has not been assigned. Tax information from the student’s parents is also needed.  Estimate this information if your parents have not filed taxes but make sure you go back to update this information once you have it current.

What are the requirements to apply for the CA Dream Act?

A student must meet the AB 540 criteria to apply for the CA Dream Act.

Where can I get help when completing the CA Dream Act?

Visit your school’s financial aid office to request assistance when completing this application. You can also find a Cash for College workshop near you by visiting www.calgrants.org.

Financial Aid

Does an AB 540 student qualify for any federal financial aid?

No, AB 540 students are not eligible for any Federal Financial Aid.

What kind of scholarships are available for AB 540 students?

There are plenty of scholarships from private to public organizations available to AB 540 students. Those scholarships do not require a citizenship status. Make sure you visit your counselor or advisor to provide scholarships lists. See a list of scholarships available here.

What types of loans are available for AB 540 students?

The California Dream Loan Program provides eligible AB 540 students with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending a California State University or a University of California.
Also, you might be able to apply for loans from private lending institutions if you meet their criteria.
Note: Federal loans are not available for AB 540 students.

AB 2000

What is AB 2000?

Assembly Bill 2000 was passed in 2014 and it expands the definition of students eligible for AB 540 allowing a larger undocumented population to qualify for resident tuition prices.

What are the qualifications for AB 2000?

Requirements for AB 540/ AB 2000 are:

  • Have attended a California High School for three or more years, ORhave attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle/secondary, and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years
  • Have graduated from a California High School or attainment of the equivalent thereof (i.e., GED or Certificate of High School Proficiency) prior to the start of the term
  • The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so

Note: all students who meet AB 540/AB 2000 requirements must file an affidavit with the College. The affidavit is included in the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form which is available in the Admissions and Records Office.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA is an Executive Order passed by President Barack Obama in June 2012, which offers a temporary relief to a certain group of undocumented immigrants nationwide. This order provides an exemption from deportation and a two-year renewable employment authorization for those that qualify.

What are the requirements for DACA?
  • Need to be under age 31 on June 15, 2012
  • Have entered the U.S. under the age of 16
  • Have been living in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007 up to present time
  • Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2007 and at the time of requesting DACA
  • Had no lawful status as of June 15, 2012
  • Are currently in school, have graduated and obtained a high school diploma or GED or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors and do not pose a threat to national security
What type of documents do I need to apply for DACA?
  • USCIS Applications I-821D, I-765, I-765WS
  • Must demonstrate proof of identity (birth certificate, passport, military ID, school ID)
  • Proof that you came to the U.S. before age 16 (school records, medical records, employment records, bank transactions, insurance policies, tax receipts)
  • Proof of immigration status (Form I-94, I-95, I-94W, order of deportation)
  • Proof of presence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 (utility bills, employment records, passport entries, tax receipts, bank transactions)
  • Proof of physical presence in U.S. on June 15, 2012 (utility bills, employment records, passport entries, tax receipts, bank transactions)
  • Proof of student status (official school records, transcripts, high school diploma, GED certificate)
  • Proof of honorably discharged veteran of Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S. (military records, form DD-214, NGB form 22)
What is the cost to apply for DACA?

Filing fee $495

Does DACA change my immigration status?

No, DACA does not change your immigration status nor does provide a legal path for citizenship.

Am I able to renew my work permit?

Yes, the work permit is renewable every two years.

Do I need to conduct a background check as part of the process?

Yes, biographic and biometric checks are required before USCIS can make a decision on your case.

What if my DACA application gets denied?

Unfortunately, you cannot appeal the decision if USCIS denies your request.  However, you may request a review of your I-821D form by contacting USCIS.  For more information please visit www.uscis.gov

AB 60

What is AB 60?

It is a law that allows California residents to apply for and obtain a driver’s license regardless of immigration status, as long as they meet the criteria.

What are the requirements to apply for AB 60?
  • Proof of identity and California residency
  • Fill out DL-44 application
  • Pay application fee $33
  • Pass written test
  • Pass behind the wheel test