DACA and Undocumented Students

DACA and Undocumented students face a special set of challenges in their career journeys. BCS is committed to ensuring student success, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Career staff are here to help undocumented and DACA students navigate the career planning process.

How to Get Experience

The best way to prepare for life after graduation is to find experiences that will allow you to develop skills you can apply in the workplace. Whether it is a paid or unpaid position, it is important to choose experiences that help you explore your interests and fit with your career goals.

Skill-building experiences may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Shadow alumni in various industries
  • Find an alumni career mentor
  • Work with the Office of Undergraduate Research to find research opportunities
  • Find places to volunteer or participate in community organizing, Idealist is a good place to start
  • Engage academic projects through your coursework
  • Seek part-time positions such a tutoring and non-work study campus jobs
  • Participate in Student Groups at the University

Applying for an Internship or Job

Most job applications will ask, “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?”

If you have DACA, you are able to answer “yes” and continue through the hiring process without disclosing additional information about your background.

Once hired, employers should not ask you about how you received your work permit. For more information about this process, visit the National Immigration Law Center’s website.

If you did not apply for a social security number through DACA, read more about obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

If you do not have DACA, you may consider other avenues for gaining professional experience:

Disclosing Your Status

It can be confusing and stressful to decide when and with whom to share your status. Throughout the job search and hiring process it is important to provide information that is true and authentic, however, you ultimately get to decide whether or not to share your status. Come in to talk with a staff member about strategies for disclosing your status at different points in the process.

You may decide to share your status with an organization early in the hiring process or in an interview if you feel comfortable doing so, and to start a discussion about how to move forward in the process. It is important to consider who you would want to disclose to (sharing with a recruiter vs. a supervisor) and in what manner (disclosing in a personal statement for grad school vs. in an interview).

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Students

To ensure that our immigrant community is aware of resources available to support you during this time, La Casa Cultural Latina has created a resource flyer listing both internal resources available on campus and external resources in the community.

For any additional questions, please contact Jorge Mena at jmena2@illinois.edu.

Download a printable COVID-19 resources flyer or download an accessible flyer as a Word file.

Campus Resources:

La Casa Cultural Latina offers a wide array of services for students, whether they are Latina/Latino or not and whether they are documented or not. La Casa also offers ally training for faculty and staff who work with undocumented/DACA students, as well as for students who want to learn more about how to support their fellow students.

• Address: 1203 West Nevada Street, Urbana

• Email: lacasa@illinois.edu

• Phone: 217-333-4950

• To request an Undocumented Ally training session, send an email to undocumented@illinois.edu.

The Immigration Law Clinic in the University of Illinois College of Law provides legal counsel for undocumented students, staff, and faculty, as well as DACA renewal assistance. For more information, email clinic@law.illinois.edu or call 217.244.9494 to set up an appointment.

The Office of Academic Inclusive Excellence in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion provides support, resources, and guidance for undocumented and DACA members of the University of Illinois community. For more information, email Jorge Mena, Associate Director for Student Support at jmena2@illinois.edu.

Illinois International Students and Scholars Service (ISSS) serves the international population and campus units through advising, immigration services, programming, advocacy, and outreach. ISSS is committed to providing culturally sensitive services of the highest quality. The office strives to create an environment that is conducive to a successful educational, personal, and professional experience.

• Address: 432 Student Services Building; 610 E. John St., Champaign

• Phone: 217-333-1303

The Counseling Center offers a range of services intended to help students develop improved coping skills in order to address emotional, interpersonal, and academic concerns.

• Address: Room 206, Student Services Building, 610 East John Street, Champaign

• Phone: 217-333-3704

• Crisis Line: 217-359-4141

The Office for Student Conflict Resolution provides adjudication, mediation, and referral services to promote the effective resolution of conflict within the university community. Please report incidents of bias, harassment, and discrimination.

• Address: 300 Student Service Building 610 E. John Street, Champaign, IL 61820

• Email: conflictresolution@illinois.edu

• Phone: 217-333-3680

Student Legal Services offers information and guidelines on a variety of issues, including document certification, domestic acclimation, and legal representation.

• Address: 324 Illini Union, 1601 W. Green St, Urbana

• Email: studentlegalservice@illinois.edu

• Phone: 217-333-9053

The Office for Access & Equity provides assistance with complaints of discrimination and harassment for student employees, faculty, and staff.

• Address: 616 E. Green Street, Suite 214, Champaign

• Email: accessandequity@illinois.edu

• Phone: 217-333-0885

The Graduate College Ombudsperson offers individual assistance for sensitive issues and questions affecting a graduate student’s academic career.

• Address: 801 S. Wright Street, Champaign

• Email: grad@illinois.edu

• Phone: 217-333-0035

The Undocumented and DACA Resources LibGuide is a resource guide maintained by the University Library for undocumented and DACA recipient members of the Champaign-Urbana community. It also informs others about immigration policy and what they can do to help Undocumented and DACA students.