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Undocumented Students

The Gustavus Center for Career Development is here to support all students on their career exploration and preparation journeys. Each career exploration process of students from mixed status families, students without documentation (often called undocumented students), DACA or TPS students has unique context, and challenges. Career Development Specialists are open to assisting with these questions. Call (507-933-7575) or stop in to schedule an appointment with a Career Development Specialist.

Undocumented Students with Work Authorization (From The Dream.US. July 2022.)

  • Have a renewable Employment Authorization Document that allows them to work
  • Do not have to be sponsored
  • Can be hired the same as any U.S. Citizen
  • It is unlawful for employers to ask about or refuse to hire because of DACA or TPS
  • Do not have to disclose their status

Disclosing your status in job/internship searches

It can be complicated, confusing and stressful to decide when and with whom to share your status, or the status of your family members. 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. Confidentially consult with staff on campus, and with Career Development Specialists 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). 

Filling Out Applications

On job applications there is usually a question that says: “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?”

  • If you have DACA you can answer “yes” to the question and continue through the hiring process without having to disclose more detailed information about your background. See the section below for more information on DACA.
  • If you do not have DACA or another work authorization status, there are other options you may consider for gaining experience and finding employment. See the section below for alternative employment options


Deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for individuals who came to the U.S. as children and who meet certain guidelines. 

Alternative Employment Options

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

  • If you receive an internship offer, you may ask the employer not to be paid and pursue other means of financial support such as those mentioned above and below in the resources section.
  • You may discuss with an employer the option of working as an independent contractor. Independent contractors often do the same type of work, but instead of working for one employer, might work for multiple clients. Examples of independent contractor jobs include tutor or child care provider. An independent contractor can use an Independent Taxpayer Identification Number which can be obtained regardless of immigration status.
  • If you are interested in starting your own business, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be an option to consider. An LLC is composed of an individual or a group of people who are both workers and owners of a business. 

Employment Resources:

If you want to continue your education after earning a bachelor’s degree, graduate school may be your next step. If you are considering whether to apply to graduate school, sign up for an appointment to talk with a Career Development Specialist about the decision and to get help finding programs. 

Financing Graduate School

Many graduate schools offer funding to help with the cost of graduate school. Some financial assistance comes in the form of research or teaching assistantships. Some programs also offer scholarships for incoming students. My (Un)Documented Life has tips on applying to graduate school as an undocumented student. Also check out the following resources for graduate scholarships:


The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) also offers a fee waiver for the LSAT for candidates who are unable to pay for the test. If you have DACA or have applied for DACA you can apply for the fee waiver.


Pre-Health Dreamers (PHD) is a national network that provides support to undocumented students who are pursuing careers in health and science. You’ll find much more, including a list of internships available to undocumented students, on the PHD website.

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Contact & Location


Johnson Student Union 209
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082

Career Service Hours

Monday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm