Immigrant Student Success Initiative

Immigrant Student Success Initiative

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      Immigrant Success

      Whether you have DACA, TPS or are undocumented, we value all students, period. From scholarship opportunities to finding community, the Immigrant Student Success Initiative is here for you with guidance and resources, regardless of your immigration status.

      Immigrant Student Success Liaisons

      CUNY colleges have designated staff to help you on campus. Guttman’s immigrant student success liaisons are here to help you with questions about scholarships, plan community events, advocate for our undocumented students and much more.

      Grizzlies Beyond Borders

      Career Pathways

      Depending on your immigrant status, you may have special strengths and face unique challenges in your career journey. The Immigrant Student Success Initiative hosts valuable career planning events, provides important resources and encourages your networking journey.

      Obtaining an ITIN

      An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a powerful tool for undocumented immigrants. They can be obtained by any individual who is not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN). It does not offer work authorization. Some benefits include opening a bank account, filing and paying taxes, obtaining a home mortgage, pursing career opportunities via independent contracting, freelancing or starting a business and participating in paid internships and fellowships that are open to ITIN holders. Currently, the time to receive an ITIN after applying is approximately 2-3 months.

      Career Options for Undocumented Students

      Independent contractors/freelancers are self-employed and contracted to provide services for others as a non-employee. A contract signed by both parties clearly defines the contractor’s pay duties, type of project, etc. You need an ITIN to provide services and pay taxes.

      Business owners are generally structured as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), using an ITIN or SSN. They have access to capital and business insurance, can hire employees and have a protected identity. There are over 823 undocumented entrepreneurs.

      Worker cooperatives are businesses structured as LLCs. Members own and manage the cooperative, which means they invest in the business and vote in decision making. The cooperative operates according to a set of principles.

      Disclosing your Status to Employers

      Throughout the job search and hiring process it is important to provide information that is true and authentic; however, you ultimately get to decide whether to share your status.


      Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) gives protection to certain people who entered the U.S. as children that meet guidelines set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If you have DACA, it allows you to apply for a driver’s license, social security number and work permit, and it offers deportation protection.

      Immigrant Success Students

      The Immigrant Student Success Initiative has helped me apply for valuable scholarships and provided access to the community pantry whenever I need it.

      – Derick Cacho

      Liberal Arts and Science

      Hotline available to anyone impacted by ICE raids:

      New York State (NYS): 800-566-7636
      Outside of NYS: 212-419-3737

      Call Monday-Friday 9 .am.-8 p.m. Calls are anonymous/confidential and are answered in different languages. Not affiliated with U.S. citizen and immigration service. No legal advice is offered.