Office of the University Registrar

Financially Independent Students

Students whose parents/legal guardians do not reside in Washington can only obtain residency by fulfilling the requirements as a financially independent student.

For Students 25 Years of Age or Younger (Single/unmarried)

To be considered financially independent, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Parents/legal guardians are not claiming student as a dependent on the Federal Income Tax returns for the current and prior calendar year.
  • Students are paying at least 51% of their total expense independently (including out-of-state tuition and living cost) for the current calendar year and previous calendar year.

Documentation to provide along with the Residence Questionnaire form:

  1. A copy of the student’s most recent tax return (Form 1040)
  2. A copy of the parents’ most recent tax return (page listing dependents claimed and signature page)
  3. Verification of student’s earnings to prove financial independent status (reference FAQs for more details)
  4. Documentation proving student has established bona fide domicile (see below)

For Students 25 Years of Age or Younger (Married/Domestic Partnership)

To be considered financially independent, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Marriage or domestic partnership must be in place for at least one calendar year prior to the quarter of application for residency.

Documentation to provide along with the Residence Questionnaire form:

  1. Proof of marriage or domestic partnership (e.g. certificate)
  2. Documentation proving student has established bona fide domicile (see below)

Note: A married student applying for residency status will be applying as a financially independent student.

For Students 25 Years of Age or Older

Students that are 25 years of age (for the entire academic year prior to the quarter of application) and older do not need to provide proof of financial independence unless there is evidence proving otherwise. In addition, students must meet all other requirements for bona fide residency (see below).

To Establish Bona Fide Domicile

Financially independent students must:

  1. Physically reside in the state for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of the quarter students are seeking residency.
    A legal resident must relinquish all valid legal ties with their former state/country of residence and establish such ties in Washington in accordance with state and local legislation.
  2. Establish Washington State legal ties:
    • Driver’s License/State ID: One must obtain a Washington State Driver’s License within 30 days of arrival if they have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, including international driver’s license. If an individual does not drive or possess a driver’s license from any state or country, they must obtain a Washington State Identification Card within 30 days of arrival.
    • Vehicle Registration: Individuals who own or operates a vehicle in Washington must have their vehicle registered in Washington within 30 days of arrival.
    • Voter Registration: Individuals who have previously registered to vote in their former state of residence must register to vote in Washington.
      Permanent Resident Card holders or any other status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) are exempt from registering to vote.
    • Establish a bank account in Washington. Existing bank accounts prior to arriving in Washington is sufficient as long as one’s name and Washington address is associated with the account and documented.
    • Lease/home agreement
  1. Be financially independent for the current and prior calendar years. Students who are 25 years of age or younger must provide their parents’ most recent tax returns.
  2. Students must prove conclusively that they have not come to Washington State primarily for educational purposes. Students who are enrolled for 7 credits or more per quarter are required to be employed at a non-student position, working at least 30 hours per week.

 

Students must complete and sign the Residence Questionnaire form (both pages). This process requires all documentation of students’ establishment of domicile and financial independence.

 

For more information, please reference the Residency FAQs.