Undocumented students

Resources for DREAMers

UW Bothell Career Services provides advising to all students regardless of immigration status. Students without documents are welcome to make an appointment and attend all of our events and workshops. You can trust that all information is kept confidential.

Legal and financial resources

Please bear in mind that we are not qualified to give legal advice. You may want to consult with an immigration attorney or seek credible legal advice regarding your immigration status from the legal services listed by UWB’s Center for International Education. Additionally, Student Legal Services is available for all UWB students. Students can make appointments for free consultation with a lawyer via Zoom through the SLS website.

UW Bothell HB1079 information site provides general information on financial resources, applications, & scholarships.

Career coaching

We encourage you to make an appointment with Career Services to discuss career and academic goals.

DACA and undocumented student resources

Ways to gain experience as an undocumented student without DACA

Experiential learning – hands-on learning done outside the classroom – is a highly effective way to explore career pathways, gain relevant skills, and build your professional network. Here are several ways you can pursue experiential learning without needing work authorization.

  • Volunteering: Use sites like idealist and VolunteerMatch to find volunteer opportunities in the area, or reach out to organizations you’re already familiar with. Volunteering is a good way to both gain experience and develop professional connections in an industry and with an employer of interest. While many volunteer opportunities are unpaid, some may offer stipends.
    • You can earn credit for a volunteer experience by participating in Community-Engaged Learning and Research. Courses are offered every quarter and span all 5 schools. The CELR site also provides information on volunteer opportunities separate from courses as well as scholarships offered for CELR opportunities.
  • Unpaid internships: similar to volunteering opportunities, are a valuable way to gain experience and develop professional connections. Handshake and idealist are both good places to find unpaid internship opportunities.
    • If you pursue internships and receive a paid internship offer, you may ask the employer not to be paid and pursue other means of financial support such as those mentioned above.
    • Note: some organizations may be required to carry insurance and/or have background checks on file for their interns and volunteers, even if the opportunities are unpaid.
  • Undergraduate Research: gain career-relevant skills while earning credit, and offers the possibility of earning a stipend (a regular fixed payment for work or to defray school costs). Start exploring the Undergraduate Research Database to identify projects and faculty you’d be interested in working with. You can also look at faculty bio pages and directly contact faculty whose research interests align with yours.
  • On-campus or professional organizations: participating in student or professional organizations can help you develop relevant experience and leadership skills while offering the opportunity to network across campus and with the local employment community. Find relevant professional organizations in the area through the Seattle Networking Guide.
  • Job shadowing: get a first-hand view of what different careers are like while growing your professional network. They are short-term, unpaid opportunities. You can look for professionals to job shadow by leveraging the UW Bothell alumni network on LinkedIn or reaching out to professionals in the field to connect with.
  • LinkedIn Learning: is an on-demand video learning platform to help you develop and enhance skills. It’s a free resource for all UW students. You can create Learning Paths of Collections on LinkedIn Learning in various topics.

FAQ regarding employment and interviewing for DACA recipients

  1. If I have received my employment authorization document, may I apply for jobs?
    1. Yes. After you are hired by an employer, and within the first three days of work, the employer should ask you to complete an I-9 employment eligibility verification form and to present documents that prove you are eligible to work legally in the U.S. At that time, you can present your EAD. Your employer might make a copy of your EAD.
  2. What is I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification?
    1. Form I-9 is used to verify identity and employment authorization for individuals hired in the United States. This includes U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to their employment authorization. The employee must also present their employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization.
  3. What is EAD (Employment Authorization Document)?
    1. U.S. employers must check to make sure all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are allowed to work in the United States. Having an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is one way to prove that you are allowed to work in the United States for a specific time period.
  4. When I interview for a job, do I need to tell the person interviewing me that I received deferred action or how I received an EAD?
    1. No. You do not need to tell your employer that you received an EAD through the DACA program, and your employer should not ask.
    2. U.S. employers must check to make sure all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are allowed to work in the United States. Having an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is one way to prove that you are allowed to work in the United States for a specific time period.
  5. Should I tell my employer that I have a new work permit?
    1. If you currently have a job, you do not need to offer your new employment authorization card (work permit) or any other information. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not alert your employer that you have received an EAD. So if you do not tell your employer that you have received an EAD, it is unlikely that the employer will know you have one.
    2. If you are starting a new job or your previous card is expiring, you are obligated to show your employer that you have the right to work.
  6. May my current employer keep employing me after I receive my employment authorization document?
    1. Yes. Once you have your EAD, your employer can keep you on the job without violating immigration law. In fact, if your employer fires you, that could be a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
  7. Can an employer reject me because my work authorization expires in the future?
    1. “Your employer may not …Refuse to accept your document or refuse to hire you because your document expires in the future.”
  8. Can I work as an independent contractor?
    1. Businesses are not required to check if an independent contractor has work authorization. Generally, a Form W-9 is used by businesses for independent contractors. The independent contractor is required to provide his/her correct name and Social Security Number (SSN) on the W-9, although workers who are not eligible for an SSN may instead use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). If the worker does not have an SSN or ITIN, he/she can apply for an ITIN and in the interim, fill out “Applied For” in the space on the W-9 for the tax identification number and leave the W-9 certification blank.
    2. However, regardless of whether you are an employee or independent contractor, individuals are not permitted to work in the United States without work authorization. Nor may businesses contract for labor with someone who the business knows is unauthorized to work.
  9. Can I now join a union?
    1. Authorized and unauthorized workers can join a union or become members of a workers’ center. Across the country, workers are standing up together to demand their rights in the workplace. If you are interested in joining a union, you can join or support a campaign for working people, find a local workers’ center, and you can do so whether or not your DACA application is approved.

Interview questions – what’s allowed and what’s not?

Subject Permitted Not Permitted 
Citizenship or National Origin Are you legally eligible to work in the United States? Can you show proof of citizenship/visa/work authorization if we decide to hire you? Are you known by any other names? Can you speak, read, and write English? Are you a US citizen? Can you provide a birth certificate? What country are your parents from? What is your background? Where were you born? How did you learn Portuguese? 
Address How long have you been at your current address? What is your current address? What was your previous address and how long did you live there? Do you own your own home, or do you rent? Who do you live with? How are you related to the people you live with?
Race “Race or color should not be a factor or consideration in making employment decisions except in appropriate circumstances as set forth at Section 15-VI-C of the Compliance Manual section on Race and Color Discrimination.” Section 15-VI-C is “diversity and affirmative action,” i.e. motivation to use race data to create a more diverse workforce. It applies to companies with at least 15 employees. All questions about color and race 
A chart categorizing questions that are permitted or not – by law – during an interview.

A site for immigrant entrepreneurs


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