Legislation Affecting Undocumented Students


FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record.

AB 540: In- State Tuition

AB 540, authored by the late Assembly Member Marco Antonio Firebaugh became law in 2001. The California state law allows qualifying undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges in California.

To qualify for In-State Tuition under AB 540, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attended a California high school for 3 or more years.

  • Graduated or will graduate from a California high school or have attained a G.E.D.

  • Registered at or are currently enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education in California.

  • Filed or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that you will apply for legal residency as soon as possible.

If you are eligible for AB 540, fill out the affidavit, and submit it to Jennifer Seong and Ana Ibarra-Abu Malhi in the registrar office. You can also reached them at 310-825-3447.

AB 2000: In- State Tuition

AB 2000, authored by the late Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez became law in 2014. This bill clarifies that a student who secures

  • three years of high school credit or

  • has a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or

  • a combination of those schools (high school or GED),
    is eligible for AB 540.

If you are eligible for AB 2000. fill out the affidavit, and submit it to Jennifer Seong and Ana Ibarra-Abu Malhi in the registrar office. You can also reached them at 310-825-3447.

AB 343: In- State Tuition

AB 343, authored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarthy in 2017. It allows resident tuition for refugees with special immigrant visas (SIVs) who have fled Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or other countries.

Specifics:The exemptions for the student is only available for the maximum time it would take to establish residency which is one year.

If you are eligible for AB 343, fill out the affidavit, and submit it to Jennifer Seong and Ana Ibarra-Abu Malhi in the registrar office. You can also reached them at 310-825-344.

SB 68: In- State Tuition

SB 68, authored by the CA State Senator Ricardo Lara became law in 2018. The legislature expanded nonresident tuition exemption allowing adult school and non credit course work to establish eligibility for the exemption.

Specifics: Students need 410 class hours of attendance each school year in order for eligibility:

  • Graduation from a CA high school,

  • Attainment of a A.A/A.S at a CA Community College or

  • Fulfilling the minimum transfer requirements to transfer to a UC or CSU.

  • Student who payed nonresident tuition after January 1, 2018 who are eligible for SB 68 & AB 343 are eligible for refunds.

  • For high school students taking community college courses/prep, it is up to the community college district to allow them or not to be exempted from paying nonresident tuition

  • Continuation school, charter school and homeschooling still qualifies students

If you are eligible for SB68, fill out the affidavit, and submit it to Jennifer Seong and Ana Ibarra-Abu Malhi in the registrar office. You can also reached them at 310-825-3447.

California Dream Act

The California Dream Act authored by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles), became law through the passage of two Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131.

AB 130 (2012) allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state, privately-funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 (2013) allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.

To be eligible for the Cal Grant, you must submit the GPA Verification form to CSAC - instructions are included in the form. If you have attended UCLA for a year, you do not have to submit the form. If you are an incoming student, you must submit the form.

The deadline to apply to the CA Dream Act is March 2nd of every year.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA: On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

Currently, the USCIS is not accepting new applications.

If you are renewing your application, here are a few FAQ's.

I thought DACA was rescided. What happened?
DACA renewals are currently being accepted, due to several federal court decisions throughout the country.

Can I apply for DACA if I've never applied before?
NO. USCIS is currently not accepting initial DACA applications.

Can I apply for advanced parole?
NO. USCIS is not accepting application at this time.

Can I renew my DACA if I'm eligible?
You will need

  • Form I-821D
  • Form I-765
  • Form I-765WS
  • A front and back copy of your current Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Check or money order for $495 made to "US Department of Homeland Security"
  • Any other documents as required for DACA Renewal applications)
    • (Passport photos are not require for DACA Renewal applications).

When should I renew my DACA?
Renew your DACA as soon as possible if it expires in the next 12 months, so long as your continue to remain eligible. You do not have to wait until 150 days before your DACA expiration date to submit your request to renew DACA. Please make sure to get your DACA renewal started at least 3-4 months before your DACA expires. USCIS is no longer notifying you when you need to renew.

Can I renew if my DACA expired more than a years ago?
YES. If you received DACA before September 5, 2016 and you didn't renew, then you may renew your expired DACA by filing a DACA renewal application.

Have the DACA eligibility requirements changed?
NO. The eligibility requirements for DACA have not changed. Please speak with a qualified attorney before renewing your DACA if you have any contact with police or immigration authorities, or if you have changed your address.

Can I get help with my DACA renewal?
YES! Our service are free to current UC students and immediate family members. Please contact your campus attorney for help.

Can I get help with my $495 DACA fee?
Please check with your campus attorney to see if your campus provides assistance with the $495 DACA Filing Fee.

California DREAM Loan Program

The California DREAM Loan Program, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, allows for UC and CSU campuses to administer non-federal loans to undocumented students who meet the CA Dream Act application requirements.

Students who demonstrate financial need can borrow up to $2000 through the DREAM Loan Program.

Interest rates will be fixed at the same rates as Federal Direct Loans, with no loan fees. You must submit your DREAM application by the March 2nd deadline to be eligible for a DREAM loan.

SB 1159: Professional Licenses

SB 1159, authored by Ricardo Lara, is a new California law signed into effect in January 2016 that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for professional licenses. Learn more about professional licenses, and how this new opportunity can have an impact in your career goals.

AB 60: Driver License

AB 60 authored by Luis Alejo, was signed into effect January 2015. AB 60 allows qualifying undocumented individuals to apply for a CA driver's license. For more information, visit the DMV website.