Each career discovery process for students from mixed-status families and/or students without documentation has a unique context and challenges.
Career Exploration has two licensed clinicians on staff who can offer confidential support. Contact our office at (651) 696-6384 for more information.
Disclosing your status during job and 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 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.
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
Job and internship applications may ask: “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.
- If you do not have DACA or another work authorization status, there are other options you may consider for gaining experience and finding employment.
- Read the Form I-9 Employee Information Sheet (pdf) for helpful information.
Gaining professional experience without a job
- MyUndocumentedLife: Internships
- 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.
- Read Life after College: A Guide for Undocumented Students by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) for more information (pages 29-35).
- 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.
- Read Life after College: A Guide for Undocumented Students by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) for more information (pages 35-37).
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 a career counseling appointment to talk with a counselor about the decision and to get help finding programs.