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Undocumented: FAQ

This guide provides recommended resources for research and services related to undocumented students.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

California Dream Act:

What is the California Dream Act? The California Dream Act refers to Assembly Bill 130 & 131 that passed through California legislature in 2011. AB 130 & 131 enabled eligible undocumented students to receive state funded financial aid and privately funded scholarships. The California Dream Act has nothing to do with immigration or pathway to citizenship. It is only for the purposes of receiving state financial aid.


What is DACA? Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an executive order by President Obama which granted eligible undocumented youth a 2-year renewable temporary relief from deportation, a social security number for work authorization & driver license/identification. DACA does not currently provide a long term pathway to citizenship.


What is DAPA? DAPA is a prosecutorial discretion program administered by USCIS that provides temporary relief from deportation (called deferred action) and work authorization to unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). The DAPA program resembles the DACA program in some important aspects, but the eligibility criteria are distinct. The program will be open to individuals who:

  • have a U.S. citizen or LPR son or daughter as of November 20, 2014;
  • have continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010;
  • are physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of applying;
  • have no lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014;
  • are not an enforcement priority, which is defined to include individuals with a wide range of criminal convictions (including certain misdemeanors), those suspected of gang involvement and terrorism, recent unlawful entrants, and certain other immigration law violators present no other factors that would render a grant of deferred action inappropriate; and
  • pass a background check.

DAPA grants will last for three years. The DAPA program should be ready to receive applications within 180 days.


What is SB150? Senate Bill 150 passed in 2013, where concurrently enrolled students (high school students enrolled in college classes) who are classified as non-resident students for fee/tuition purposes may be eligible for the SB150 waiver of non-resident fees while still in high school. Students must be part-time (enrolled in 11 units or less) who currently reside in California and are attending high school in California.


What is SB1159? Senate Bill 1159: California to Grant Professional Licenses for Undocumented Young People (Accept ITINs) passed 2014, which allows undocumented students, to apply for a driver license and have an identification.


What is FAFSA? FAFSA stands for Free application for federal student aid.Undocumented students, including DACA recipients, are not eligible for federal student aid, but you may still be eligible for state or college aid , in addition to private scholarships. Check with your college or career school's financial aid office for more information. It does not matter if the student's parents are undocumented, under-documented or foreign citizens. The student is still eligible for federal student aid. When filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the student's parents should enter 000-00-0000 as the Social Security Number.

Redefining "Undocumented"

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