Residency Requirements

Residency Requirements

Per board policy, students who are residents of San Francisco have priority in school assignment above all students who live outside of San Francisco. Therefore, SFUSD requires parents/guardians to provide documentation of the student's residency upon admission to a district school. This policy does not apply to homeless students.

Definition of Residency

A resident is an individual who is a full time occupant of a dwelling located in San Francisco and who, on any given day, is likely to be at his/her stated address when not at work or school. In determining the place of residence the following rules shall be observed:

  1. It is the place where one remains when not called elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purpose, and to which he/she returns in seasons of repose.
  2. There can only be one residence.
  3. A residence cannot be lost until another is gained.
  4. The residence of the parent/guardian with whom an unmarried minor child maintains his/her place of abode is the residence of such unmarried minor child.
  5. The residence can be changed only by the union of act and intent.

If the parents are separated and live at different addresses, the pupil must physically reside with the parent in San Francisco for at least 50% of the time during the regular school year.

Temporary residence in San Francisco, solely for the purpose of attending a SFUSD school, shall not be considered residency. A person who owns property in San Francisco, but does not reside in San Francisco, is not considered a resident.

Special Situations

A student may also establish residency by providing official documentation deemed sufficient to the District to show that s/he is:

  • an emancipated minor living in SF
  • in the court-appointed care of a licensed foster home, family home or licensed children’s institution within SF
  • confined to a hospital or residential care in SF for treatment of a temporary disability
  • lives with a caregiving adult
  • has obtained an interdistrict permit

Enrollment in a particular school may be denied if District staff determine that the student resides with a caregiver rather than the parent solely for the purpose of attending a particular school.

Undocumented Students

Any child whose family resides in San Francisco is guaranteed access to a free public education in SFUSD. No family will be denied access to school because of their immigration status.

Students Who Move 

If the parent/guardian who has physical custody of the student(s) moves to a new address at any time after submitting the application for enrollment, s/he must submit a Change of Address form to the Education Placement Center within 14 days following the move.  Students who move out of San Francisco but wish to remain in a SFUSD school shall apply for an interdistrict permit from the new district of residence.  Interdistrict permits shall be processed in accordance with District procedure. 

If the parent/guardian fails to submit a Change of Address form within 14 days of their move, the student’s enrollment may be revoked.

Verification of Residency  

The Superintendent or designee may annually verify, at the Superintendent’s discretion, the student’s residency and retain a copy of the document(s) offered as verification of residency in the student’s mandatory permanent record. If the Superintendent or designee reasonably believes or has a reasonable suspicion that the parent/guardian of a student has provided false or unreliable evidence of residency, the Superintendent or designee is authorized to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the student meets District residency requirements.

In order to verify residency, SFUSD reserves the right to request additional documents and/or to conduct an investigation.  Because residency can change for students and their families during the school year, SFUSD may verify residency at any time, or may require proof of continued residency at such intervals (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually) as may be deemed appropriate, including in transitional grades.  The Director of the Education Placement Center is the designee charged with overseeing residency fraud investigations. The EPC Director may utilize District staff or private investigators to conduct residency investigations as the EPC Director and/or designee deems reasonably appropriate.

Revocation of Enrollment 

If the Superintendent or designee reasonably determines in their discretion that a student’s enrollment and/or school placement is based on a false claim of residency, address, guardianship/caregiver, or any other false information, the student’s enrollment will be revoked. 


If the District finds that the student is not a resident of San Francisco, the student will be dropped from enrollment in the District and required to enroll in school in the student’s actual district of residence. 

  • For one year after the revocation, the pupil will not be eligible to apply for an interdistrict permit to any oversubscribed school.
  • The student will be immediately eligible to apply for an interdistrict permit to attend an undersubscribed school that has space at the time of application, including their original school if it is undersubscribed.  Such applications will be processed in accordance with District procedures. 


If the District finds that the student is a San Francisco resident, but has obtained a particular school assignment based on other false information or moved to San Francisco after the District’s discovery of their non-residency, the student will be dropped from the assigned school that was obtained with false information and will be re-enrolled in an undersubscribed school that has space at the time of re-enrollment. 

  • Residents who have had their enrollment revoked due to violation of this policy shall not be eligible to participate in any choice placement process into an oversubscribed school for one year after revocation.
  • Residents found to be in violation of this policy may remain in their assigned school if (1) it is an undersubscribed school [1], and (2) there is space and no outstanding choice requests at the time of revocation.  
  • Families who are determined to have violated this policy shall be charged for the time and expenses that the District incurs to complete its investigation.  If enrollment has been revoked, an interdistrict permit to attend school in San Francisco will not be granted for one year after revocation.
  • In addition to recovering investigation costs, the District reserves the right to pursue additional civil and criminal legal action against individuals who have submitted false information to the District to obtain enrollment in an SFUSD school, including without limitation prosecution of a claim for violation of Government Code § 12650 et seq. for false claims violations.  The Board delegates to the General Counsel the authority to settle false residency claims.

The Education Placement Center shall send the parent/guardian a letter notifying them of the District’s preliminary determination that the student does not reside in San Francisco.  The letter shall inform the parent/guardian that the student is suspected of living outside of San Francisco; shall list the suspected address outside of San Francisco; and will notify the parent/guardian of their right to challenge this preliminary determination within 7 days.

Appeal of Revocation of Enrollment 

A parent/guardian has the right to appeal the District’s residency determination.  Once the District receives notice of the intent to appeal, the District will provide an appeal form and a summary of evidence used to support the residency determination.  The parent/guardian will then have 14 days to submit a narrative and supporting documentation in support their appeal to the Educational Placement Center.  The student will remain enrolled in the SFUSD school until the decision to revoke enrollment is sustained or reversed.  This decision shall be final. 

In enforcing this policy, the EPC Director acts under the discretion of the Superintendent.  The student may remain in school until the appeal is exhausted.

 If the parent/guardian fails to submit a notice of intent to appeal within 14 days after receipt of the notification letter, the student’s enrollment shall be terminated on the 15th day after receipt of the notice.  This decision shall be final.

Report residency fraud!

Call our hotline at 415.522.6783 or e-mail at


[1] An “Undersubscribed school” is defined as a school that was not full and did not have outstanding choice requests at the beginning of the current school year.  “Oversubscribed school” is defined as a school that was full and had outstanding choice requests at the beginning of the current school year.