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Disclosing Your Immigration Status as a DACA Recipient

Written by Paula Mora on November 9, 2021
2 min read

When it comes to job applications and interviews with potential employers, it can be challenging for Dreamers to know when, how or if to disclose their immigration status. Ultimately, deciding whether to disclose your DACA status is up to you. Start by getting informed, tapping into the resources available to you, and engage in conversations with your future employers with confidence and determination. Don’t let disclosing your immigration status deter you from going after your dreams. When applying for your future job remember to own your story, you have valuable skills to contribute and are as deserving of the position as any other candidate. The first step is leveraging relevant resources that can help educate you:

  1. Get informed on Employment Rights with DACA:
  • Understanding the law and what employers are allowed to ask for is key. Employers can only ask for work authorization documents as required by Form I-9, this includes a form of identification and authorization to work. The Employment Authorization Card (or work permit) granted to DACA recipients is a legal form of work authorization acceptable by Form I-9.
  • According to Employer’s guide to hiring individuals with DACA, Dreamers are not required to disclose their immigration status and employers are only required to ask for documentation that proves the applicant can lawfully work in the U.S. Keep in mind that you are required to provide valid Employment Authorization Documentation once you renew your DACA status.
  • Employers cannot deny you a position based on your immigration sta
  1. Leverage resource groups:
  • Visit the National Immigration Law Center for a list of FAQs on how to apply for DACA, renew DACA status, and other legal advice.
  • For Dreamers enrolled in a college or university, or seeking to enroll, visit BestColleges for news and information on topics like financial aid and complete college guides for undocumented students.
  • For DACA students, their university’s career center can also provide guidance with navigating conversations with employers. 
  • For more resources and to connect with fellow Dreamers visit Remember The Dreamers advocacy group.
  1. Seek guidance from fellow Dreamers:
  • 72% of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ DACA recipients, this includes Amazon, General Motors, JPMorgan Chase, and Walmart. Connecting with Dreamers who have navigated employment conversations can provide advice and support.

There are approximately 650,000 DACA recepients in the U.S., 67% of them between the ages of 21 and 30. With an average age of 26, Dreamers are on their pathway to contributing to the social and economic fabric of our country. If you are an employer who is unsure about hiring Dreamers, we invite you to explore resources and get informed about the great opportunities that come with hiring DACA recipients.

For more on navigating internships, we invite you to visit our Key Internship Resources for Undocumented Students.

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Paula Mora

Paula is the Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Symba. Prior to joining Symba, Paula worked at the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. She is passionate about professional development for at-risk-youth, immigrants, and people of color.

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