Internships and Careers for Undocumented Students

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Internships and Careers
for Undocumented Students
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an administrative policy that will allow eligible
undocumented students to receive a two-year deferment of their deportation and work authorization. To view the
DACA request forms and find out more information, please visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’
website: http://www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.
Your DACA will provide an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and the ability to apply to a Social
Security card. This is what you will use to apply to internships or jobs.
Internships
Internships or employment can provide an opportunity for you to determine whether you are interested in a
particular career, gain experience in your field, create a network of contacts, and sometimes gain school credit. An
internship may also lead to a full-time job. For undocumented students, internships are a great way to gain
valuable work experience without being an employee.
How can I get an internship?
 Work with a mentor or a career center on your resume.
 Start your search early and have an organized list of internship opportunities.
 Say Yes! Many opportunities might come your way and you don’t have to say no just because it isn’t
your “dream” job or internship. This experience can help you or it may help you find a new passion!
Networking is key!
We are sure you have heard the saying, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Networking is a skill that
should be mastered. Practice at every conference, meeting, lecture and social event. These are great opportunities
to meet new people, build your reputation and create opportunities for yourself.
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Create business cards and have them ready at all times
Make it a habit to attend lectures, speeches, and other special events
Ask questions throughout the event
Exchange business cards and follow up with an e-mail
Disclosing Status
Disclosing your status when looking for an internship has many of the same risks and benefits as in other areas of
life. Undocumented students who have received DACA can apply for most employment or paid internships
opportunities unless the organization is legally bound, or bound by policy. In this case they may turn down your
application.
Examples:
 Internship is funded by a Government Grant that is restricted to U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residency
 Employer works with high security military personal or government.
You do not need to tell your employer that you received an EAD through the DACA program, and the employer
should not question or ask unless the job requires them to. Although you are not required to disclose you status as
a DACA student, you cannot lie about your status on your application or the I-9 employment form. Lying on an
application can cost you the ability to adjust your legal status in the future.
Leadership Without Borders Center
[email protected] | (206) 221-5975
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