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Undocumented Student Resources – Federal & State Policies

Federal and State Policy Updates

USCIS: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

In compliance with an order of a United States District Court, effective December 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is:

  • Accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Accepting DACA renewal requests based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Accepting applications for advance parole documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to September 5, 2017, and in accordance with the Court’s December 4, 2020, order;
  • Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and
  • Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.

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In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students in VA

Effective July 1, 2020, more students will be eligible to establish in-state domicile—and pay in-state tuition rates—at Virginia universities, regardless of immigration status if they show all of the following:

  • The student attended a Virginia high school for at least two years;
  • The student either graduated (public school, private school, or homeschool) from a Virginia high school, or got a Virginia GED, on or after July 1, 2008;
  • Either the student or at least one parent/guardian has filed Virginia income taxes for the last two years; and
  • The student is enrolling in a public college or university in Virginia.

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Inter-state tuition agreements (ITAs)

Substantial hurdles remain for undocumented students to access and graduate from higher education institutions. These hurdles include being barred from enrolling in public institutions in three states (Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina) and facing restrictions on accessing in-state tuition in five more states (Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin).

Inter-state tuition agreements (ITAs) offer students, who would otherwise be charged out-of-state tuition, access to an in-state tuition rate or a discounted tuition rate in a participating state. In-state tuition rates have been shown to increase enrollment of undocumented students, though do not address all the challenges facing undocumented students in higher education.

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Virginia Driver Privilege Card

A driver privilege card is a driving credential for individuals who are non-US citizens and cannot meet Virginia’s legal presence requirements, making them ineligible to receive a standard or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in Virginia.

Beginning January 1, 2021 you may be eligible to obtain a driver privilege card if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a non-US citizen who is a resident of Virginia
  • You have reported income from Virginia sources or are claimed as a dependent on a tax return filed in Virginia in the past 12 months
  • Your driving privilege is not currently suspended or revoked in Virginia or any other state, to include insurance-related infractions.

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