Skip to main content

Applying As An Immigrant or Refugee

Join TFA as an immigrant or refugee and have a profound impact on students around the country while serving as an ally and role model.
On This Page

Teach For America Supports Immigrants and Refugees

There are countless children living in the shadows in our country, being denied the opportunity to pursue an excellent education.

A teacher is often the first adult an undocumented student will ask for help. As an immigrant or refugee, you know first-hand the concerns that (undocumented) immigrant and refugee kids face, whether or not you choose to share your background with students.

Every TFA corps member can be an ally for children, but you can be an additional inspiration and offer guidance based on your background. That’s why we actively recruit immigrants and refugees who are authorized to work in the United States and do not require sponsorship for our corps.

In 2013, we recruited our first two DACAmented educators into the corps.  Since then, we have grown to a community of over 300 leaders who entered our program as DACA recipients.  Beginning with our 2022 corps, we are proud to expand this opportunity to other immigrants and refugees who meet TFA’s eligibility criteria. This newly eligible group of immigrant and refugee educators will receive support that mirrors the support we have been able to provide DACA recipients over the past nine years.

immigrants and refugees 1

Where You'll Teach

Today, we have more than 350 leaders in our network who are DACA recipients, asylees, TPS holders, among others, reaching thousands of students across several states.

Corps members who are not Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) or U.S. Citizens (USCs) can teach in the following Teach For America regions:

  • West: Bay Area, Colorado, Los Angeles,Las Vegas Valley, Hawai’i
  • Southwest: Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix, Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio
  • Midwest: Greater Chicago–Northwest Indiana, Ohio
  • Southeast: Memphis, Metro Atlanta, Nashville, Jacksonville and Central Florida
  • East: New York, D.C. Region, New Jersey
  • New England: Massachusetts
“Throughout education, teachers are always asked, ‘why?’ Why do we do this work? My ‘why’ is to provide an outlet of comfort and openness to students—to ensure that students know that someone outside of their home is in their corner. ”

Yanicka Peter

New York City Corps Member 2016

Application Information For Non-Lawful Permanent Resident Immigrants and Refugees

Since 2013, Teach For America DACA corps members have done incredible work in classrooms across the country. They serve not just as classroom leaders, but as role models to their students. The work they do every day is important and we stand with our DACAmented teachers.

We were devastated by the September 5, 2017, announcement to rescind DACA and the negative impact it has had on thousands of young people, including the students of about 300 DACAmented corps members and alumni at the time. While it is unknown whether Congress will take action to maintain a pathway for DACAmented individuals to work, Teach For America will continue to be open to DACA recipients. At Teach For America, we are closely monitoring ongoing litigation challenging DACA, but we understand that a legislative solution with a pathway to citizenship is still necessary.

As we welcome immigrant and refugee applicants beyond DACA, it is not lost on us that the example above illustrates just how complex and nuanced immigration policy is—and that it has the potential to impact our students and educators in different ways.

We are monitoring policy impacting our corps members and alumni as well as the students we serve. If you have questions regarding our policies for DACA recipients or our expanded eligibility for other immigrants and refugees please contact

General FAQs


TFA is committed to accepting DACA recipients into the corps and doing everything we can to anticipate barriers and provide support. Below is more about what we currently know. If you still have questions, please email our DACA support team.

More Information

TFA is committed to supporting applicants who are immigrants or refugees join the corps when possible. You can check our Admissions FAQs page for more detailed information. If you still have questions, please email our contact the Immigration & Education Alliance team.

Resources for Creating Safe Spaces

Creating safe spaces for students is a priority at Teach For America.

All students deserve to attend schools where their intellectual, emotional, and social needs are met and where learning thrives.

To support safe learning environments, we’ve compiled a list of resources for educators who work with students in marginalized communities. Please also see the #HomeIsHere Toolkit for PreK-12 Educators, Leaders, and Policymakers.