How to Berkeley: Establishing Residency

Actually, step 0 is to negotiate with your advisor to split the difference in the $$ that the department/someone saves by establishing residency. It could be a pretty great side-income. ..Just kidding.

The guidance / explanation they sent us is okay, but I just want to know exactly what steps are needed to get it done. Here I’ve included their guidance + annotated with my process. I also recorded the amount of time it took me to figure each step out, which should be an upper bound on the time it takes someone following these steps.

1) Submit your Statement of Legal Residence in BearFacts available NOW.

[15 minutes] It’s abbreviated as “SLR” in BearFacts. Go here and fill out the forms.

2) Please upload the following documents at: PLEASE REDACT ANY SENSITIVE INFORMATION (account numbers, SSN, etc.) FOR SECURITY REASONS.

This means you have to collect a bunch of information. If you’re like me and waited until July to do this, then most of it should be done already by accident. Except for the driver’s license.

WARNING: they seem to do some sort of greedy evaluation, i.e. they evaluated my residency before I even finished submitting all my documents. To avoid this (and the subsequent petition process..), I recommend submitting all your documents at once.

– California driver’s license or state ID

[15 minutes on website, 90 minutes reviewing rules, 30 minutes transit, 60 minutes to get new license] If you have an existing driver’s license, you need to take the written driving test at the DMV to exchange it for a CA driver’s license. The website’s not the easiest to navigate, so I included some useful links here. Instructions are here.
1) Go to the CA DMV website to schedule an appointment. You want to select the “Office visit” option. To build in redundancy (since it’s nearing the deadline), I scheduled 3 appointments on 3 consecutive day. Just in case.
2) Materials for the written test are here. The test is ~30-40 questions and you are allowed 6 incorrect.
3) Stuff to bring to the DMV
– $33 Fees documented here. Bring cash because sometimes the DMV loses credit card information to hackers.
– Application form DL 44 (you fill this one out there)
– Social security card (you don’t actually need this, but you do need to know your SSN)
– Passport or birth certificate

– California voter’s registration

[10 minutes] Check your registration for Alameda here. There you can enter your address and get a pdf of your voter status. For other counties, go here.

– California motor vehicle registration (if you own a vehicle)

[0 minutes]

– 2013 federal and state taxes and W2s (for the 2013 filing year, we recommend that you file California part-year returns if you were not in the state for the entire year)

[25 minutes] Depending on how careful you want to be, you can probably skip some of these steps. Instructions are geared for OSX.
1) Redact sensitive info: Open up your tax returns and search for your social security number. Use your favorite PDF tool (e.g. Preview, Adobe Acrobat) to draw black boxes over those fields. Also search for your bank account numbers.
2) Convert to jpg: Download imagemagick (available at least for Ubuntu and OSX). Go to the directory and run:
convert -density 400 -scale 2000x1545 {FILENAME}.pdf {FILENAME}.jpg
3) Convert back to pdf:
convert {FILENAME}*.jpg {FILENAME}-jpg.pdf

– Evidence of your arrival date in CA prior to August 28, 2013 (plane ticket and/or credit card statement)

[7 minutes]
I uploaded my boarding pass for my one-way flight out from Boston to SFO. Sniffle.

– Evidence of your Summer 2014 whereabouts (this can be a memo from your department indicating your summer research plans; a letter from your employer indicating your employment status, etc.). Please note that depending on your circumstances we may pend your file for evidence of your summer whereabouts.

[5 minutes]
I uploaded the NSF “Certification of Appropriate Fellowship Activities” form, which certifies NSF to pay me for the summer because I’m doing research.

– For students born in 1991 or later and you were claimed by your parents on their taxes: documentation that you are employed 49% or more time or equivalent in university-administered funds (e.g. grants, fellowships, stipends, etc.).

[0 minutes]

3) Please note that after receiving ALL of the documents requested, it will take three to four weeks to make a final evaluation and residency determination. If you do not submit all of your documents by the documentation deadline of August 15, 2014, you will be considered a non-resident for the purposes of tuition and fees for Fall 2014.

Annnnd recording the process took about 45 minutes, for a grand total of 5 hours.. sigh.

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