VCU Career Services’ mission is to assist all students in personal career preparation and exploration. Our office provides confidential council and resources for undocumented students. We can assist students with navigating the unique obstacles and experiences associated with an undocumented status. We encourage all undocumented students to visit career services to learn more about specific resources.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)*
On June 15, 2012 President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action Program which would protect undocumented students from deportation and would provide students with work authorization for a two-year period. Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
1. Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
2. Came to the United States before the age of 16
3. Have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 to the present
4. Physically present on June 15, 2012
5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
6. Are currently in school, have graduated high school/obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
*taken from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website
Myths about undocumented student career opportunities
Myth: Undocumented students cannot obtain legal employment in the United States
Fact: Undocumented students may be able to work if they qualify for,apply to, and receive a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permit.
Myth: Undocumented students without a DACA permit cannot use VCU Career Services
Fact: We welcome all students regardless of their country of origin or immigration status. As long as a student is currently enrolled at VCU, they have complete access to all of our services including one-on-one advising appointments, Drop-in advising, as well as events, career fairs, and programs. We recommend that undocumented students make a confidential career advising appointment to discuss specific options.
Myth: I must disclose my immigration status to VCU Career Services' staff during my visit
Fact: Our mission is to serve all VCU students regardless of their immigration status or membership in any other identity. All conversations between students and career advisors are confidential and the decision to disclose any personal information is at the discretion and comfort of the student.
Myth: Employers are not interested in hiring undocumented students
Fact: Students with DACA work permits can apply for a variety of job and internship opportunities. We recommend meeting with a career advisor to discuss your specific situation.
Myth: I need to have a Social Security number or driver's license in order to work
Fact: A work permit is considered appropriate identification to prove your identity and authorization to work.
Myth: When I am interviewing, accepting or starting a job, I need to disclose my DACA status to my employer
Fact: An employer only needs to know that you have legal authorization to work. Though every company is different, the Human Resources office will usually know of your DACA work permit; your supervisor and coworkers do not need to be specifically informed.