Living in the United States without legal status (or with a temporary status) is difficult. Between frequent policy changes and dense laws, it can be hard to understand how to complete essential tasks. However, the faculty and staff of University of Minnesota are committed to providing resources and support to everyone in the university community to successfully pursue education and use what they've learned from their degree afterward. This page contains a variety of links to those resources so you can determine where to get help or learn about your options anonymously.
On This Page
- Disclosing your Status During Job & Internship Searches
- Gaining Professional Experience Outside of a Professional Job
- Internship Scholarship Opportunities within the University of Minnesota
As you know, sharing your status or the status of your family and friends can be a complicated and nerve wracking decision. However, you do have a range of options about disclosure to make the process feel as safe as possible. You can decide when to disclose your status, whether that be early in a job search or after you’ve gotten an offer. You can choose who you want to disclose to, perhaps excluding a recruiter but being open to a future supervisor. You can choose how to disclose, such as in a graduate school application vs. during an interview. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, but know that at the end of the day you have options.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business that is privately owned by the individual or individuals who create or work for it, who are called members. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, you can start an LLC on your own or with potential business partners. Crucially, you can pay taxes through your Employer Identification Number (EIN) rather than using a Social Security Number if you are a member of an LLC. The regulations on LLCs vary heavily from state to state and there are many options for how to structure an LLC, so it is important that you check local regulations and assess your options.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN): An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is an ID used by a business to file its taxes. Members of an LLC may use an EIN when filing taxes, allowing individuals to file taxes without a Social Security Number. You may apply for one through form SS-4. Note that you will need an Independent Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to complete this form (see below).
- Independent Contractors: Independent contractors do similar work to employees, but rather than working for one employer, they work for multiple clients. They work independently, setting their own hours and maintaining their own equipment. Examples of independent contractor jobs include child care provider, tutor, delivery jobs, and photography.
- The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax-processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure that people—including undocumented immigrants—pay taxes even if they do not have a Social Security number (SSN) and regardless of their immigration status. You can apply for one with form W-7. For additional information:
- Projects: The University of Minnesota partners with Parker Dewey to facilitate participation in short-term, paid work projects or micro-internships. You can generate income as an independent contractor through Parker Dewey where you can be paid with an ITIN. The University Maroon & Gold Alumni Network also posts short-term Projects which are good possibilities to explore. If you are selected for completing an unpaid project you would also be eligible to apply to the scholarship opportunities associated with M & G Projects.
- Volunteer: Volunteer work is an excellent way to build experience and your professional network. You will be able to develop your professional identity, explore different work environments, and benefit your community. This is also one of the most accessible options for career development, as volunteering rarely requires prior experience, can be done on a flexible schedule, and is light on paperwork. Though there are a wide variety of options to choose from, if you need somewhere to start, contact The Center for Community-Engaged Learning.
- Unpaid Internships: While challenging to manage financially, engaging in an unpaid internship offers a meaningful way to gain real-world experience. Check with your academic advisor to see if you can earn academic credit alongside your internship to support your degree progress. Keep in mind, if you do decide to earn academic credit, you will be responsible for the tuition associated with the course. Also, explore if there are alternative ways to be compensated such as a fellowship or stipend. Some organizations offering unpaid internships will cover a metro pass, parking fees, or conference attendance. Finally, apply for the internship scholarships available in your college listed below to offset the cost of engaging in an unpaid internship.
- College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Internship Scholarships
- Career & Internship Services (CCAPS, CDes, CFANS) Internship Funding
- College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) Internship Grant
- UMN Immigration Response Team: The Immigration Response Team seeks to ensure that all faculty, staff, and students who are affected by immigration policy changes have access to resources and support.
- University Student Legal Services (SLS): Review the legal services available to you and covered by your student fee for University enrollment. SLS provides legal guidance for several immigration issues, including applying for and renewing DACA, travel permission, asylum applications, and Temporary Protected Status applications. It is valuable to consult with an immigration attorney if you have never done so, or haven't done it recently. By consulting with an immigration attorney, you can better understand your current status and learn what options you may have in the future. This knowledge may inform decisions you make about your academic and professional career.
- The Business Law Clinic at the Law School can offer Limited Liability Company (LLC) start up support.
- Employment Rights with DACA
- It is unlawful for employers to refuse to hire individuals because of DACA or TPS.
- Recommended Websites:
- Immigrants Rising, particularly their Life After College Guide
- Alternative Income and Career Options for Undocumented Students Webinar
- Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
- Higher Ed Immigration Portal: Fellowships and Other Non-Employment Based Opportunities for Undocumented Students
- Undocumented Professionals