Moving to Hawaii Guide


Students who do not qualify as bonafide residents of the State of Hawai‘i, according to the University of Hawai‘i rules and regulations in effect at the time they register, must pay the nonresident tuition. An official determination of residency status will be made prior to enrollment. Prospective students may be required to provide documents to verify residency status. Once classified as a nonresident, a student continues to be so classified during his/her term at the University until he/she can present clear and convincing evidence to the residency officer that proves otherwise.

Definition of Hawai`i Residency

A student is deemed a resident of the State of Hawai‘i for tuition purposes if the student and his/her parents or legal guardians have:

  1. Demonstrated intent to permanently reside in Hawai‘i (see below for evidences*);
  2. Been physically present in Hawai‘i for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction, and subsequent to the demonstration of intent to make Hawai‘i his/her legal residency; and
  3. The student, whether adult or minor, has not been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction by his/her parents or legal guardians who are NOT legal residents of Hawai‘i.

*To demonstrate the intent to make Hawai‘i your legal residency, the following evidence applies:

  1. Filing Hawai’i resident personal income tax return
  2. Voting/registering to vote in the State of Hawai’i

Other evidence, such as permanent employment and ownership or continuous leasing of a dwelling in Hawai‘i, may also apply but no single act is sufficient to establish residency in the State of Hawai‘i.

Other legal factors in making a residency determination include:

  1. The 12 months of continuous residency in Hawai‘i shall begin on the date upon which the first overt action (see evidences) is taken to make Hawai‘i the permanent residence. Residence will be lost if it is interrupted during the 12 months immediately preceding the first day of instruction.
  2. Residency in Hawai‘i and another place cannot be held simultaneously.
  3. Presence in Hawai‘i primarily to attend an institution of higher learning shall not create residence status. A nonresident student enrolled for 6 credits or more during any term within the 12-month period is presumed to be in Hawai‘i primarily to attend college. Such periods of enrollment cannot be applied toward the physical presence requirement.
  4. Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawai‘i residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the State while a member of the United States Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning, provided that Hawai‘i is claimed and maintained as the person’s legal residence.

Contact the UHM Residency Officer or visit the Office of Admissions and Records’ site for more information.

Residency Officer
Office of Admissions and Records
Queen Lili‘uokalani Center for Student Services, Room 001
2600 Campus Rd.Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-8975
Hawaiʻi Residency Requirements