Immigration Legislation

State and National Immigration Policies

Immigration policy continues to play a significant role in the lives of undocumented and DACAmented students with emerging policies at the local, state, and the federal level.  The University of Chicago strives to remain informed of any changes that impact students with the commitment to better assist and support them in their academic pursuits.

State Policy

The state of Illinois has enacted the Illinois Dream Act legislation that provides eligible students with the following benefits:

  • The ability to participate in the State Treasurer's College Saving Pool and the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Plan.  Plans that allow families to save for their child's college education.
  • Assurance that high school counselor are well trained so they can better advise undocumented students about postsecondary options.
  • The establishment of the Ilinois DREAM Fund that provides scholarships for undocumented students through the use of private funds.

In order to qualify for the Illinois Dream Act students must meet specific requirements that can be found at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights website.

Federal policy

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

 On August 15, 2012 the federal government enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive that permits qualified applicants to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) as well as a two-year deportation reprieve that provides temporary immigration relief for DACA recipients.  According to a recent report by USCIS there are 622,855 DACA recipients.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued instructions and has made available the application form that allows DACAmented young adults to renew their DACA status.

 With DACA students can:

  • Work
  • May qualify to purchase health insurance if their employer offers this benefit.
  • Apply to masters and doctoral programs.
  • Apply to select medical schools that consider DACAmented applicants.
  • Apply to law school!  Students who fulfill admission requirements into the bar can practice law in the following states: California, New York and Florida.

General Status Information

  Undocumented DACAmented

Study Abroad

 It is possible to apply and qualify for a study abroad program. 

However, it is important to note that when traveling abroad or returning to United States the student may be subject to international law(s) that could potentially prohibit reentry to the United States. 

The Office of International Affairs (OIA)  encourages student who may have questions to contact them.

Students interested in pursuing a study abroad program must apply and obtain approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for advance parole

For more information visit USCIS' website or contact the Office of International Affairs.

Educators for Fair Consideration also has a guide to assist DACA recipients with travel abroad questions.


Federal law prohibits individuals without a work authorization permit to be employed in the United States. 

However, if a student wants to obtain work experience there are other opportunities available.  Once again, students should contact the Office of International Affairs for assistance in this matter.

DACAmented students with an employment authorization document (EAD) may apply for work positions and participate in paid internships.

Compensation for teaching and research assistantships is possible for graduate students with an EAD.

To learn more about your workplace rights visit the National Immigration Law Center.

Work-study Not eligible to participate Not eligible to participate