Career Resources for Undocumented & DACA Students

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

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.


Gaining Professional Experience Outside of a Professional Job 

  • 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. 
  • 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. 


Internship Scholarship Opportunities within the University of Minnesota