Announcing Chhabria's nomination along with five other judicial posts, Obama said: "These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honoured to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench."
"They will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice," he added.
On confirmation by the Senate, Chhabria would become the first South Asian judge in California and the fourth South Asian judge in the US.
Chhabria's nomination comes close on the heels of confirmation of Chandigarh-born Sri Srinivasan as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, often described as the second highest court in the US.
Chhabria began his legal career by clerking for judge Charles R. Breyer of the US District Court for the Northern District of California from 1998 to 1999.
He also worked as an associate at the law firm Covington & Burling LLP from 2002 to 2004. From 2001 to 2002, he clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the US Supreme Court.
In 2001, Chhabria worked at the law firm of Keker & Van Nest, LLP, after completing a one-year clerkship for Judge James R. Browning of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.