California Regulatory Update


Expedited Licensure for Refugees, Asylees, and Holders of Special Immigrant Visas

Starting January 1, 2021, individuals in the following categories who apply for licensure by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology may seek an expedited licensure process.

  1. Refugees pursuant to section 1157 of title 8 of the United States Code;
  2. Those granted asylum by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to section 1158 of title 8 of the United States Code; or,
  3. Individuals with a special immigrant visa that have been granted a status pursuant to section 1244 of Public Law 110-181, Public Law 109-163, or section 602(b) of title VI of division F of Public Law 111-8.

In order to receive the expedited licensure process, individuals must provide documentation of their refugee, asylee, or special immigrant visa status when submitting their application package. Please note that this does not mean a license must be issued, but simply that the process will be expedited.  Click here for information and documentation examples.

Establishments and Licensees

On January 25, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) ended the Regional Stay at Home Order, lifting the order for all regions statewide, including the three regions that had still been under the order – San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area and Southern California. This action allows all counties statewide to return to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity. The majority of the counties are in the strictest, or purple tier.

Individual counties could choose to impose stricter rules. The Board encourages all licensees to check with their local county health departments for additional requirements and urges licensees and the public to follow the masking and social distancing requirements to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases.

You can access COVID-19 Information regarding Tiers, Industry Guidelines, local county contact information, and additional COVID-19 resources at:

Board Examinations

Beginning February 22, 2021, examinations will resume at both our Fairfield and Glendale examination sites. We are working diligently to start scheduling candidates again at 50% capacity. Candidates will receive their admission letters in the mail 2 to 4 weeks before their exam date.

Contacting Us

During this time, you may experience some delays in reaching staff and we appreciate your patience. If you have a general question, please review the Board’s Frequently Asked Questions.  If you still have a question, please email us at [email protected].

California Renewal Fees Waived

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an economic relief package for businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes waiving renewal fees for licensees of the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC). Renewal fees due in 2021 and 2022 for all BBC personal licenses and establishment licenses will be waived. Licenses that were renewed in 2021 prior to the fee waiver will be issued a license at no cost at the next renewal cycle.

If you’re a licensee and have questions, please email the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology at [email protected].

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