Applying As An Immigrant or Refugee
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.
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. ”
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 DACASupport@teachforamerica.org.
We will continue to accept and review applications until our final application deadline of February 10, 2023, unless it becomes apparent there is no viable employment pathway for DACA recipients or other applicants.
All applicants will have the option to work closely with a member of our staff, ensuring they have the necessary support and resources to complete the admissions process for the 2023 corps. This includes resources and support regarding:
- Regional assignment
- Making the decision to join the 2023 corps
- Any other questions that may occur during the application process
Upon admission to the corps, you will be able to share with our assignment team your preferred region(s) and any need you have to be assigned to one particular region (for example, your hometown region or a region close to family).
Assuming your preferred region is able to accept you we will prioritize this region for you.
Learn more about our Placement.
You will have until April 7, 2023 to make your final decision.
Regardless of regional assignment, all admitted applicants are welcome to confirm their offers earlier, but will not be required to do so. There are benefits to confirming offers earlier, such as accessing financial and legal support for DACA/EAD renewals, preparing for certification exams, connecting with other corps members, beginning pre-work, etc. Ultimately though, this decision will be up to you. If you opt to confirm your offer earlier and circumstances change, you will not be penalized and this will not impact your offer to the corps.
Due to the current uncertainty regarding DACA and other immigration policy, applicants admitted to the 2023 corps will be able to defer their offers, with a guaranteed spot in 2024. Their regional assignments will remain the same whenever possible. Applicants who defer their offer will not need to take any actions until they are able to join the corps (the earliest possible date being May/June 2024).
Beginning with the 2022 corps, TFA is able to consider applicants who have an immigration status such as DACA, TPS, refugee, asylee, etc. that provides them an employment authorization document (EAD) and who will not require employer sponsorship. The eligible EAD categories include: A02, A03, A05, A10, A11, A12, A16, A19, A20, C08, C09, C10, C14, C18, C19, C21, C25, C31, C33. TFA is unable to accept applicants on student, work, tourist or other visas/statuses that would require employer sponsorship.
The supports available will mirror the support TFA has been able to offer DACA recipients. To learn more, click on the DACA FAQs below.
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
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.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established by President Obama via executive action in June 2012 to provide temporary relief from deportation and two-year work permits to qualified young adults who were brought to the United States as children. DACA unlocked countless economic opportunities for roughly 800,000 young people, 700,000 of whom are in the workforce and pay income taxes. In addition to providing work permits, DACA allows young immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, get health insurance, open bank accounts, pay taxes, enroll in college, take out mortgages and car loans, and provide for their families.
As of July 16, 2021, a federal judge has ordered the U.S. federal government to stop approving initial DACA applications but has allowedrenewals can continue for now. On July 6,2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on this case. We continue to monitor updates as the litigation landscape evolves.
At this moment, there is no final decision on the future of DACA, and current DACA recipients are able to renew their protections and work authorizations. As such, we are continuing to recruit DACA recipients into the corps. We are committed to supporting DACA applicants through the application, corps member, and alumni experience.
Yes, DACA recipients who meet all other requirements are eligible to apply to Teach For America. At the time of your final interview, you must be able to provide proof of employment eligibility.
As a DACA recipient, you must have a social security number and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to meet the hiring requirements of our partner schools.
You can review regions that are currently able to accept DACA recipients above.
We do our best to place DACAmented corps members in their strongly preferred regions.
While DACA recipients are not eligible for AmeriCorps funding due to the federal program’s citizenship requirements, Teach For America does provide DACA recipients funding that matches AmeriCorps funding.
All 2023 TFA corps members will receive $5,000 in transitional funding support. Pell grant recipients, DACA recipients, and other eligible EAD holders in the 2023 corps will also be eligible for an additional $5,000 in financial support—for a total of $10,000.
The Corps Member Finances team will be able to help you apply for funding.
If your Employment Authorization Document is set to expire during your two-year commitment to the corps, we will provide legal and financial support.
The future of DACA remains uncertain. At Teach For America, we continue to monitor the most recent developments and remain steadfast in our commitment to our DACAmented educators and the undocumented students we serve.
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.