Undocumented Students

University Career Services is committed to helping all Mason students be career ready. While DREAMers have unique experiences and obstacles in their job and internship search, University Career Services has resources available to assist you.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action Program, which would protect undocumented students from deportation and provide students with work authorization for a two year period. Students must have met eligibility requirements in order to apply and renew their deferred action.

As of February 2018, requests for deferred action from individuals who have never before been granted it will not be accepted. Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA can still request renewal by filing. More information on this change can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction. We do not know how long the DACA program will continue to be in place.

Career Q&As

If I currently have DACA and a work permit, when would I lose the ability to work legally?

Your work permit will remain valid until the expiration date. The expiration date on your work permit is the same date as your DACA expiration date.

Can I continue to work if the DACA program ends or if my DACA expires?

You should speak with an attorney about legal options that may be available to you to stay and work in the United States.

When during the application process should I disclose my DACA status to my employer?

When directly asked about your work authorization. The employer only needs to know that you are authorized to work in the U.S. Though every company is different, the Human Resources officer will handle your paperwork and documents including your DACA work permit. Your supervisor and coworkers will not need to be specifically informed.

What financial aid is available to undocumented students?

There are merit scholarships and resources available to students regardless of status. The Office of Financial Aid has resources that can help undocumented students pay for college beyond government aid resources: Undocummented / DACA Students. University Career Services also has an Unpaid Internship Scholarship offered throughout the year, and you can apply to it through Handshake.

What can I do to increase my job prospects?

Getting Internships: Participate in experiential learning activities that will help build skills and grow your professional network.

If I do not have authorization to work in the United States, why would I use University Career Services?

All students may benefit attending Career Service’s drop-in hours, appointments, and workshops. We help you explore areas of interests for choosing a major/career, find experiential learning opportunities, and assist with graduate school applications.

Do I need to disclose my citizenship status with Career Services staff?

Disclosing personal information about immigration status or any group identity is at the comfort, timing and level of trust felt by the student. All Career Services professional staff members have attended UndocuAlly trainings and are committed to creating an inclusive environment that supports all students.

I'm a faculty or staff member who wants to help. Where should I start?

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education’s “How to Support Students with or Without DACA (PDF)” guide

Undocumented Student Resources

Mason Dreamers Faculty and Staff

Disclaimer: Information on this page is not legal advice. Students should consult the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or an immigration lawyer for the latest on DACA.