George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Undocumented Students

University Career Services is committed to helping all Mason students be career ready. While undocumented students have unique experiences and obstacles in their job and internship search, University Career Services has resources available to assist undocumented students on their career path.

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 Regarding Students Who Are Undocumented

Find out the fact behind each myth listed below by clicking on the link.

MYTH: Undocumented students are not legally eligible to work.

FACT: Undocumented students may be able to work if they qualify, apply to and receive a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permit.

MYTH: Undocumented students do not qualify for any financial aid.

FACT: There are merit scholarships and resources available to students regardless of status. The Office of Financial Aid has resources that can help undocumented students pay for college beyond government aid resources. 

MYTH: Undocumented students who do not qualify for DACA cannot use University Career Services’ resources.

FACT: As long as students are in a degree-seeking program, they are able to attend our walk-in appointments, and schedule appointments with our advisors. All students can attend our workshops, events, and Career Fairs, as well. However, students without a DACA work permit most likely are not eligible for jobs posted in HireMason. 

MYTH: I need to disclose my citizenship or residency status to the Career Services Staff.

FACT: Disclosing any type of personal information about immigration status or any group identity is at the comfort, timing and level of trust felt by the student.

MYTH: Employers are not interested in hiring undocumented students.

FACT: There are many opportunities available to students who have DACA work permits.

MYTH: I need to have a Social Security number or driver license in order to work.

FACT: A work permit is 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: The employer only needs to know that you are authorized to work. Though every company is different, the Human Resources office will usually know of your DACA work permit; your supervisor and coworkers will not need to be specifically informed.  

MYTH: Any faculty or staff member at George Mason can give me legal advice.

FACT: Legal advice involves making determinations or recommendations based on expert analysis of the law as it applies to a person's specific situation. 

Disclaimer: Information on this page is not legal advice. Students should consult the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or an immigration lawyer for the latest on DACA.