Arizona Residency

Residency Information

Students who are classified as non-resident by the Admissions Office must petition for a review of residency by submitting a completed residency form within the published deadline.   Each residency petition, affidavit, or waiver is individually reviewed. Not all circumstances can be addressed in this brief summary.  If you wish to discuss your individual case, contact the Student Service Center email or call us at 928-523-6464. 

The Arizona Board of Regents guidelines require clear and convincing evidence of residency for tuition purposes.  The rules and regulations for establishing residency for tuition purposes are defined by the Arizona Board of Regents, according to Arizona state statutes ARS 15-1801 through 1807

Arizona institutions of higher education are funded by the State of Arizona. Since non-resident students (and their families) generally have not contributed to the source of this funding of public education in Arizona, they are required to pay fees that more closely represent the actual cost of their education.

Residency Classification for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students

On May 7, 2015, the Arizona Board of Regents announced that it would interpret board policies in accordance with the decision of the Superior Court in State of Arizona v. Maricopa County Community College District Board, that a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) who meets Arizona law residency requirements is eligible for resident tuition.

Click here to read more DACA Residency.

The Federal Government defines DACA/Dreamer Students as:

  • Non-U.S. citizens currently in the United States who do not hold an immigration or student visa 
  • Individuals not defined as a permanent resident, asylee, or refugee 
  • Brought to the US by parents or other relatives and were under age 16 at the time of arrival 
  • Have filed DACA paperwork with the U.S. Government 

Students seeking consideration for classification as a resident for tuition purposes should submit to the correct Residency Classification Office: 

  • A completed DACA Domicile Affidavit (see below) 
  • Required supporting documentation along with a copy of your valid Employment Authorization Document or a copy of your I-797 form
Please visit our DACA webpage for additional information.

Non-Resident Tuition Rate for Arizona High School Graduates 

Click here to read Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policy
  • An undergraduate non-resident student who graduated from an Arizona high school, but is not otherwise eligible for resident tuition status will be eligible for a non-resident undergraduate tuition rate of 150% of undergraduate resident tuition, if the following conditions are met:  
    • The student has attended high school in Arizona for a minimum of three years while physically present in Arizona and graduated from an Arizona high school (or attained the equivalent while physically present in Arizona for a minimum of three years)
    • The student is lawfully present in Arizona
  • This tuition rate applies to undergraduate students, and does not apply to differential tuition, or tuition for on-line, accelerated or distributed programs. 
  • “High School” is defined as grades 9-12. Completion of the 9th grade while physically present in Arizona, whether at an Arizona middle school or high school or equivalent, will count toward the Arizona high school attendance requirement. The three years of Arizona high school attendance do not need to be consecutive. 
  • A student who meets the requirements of this policy will be eligible for this tuition rate regardless of when the student graduated from an Arizona high school. 

 NAU Procedure to Apply for 150% of Undergraduate Resident Tuition Rate 

  • Complete and submit the Non-Resident Arizona High School Graduate Reduced Tuition Rate Application (see below). 
  • Review and complete Citizenship Verification.
  • Submit copies of your Arizona high school transcript(s) or Arizona General Education Certificate unless you have already submitted them when you were admitted. If your high school transcripts do not show that you were present in Arizona for at least 3 years, you will need to submit documentation supporting your claim of Arizona domicile during that time period.

Independent Student Residency Criteria

Student must be at least 18 yrs of age, document 12 months of continuous physical presence in Arizona (a domicile year), 24 months of financial independence, and objective evidence of intent to make Arizona the student’s permanent home.

Students currently enrolled in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) tuition rate must first decline this tuition rate 12 months prior to the submission of the Independent Change of Residency Status Petition AND pay any tuition during those 12 months at the non-resident rate. 

All of the evidence is weighed under the presumption that a non-resident student's presence in Arizona is primarily for the purpose of education and not to establish domicile, and that decisions of an individual as to the intent to establish domicile are generally made after the completion of an education and not before. 

The following three criteria must all be met:

1. Physical presence (12 Months)
To be eligible for classification as a resident for tuition purposes, you must provide clear and convincing evidence of continuous physical presence in the state of Arizona for the 12 months prior to the term in question. The 12 month period is referred to as a domicile year. You must be at least 18 at the beginning of the domicile year.  This presence must be coupled with clear and convincing evidence of intent to establish a domicile in Arizona BEYOND THE CIRCUMSTANCE OF BEING A STUDENT. Mere presence of a person in this state does not, by itself, constitute domicile. There is a presumption that no adult student or emancipated minor has established a domicile in this state while attending any educational institution in this state.
2. Intent to establish a domicile (12 months)

Your evidence of intent to be a resident of this state is demonstrated by the absence of ties to your former state of residence. Actions used to indicate intent must be accomplished at the beginning of the domicile year, and be maintained throughout the year.

If these steps are delayed, the start of your one year domicile period will also be delayed accordingly. All requirements must be demonstrated for one full year before resident status may be granted.

Samples of required documentation include:

  • Arizona driver's license or state identification card must be in place for at least 12 months
  • Arizona motor vehicle registration
  • employment history
  • transfer of major banking services to Arizona
  • eligible immigration (visa) status if you are a non-citizen
  • Arizona voter's registration (Voter Registration Request Form)
  • change in permanent address on all pertinent records
  • federal and Arizona state income taxes
  • additional documents, as requested
  • Visa holders will need an I - 485 receipt dated on or before the beginning of the domicile year
  • Some visa types are not eligible to petition for residency. See the full list of visa eligibility.
3. Financial independence (24 months)

You need to be self-supporting (financially independent) and not claimed as a dependent by your parents or anyone else on federal or state income taxes for two tax years. Financial independence means that you met your own expenses (tuition, housing, meals, transportation, etc.) from self-generated funds under your control.

Generally, a student is considered dependent on parents while in high school regardless of how taxes are filed. Personal loans, PLUS loans, gifts, and cash earnings are not acceptable forms of income. Auto insurance policies must be separate from parents' policy. Required documentation includes:

  • paystubs
  • W-2s
  • financial aid
  • documented inheritance
  • Veteran's or Social Security Benefits
  • Trust Funds (established prior to high school)
  • accident/insurance settlements
  • Federal/Arizona State Income Tax

Exceptions to the Twelve-Month Residency Rule

You may be eligible for resident status without waiting twelve months, if one of the following applies on or before the last day of regular registration within the term.


If you are a dependent of parents who are permanently domiciled in Arizona, you may possibly qualify for reclassification without waiting 12 months. Both parents (unless divorced) must claim Arizona as their legal and permanent domicile.

Students who are over 18 years of age when the semester begins must be claimed as a dependent for the most recent tax year. For students under 18 years, the domicile of the parent with legal custody will determine residency. 

Employee transfer

If you are domiciled in Arizona and are an employee or spouse of an employee transferred to Arizona by his/her employer for employment purposes, you may possibly qualify for reclassification without waiting 12 months. This exception does NOT apply in the following situations:

  • new hire
  • self-employed
  • employee of a family owned/operated business
  • employee-initiated transfer

Required documentation includes:

  • Arizona driver's license
  • current lease agreement or warranty deed 
  • documentation from employer confirming effective date of transfer to Arizona
  • government issued Marriage Certificate (if married & spouse is transferred employee)

If you are a member of the US Armed Forces stationed in Arizona pursuant to active duty military orders, including Arizona National Guard and Reserves; or you are a Military Member's spouse or dependent child as defined by  ARS 15-1801 through 1807, you may qualify for reclassification without waiting twelve months.

As a full-time student, you do not lose resident status while in continuous attendance towards the degree for which currently enrolled, if military service is discontinued. In addition, if you are domiciled in Arizona immediately prior to becoming a member of the US Armed Forces, you will not necessarily lose resident status because of your absence while a member of the US Armed Forces.  However, Arizona law requires filing state income taxes while on active duty military to retain eligibility for resident status upon your return. 

Honorably discharged or retired military personnel, please contact:

Veteran Success Center
Phone: 928-523-8387

Married to an Arizona Resident

The student's spouse has established domicile in Arizona for at least 12 continuous months prior to the term and has demonstrated intent to maintain Arizona Domicile and financial independence. Furthermore, the individual is entitled to claim the student as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes, but maintained a domicile in this state.

If the person is a non-citizen, the person must be in an eligible visa status pursuant to federal law to classify as an in-state student for tuition purposes. Contact the Office of the Registrar for further assistance.

Native American

If you are not domiciled in Arizona, but are a member and resident of a federally recognized Arizona tribe, you may qualify for reclassification without waiting 12 months.

Required documentation includes:

  • Certificate of Indian Blood
  • Tribal Enrollment Card 


Teachers under contract / full-time non-certified classroom aides

If you are employed by an Arizona school district and either on contract to teach full-time or are a full-time non-certified classroom aide, you may be eligible to pay resident tuition for courses required for certification.

Select and complete the appropriate form below, and follow the instructions on the form. 


If you have participated in the AmeriCorps or the Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) program for at least one year in Arizona, you may qualify for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes without waiting 12 months.

Select and complete the appropriate form below, and follow the instructions on the form. 

Good Neighbor
Students may be eligible for the resident tuition rate for a maximum of 6 credit hours if they live within seventy-five miles of the Arizona border in certain counties in California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico; and if they are enrolled in courses offered at an approved NAU statewide location in certain Arizona counties. Contact the Student Service Center for more information.  

Forms & Deadlines

Show Forms & Deadlines

Residency Petition Forms

Arizona Domicile Affidavit - DependentWord PDF 
Arizona Domicile Affidavit - SpouseWord PDF 
Employee Transfer Domicile AffidavitWord PDF 
DACA Domicile AffidavitWord PDF 
AmeriCorps/VISTA AffadavitWordPDF
Change of Residency Status Petition - Independent Word PDF 
Military Active Duty PetitionWord PDF 
Non-Resident DACA Domicile AffidavitWordPDF
Non-Resident Arizona High School Graduate Reduced Tuition ApplicationWord PDF 
Non-Resident Teacher WaiverWord PDF 

Students must be currently enrolled to submit residency petition forms. 

Spring 2017 
Petition Forms are Closed - last day to submit residency petition forms - Friday Jan. 27, 2017 (16-week terms) 
Last day to submit residency reclassification appeal (if residency petition was denied) – Friday, Feb. 24, 2017

Fall 2017
First day residency petition forms are reviewed in order received (for enrolled students) - Mon. Feb. 20, 2017
Last day to submit change of residency status forms  – Friday Sep. 8, 2017 (16-week terms)
Last day to submit residency reclassification appeal (if residency petition was denied) – Friday, Oct. 6, 2017

Still have more questions?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.