Establishing residency if you are financially independent of your parents
1. A person must physically reside in Washington State,
primarily for purposes other than educational, for the twelve
consecutive months prior to the first day of the semester of
application. (You may be a student during the twelve months of
establishing residency, as long as you meet all residence
requirements outlined below.)
2. For a student to be considered independent of parents for residency purposes, the student:
- Cannot be claimed as a dependent by parents for the current and prior calendar year.
- Must be financially self-supporting for the current and prior calendar year.
- Note: Any student who lived at a parent's home during his or her senior year of high school may not count that year for independent status.
3. The following documents will assist in the determination of residency status:
- Verification of your financially independent status for the current calendar year and the prior calendar year. For example, tax return for the most recent tax year, W-2 forms, financial aid award letters, irrevocable trust funds with documentation that you are withdrawing funds from the trust, or paycheck stubs showing year-to-date income. You must show your plan for continuing to independently finance your education.
- A copy of your parent's federal tax return for the most recent tax year (top portion listing dependents claimed). This is only required if you are 24 years of age or younger.
- Copies of rent receipts, lease agreement, letter from landlord, canceled rent checks, or home purchase agreement verifying physical residence in Washington for the twelve consecutive months prior to the first day of the semester of application.
- Proof of any permanent full-time or part-time employment in Washington during the one year prior to the semester of application.
- A copy of a Washington State driver's license if you drive. License should be acquired upon moving to this state or at least one year prior to the semester of application. You may not wait until the expiration date on an out-of-state license. If you do not drive, provide a copy of your Washington State identification card.
- A copy of Washington State vehicle registration if you own or drive a vehicle for the one year prior to the semester of application. A copy of your title will not suffice.
- A copy of a Washington voter registration for the one year prior to the semester of application.
- Proof of having established a bank account in Washington and any other documents you may have to show that you have established other "ties" with Washington for the one year prior to the semester of application (clubs, organizations, etc.).
- If you are not a U.S. citizen but hold permanent resident immigration status, temporary resident status, or refugee status, attach a copy of both sides of your Resident Alien Card, Form I-94, Temporary Resident card, or other verification of your status with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). (A person holding immigrant status may apply for a change in residence classification one year after application for the qualifying visa.)