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Future Residency

If you are planning ahead and hoping to establish Washington residency for a future term, this page talks about the steps that you need 12 months prior to your application.

Dependent or Independent?

If one of your parents, step-parents, or legal guardians lives in Washington, then you may be eligible to apply for residency as a Dependent. If they do not, you must meet the criteria for financially Independent. If your permanent residence was in Washington state for the 12 months prior to your first term at WSU, the Residency Affidavit is the easiest way to apply for residency.

Financially Independent students must take action to establish a domicile in the state ONE YEAR prior to the semester that residency is desired. State law requires that you prove that you moved to Washington for more than educational purposes. You can demonstrate this by carefully following the recommendations below.

Dependent student residency is based on the residency of a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian. It is possible to have residency in more than one state when parents are divorced or have established separate domiciles. It does not matter where the dependent student has been living; residency is based on the parent's domicile. Documentation of domicile is required of the parent, step-parent, or legal guardian.

You will apply for residency no earlier than 60 days before the start of the term. Current deadlines are on the homepage.

Independent Students: Establish a Domicile in WA

Students who do not have a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian living in Washington must apply as financially independent.

Step 1: Move to Washington

You must live in Washington state for 12 months before the start of the term to be considered a resident of Washington. Previous residency in Washington does not grant current residency if you have taken steps to establish residency in another state. If you lived in Washington, then lived outside the US, you may still be considered a Washington resident if you did not take action in another US state. Dependent students who spent 75% or more of their junior/senior years of high school in Washington, but their parents moved out of state, may be eligible for residency depending on the circumstance.

Step 2: Take action to establish a domicile in Washington

Obtaining Washington documents is a vital step in demonstrating that you have moved to Washington for more than educational purposes. WSU requires that you obtain your state documents within 30 days of the start of your waiting period. The state identification card, learner permit, or drivers license is a REQUIRED document at WSU.

  • Obtain a Washington State Driver's License or State Identification Card.
    • Fall 2022 applicants must obtain this document by: 9/22/21.
  • Register vehicle(s) that you use in Washington.
    • Fall 2022 applicants must obtain this document by: 9/22/21
  • Register to vote, if applicable.
    • Fall 2022 applicants should register by: 9/22/21.

Links to the DOL and WAVote sites can be found on our Links and Resources Overview page. Visit the FAQ pages for answers to common questions.

Step 3: Establish Financial Independence

Students who do not have a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian living in Washington must apply as financially independent. The state requires that you show you were independent for two years - the calendar year prior to your application and year of your application. WSU requires that you provide at least 51% of the Estimated Cost of Attendance to show independence. More information about the types of personal resources that may be counted is listed on the Financially Independent Student page.

  • Spring 2022 applicants: Calendar years 2021 and 2022. You cannot be claimed on someone else's taxes in 2021.
  • Fall 2022 applicants: Calendar years 2021 and 2022. You cannot be claimed on someone else's taxes in 2021.

Actions that you can take during COVID-19 closures

  • Register to vote. You can do this online.
  • Contact a vehicle licensing office to request a temporary registration permit. This will allow you to legally drive and can be used for residency. Save the permit or document actions taken (with the dates) if you were not able to get one.
  • Document the attempts that you make to set up an appointment. Be sure to take screenshots that show the date. These will help show that you have made a good faith effort to make an appointment within the deadline.
  • Document state benefits that you receive. You can use these to show financial independence and help establish domicile.
  • Don't panic. Document your efforts and the dates that you attempted to obtain documents. Use your phone or screenshots and make sure to get the date and your name in the images. If you were not able to obtain your documents within 30 days due to closures/restrictions with the DOL, we can consider this evidence with your application. 

VetMed applicants

The DVM Program requires that you be a resident on the date that you apply. Unfortunately, we are not able to certify Washington residency earlier than 60 days before the start of a term. If you believe that you are a resident, we recommend that you apply as a resident. If you are coded as a non-resident, you will need to apply for residency through our office. You are likely a resident if:

  • Your permanent residence has been in Washington for the 12 months prior to your application and you have a high school diploma equivalent: Residency Affidavit.
  • You are financially dependent, and a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian is a Washington resident. Dependent student.
  • You are financially independent and currently meet the criteria for residency. Take a survey to see if you do.
  • Visit the Future Residency page for establishing residency in a future term.

Applications

Did I get Residency?

Here's a link to a page that shows you how to read your tuition bill in myWSU. Please note that it take several days for your tuition bill to update after a residency change.

The Application Process

  • Applications are reviewed in the order received.
  • Review will take 3-6 weeks. August and September are especially busy.
  • Notification will be emailed to your WSU.edu email address.
  • You are responsible for paying the resident portion of your fees while awaiting a determination of your residency status.
  • You may appeal a denial by submitting a letter requesting an appeal.

Contacts

Residency applications are processed by several units at WSU. This is a list of which unit will process each type of application. Contact Information.

Office of the Registrar, Pullman

  • Undergraduate Students
  • Professional Students
  • Residency Affidavits
  • American Indian residency
  • Military residency - Global, Pullman, Spokane, and Everett students

Graduate School, Pullman

  • Graduate Students

Office of the Registrar, Vancouver or Tri-Cities

  • Border Bill
  • Military Residency, Vancouver or Tri-Cities students

 

Future Residency
Residency for Tuition