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Verifying New York City Residency

In general, to qualify for the resident tuition rate at a community college based on residence in the State of New York, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or in a qualifying immigration status (see section below regarding qualifying immigration statuses); AND
  • Have continuously maintained his/her principal place of abode in the State of New York for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes AND
  • Either (1) have continuously maintained his/her principal place of abode in New York City for at least the last six months immediately preceding the first day of classes OR (2) if the student is a resident of a New York State county outside of New York City, obtain and present a valid certificate of residence to the CUNY community college from his/her home county; AND
  • Have a bona fide intention of living in New York permanently.

Students are expected to be Aware of Their Tuition Status and the Applicable Resident Tuition Rules.

Students are expected to be aware of the requirements necessary to qualify for State residency which are set forth on the BMCC web site as well as The City University of New Tuition and Fee Manual. Students are also expected to be aware of the resident and non-resident tuition rates, which are available on the CUNY web site, among other places, so that they know if they are being charged the correct tuition rate when they received their tuition bill.



The student must submit two items "a" through "n"

(Note: All items must document proof of residency for the 12 month period immediately preceding the first day of classes. Documents in the same category covering the first and last months of the previous twelve month period are acceptable provided that they show the student living at the same address.)

a) Lease, deed or rent registration form (used for rent stabilized apartments) signed by the landlord, which is either a public or private agency, and the student or parent of the student with the same surname.

b) Letter showing eligibility or disbursement of Social Security or New York City Public Assistance with the student's New York address covering the 12-month period immediately preceding the first day of classes and including the student's name.

c) Copies of the most recent complete Federal and New York State tax returns and the corresponding W-2 form. Responses to Federal form 4506 and New York State form 4506 requesting federal and state tax information is acceptable if the Federal and State governments acknowledge that the party in question has in fact filed a tax return from the address noted.

d) A valid New York State driver's license or a "non-driver license" issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles showing the date of issuance one year prior to the first day of classes.

e) IDNYC New York City municipal identification card, showing the date of issuance at least one year prior to the first day of classes.

f) Homeowner's or renter's insurance policy with the student's name listed as insured.

g) Automobile registration with the student's name listed.

h) Automobile insurance certificate with the student's name listed as insured.

i) Voter registration certificate or card with the student's name.

j) Bills for telephone, utility, cable TV or other home services, in the student's name, or other evidence of telephone, utility, cable TV or other home services provided to the student covering a period of 12 months.

k) Monthly bank or credit card statements, with the student's name, covering a period of 12 months (dollar amounts may be blocked out).

l) Attendance as a juror in New York State with the student's name.

m) Housing lease signed by the landlord (who is an individual and is not a public or private agency) and the student. If the student's name does not appear on the lease, the "Alternate Lease Statement" may be substituted. The "Alternate Lease Statement" must be completed and notarized by both the person whose name appears on the lease/contract and the student. The person whose name appears on the lease/contract must also submit proof (i.e., lease, telephone, utility or similar type bills) of residency at his/her current address for the previous 12 months.

n) Postmarked mail addressed to a student at a New York address at least 12 months immediately preceding the first day of classes (a P.O. Box is not acceptable).

All residency documentation must be submitted prior to the last day of the semester. No Residency form will be accepted after the end of the semester for which the student is applying for a determination.

If you have submitted the CUNY Residency Form and the required documentation, you may request a temporary deferment of the out-of-state portion of your tuition while your residency form is being processed. Please keep the following in mind before requesting a deferment:

  • You have submitted the CUNY residency form but have incomplete documentation.
  • You understand that if you do not submit additional residency documents, you will be liable for the remainder of the out of state tuition.
  • The Bursar office will place a stop on your record 30 days after the first day of classes if you have an outstanding balance.
  • You have until the last day of the semester to submit additional documents. No documents will be accepted after that date.
  • Students whose last high school or college was outside the State of New York.
  • For dependent students, both of the student's parents or legal guardians live outside the State of New York.
  • Records indicate the student has lived in New York State for less than twelve months preceding the first day of classes.
  • The last residency determination for the student was that of a non-resident. A non-resident student does not automatically qualify for New York State tuition rates because he/she has been attending a New York College for the previous twelve months.
  • A college official determines there is reason to believe that the student may not be a resident of New York State. Students who have never before attended the City University of New York are required to establish they are New York State residents if they wish to pay New York State Tuition Rates.

If the student has a legal guardian other than his/her parents, or his/her parents are separated or divorced, a copy of the legal guardianship papers or court order indicating legal custodianship must be submitted.

Generally, a dependent student's state of residency is considered the same as that of his or her custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Students under the age of 24 who are dependent on parents who live in New York State may submit the parent's prior year's federal tax return listing the student as a dependent plus one additional document from the list which can also be in the parent's name.

Students whose are supported by out-of-state parents or legal guardians must present evidence that he or she meets CUNY's residency requirements set forth in above, AND EITHER

(a) that he/she is financially independent from his/her parents. Proof of financial independence must be documented. Factors taken into account in determining financial independence include, but are not limited to: whether the student is taken as a dependent on parents' federal and state income tax returns; whether the student is employed and the amount the student earned relative to expenses; the extent of financial support received by the student from parents or guardians; and other sources of student income OR

(b) that he/she, despite being dependent on out-of-state parents(s) or legal guardian(s), has changed his/her domicile, i.e. the place that he/she has a bona fide intention of living permanently, to New York State. Such a showing must be made by clear and convincing evidence. Students who claim that New York is their domicile are expected to have a New York State driver's license or New York State issued identification card dated a minimum of twelve (12) months prior to the start of the semester. In addition, a student is expected to submit documentary evidence indicating he/she has changed his/her domicile to New York, such as the following:

  1. Evidence that the student has filed a New York State resident income tax return for the previous calendar year;
  2. Evidence that the student resided in the State of New York for a significant period of time for other-than-educational purposes prior to attending CUNY;
  3. Evidence that the student resides in property owned by the student or his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the State of New York;
  4. Evidence showing that the student uses his/her New York address as his/her sole address of record for all purposes including on health and auto insurance records, bank accounts, tax records, loan and scholarship records, school records, military records, leases and similar kinds of documents.
  1. Permanent Residents (Resident Aliens, Green Card holders).
    Certain Visa Holders:
    A Ambassador, diplomats and certain other foreign officials and their families
    E Treaty trader/Treaty investor, spouse, and children
    G Certain government or international organization officials and their families
    H-1B Temporary worker in specialty occupation
    H-1C Temporary worker performing professional nursing services
    H-4 Spouse or children of alien classified as H-1B or H-1C
    I Representatives of foreign information media and their spouse and children
    K Fiancé or Spouse of a U.S. citizen and dependent children
    L Intra-company transferee (such as managers who have worked abroad for a branch of a U.S. firm) and their spouse and children
    N Parents and children of certain officers and employees of international organizations who were in turn granted permanent residency as special immigrants
    O Aliens who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, Business or athletics, motion pictures or television
    R Religious workers and their spouse and children
    S Crime witnesses and their spouse and children
    T Victims of severe forms of human trafficking
    U Victims of serious crimes
    V Certain spouses and children of lawful permanent residents who have a relative petition filed on their behalf before December 21, 2000 which has been pending for at least three (3) years
  2. Asylees, Refugees, Students Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal.
  3. Adjustment of Status Applications Pending.
  4. Students who have applied or have been granted Temporary Protected Status.
  5. Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) or Deferred Action or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  6. “Late Amnesty” applicants.
  7. NACARA applicants.
  8. Cuban Parolees.
  9. Other types of Parolees.
  1. Veterans.
    Individuals who are eligible for educational assistance under federal GI bills will be charged the in-state rate at the CUNY colleges. This includes individuals who served in active military, naval or air service and members of the National Guard and reservists who meet the requirements for benefits under federal GI bills. A veteran who meets the above eligibility criteria is entitled to the in-state or in-city rate even if he or she is not actually receiving benefits under a federal GI bill. In order to prove veteran status, a student must provide U.S. Department of Defense Form DD214 or a Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Defense or the Veterans Administration.
  2. Family Members of Certain Uniformed Service members.
    In certain cases, spouses and dependents of veterans or other uniformed service members are also entitled to educational assistance under federal GI bills. Effective Spring, 2015, spouses and dependents who are eligible for educational assistance under federal GI bills are also entitled to the in-state or in-city rate. Generally, these are the spouses or dependents of service members who died or were disabled by their service, or to whom the veteran has transferred his/her veteran's educational benefits. Note that a student who was the spouse or dependent child of a service member at the time the educational assistance was transferred would be entitled to the resident rate, even if he/she is not currently a spouse or dependent child (for example in the case of a divorce.) In order to prove status as a child or spouse of veteran, the child or spouse must provide a Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Defense or the Veterans Administration.
  3. Service Members and Family Members Stationed in New York.
    Members of the armed forces of the United States on a full-time active duty station in the State of New York, and their spouses and dependent children, who enroll at a CUNY college, shall be charged the in-state tuition rate. Such students shall continue to be charged the in-state rate at CUNY even if they are subsequently discharged from military service.

  1. United Nations Personnel.
  2. Exchange Students.
  3. Children of Staff and Employees of the City of New York.

Pursuant to Section 6206 (7)(a) of the New York State Education Law, students who are not residents of the State of New York, other than those in lawful non-immigration statuses, qualify for the resident tuition rate if one of the following conditions are met:

  • The student has attended an approved New York high school for two or more years, graduated, and applied to attend CUNY within five years of receiving the New York State diploma.
  • The student has attended an approved New York State Program for General Equivalency Diploma (GED) exam preparation, received the GED issued within New York State, and applied to attend CUNY within five years of receiving the New York State GED.
  • The student was enrolled in CUNY in the Fall 2001 semester or quarter and was authorized by CUNY to pay tuition at the resident rate. Thus, a student who attended CUNY in the Fall 2001 semester and paid the resident rate does not have to satisfy either condition 1 or 2 above.

To reiterate, a student meeting one of the three conditions set forth above does not need to prove residence in New York State in accordance with Sections above. The student can be a resident of another state, such as Connecticut or New Jersey, or can be an undocumented or out-of-status immigrant. However, students who meet one of these criteria but do not have lawful immigration status must file an affidavit (i.e., a notarized statement) with CUNY stating that they have filed an application to legalize their immigration status or will file such an application as soon as they are eligible to do so. See Part B of CUNY Residency Form discussed below in Part II.

Any student who is eligible for resident tuition because he/she satisfies one of the three conditions above will remain eligible for that rate even if the student leaves and returns more than five years later or receives a degree and is returning for a second degree.

Any student who has been admitted to and is attending CUNY, who subsequently receives his GED (or TASC), does not qualify for the resident rate under the conditions stated above. CUNY does not recognize a New York State GED (or TASC) from any student who has already received a high school diploma or its equivalent from elsewhere.

Please note that New York State High School graduates who are on valid F (foreign student) visas are NOT eligible to pay at the New York State rate.

The following visa categories of non-immigrant aliens do not qualify for the resident rate of tuition:

B Temporary visitors for business or pleasure
C Visitors in transit
D Crewmen
F Academic students
H-2 Temporary workers performing special services
H-3 Trainees
H-4 Families of H-2 and H-3 visa holders (Note: H-4 family of an H-1B or H-1C are eligible)
J Exchange visitor (student, scholar, professor)
M Vocational students
P Athletes, group entertainers, reciprocal exchange programs
Q Participant in international cultural exchange programs
TN Temporary workers under NAFTA Trade Agreement

Assessing one's intent to permanently reside in New York is a difficult task. In each case, whether the student is an immigrant alien (with the exception of permanent resident or resident alien), non-immigrant alien or U.S citizen from out-of-state, the totality of circumstances will be reviewed. The college may view intent in terms of a student's professed intention to permanently remain in New York, as well as his/her intention not to return to his/her prior domicile. It must be stressed that the burden of proof as to a change of domicile rests with the student asserting it. Where the evidence is equal on both sides of the issue, the determination of domicile should be made in favor of the formerly established domicile, in as much as there is a presumption that an established domicile continues.

BMCC does not review any residency determination unless the request is in writing, and all required documentation is submitted on or before the last day of finals in the semester for which resident tuition is being sought. BMCC will not make residency determinations retroactively and will not issue refunds to students even in cases where they would have qualified for the resident rate if they had submitted timely documentation.

Any student who receives a negative residency determination must, at the same time, receive a copy of the University's appeal procedures. If the student believes that he/she meets requirements for in-state tuition, he or she may appeal by notifying the Office of Undergraduate Admissions within ten days of notification that he/she has been determined to be a non-resident. At that time, the student must submit a statement to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions indicating why he/she disagrees with the college's decision.

Upon submission of an appeal, the student will be sent an acknowledgement letter. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will submit the City University Residency Form, copies of all documentation provided by the student and any statement made by the student, along with the college's determination and the reasons for the College's determination, to the University's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, which will make a final determination regarding the student's residency status.

BMCC Admissions

199 Chambers Street, S310
New York, NY 10007
Phone (212) 220-1265

Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.