Are undocumented students eligible for term-time employment?

Undocumented students who fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
  2. Came to the United States before the age of 16.
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 to the present.
  4. Physically present on June 15, 2012.
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012.
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated high school or obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

May qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While the application process can be lengthy, averaging three months, the result of being approved is the receipt of a two-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD). With this document, undocumented students should be eligible for most jobs at Harvard (except those that explicitly state otherwise).

More information about DACA can be found on the USCIS website ( In order to apply for consideration, two forms must be filed: I-821D: Consideration for Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals and I-765: Application for Employment Authorization. Instructions for each form are contained on the links provided.

The total fee for the process is $385 (I-765) + $85 (Biometrics) = $465.

Those who have already received their EAD and are seeking employment should apply as a normal individual, making sure to file their I-9 and FNIF.

Undocumented students approved for DACA and who have received their EAD are eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Office (SSA). According to the Social Security Administration students need only present some form of ID, such as a Foreign Passport or Birth Certificate, and their EAD in order to verify their identity and legal presence.

The form necessary to apply for a Social Card  is SS-5: Application for a Social Security Card. Note that this application and the required documentation must be presented in person at your nearest Social Security Administration office.

For those not approved for DACA, there are multiple opportunities to generate term time income. These opportunities pay students through stipends, grants, scholarships and cash awards. They include:

  • The Harvard Crimson: offers a scholarship program for students who receive financial aid. Students may apply for The Crimson’s financial aid program after successfully completing a semester-long comp process. The program requires that the student remain an active editor for The Crimson by working 10+ hours per week.
  • Harvard College Research Program: HCRP provides funding for students engaged in research during the academic term. More information about the HCRP can be found at the Student Employment Office website.
  • Tutoring: Students can find private tutoring opportunities through the Student Employment Office website, or through their house/extracurricular mailing lists.
  • Center for Public Interest Careers: CPIC selects 15 students each spring to serve as student representatives to the Yard and Houses. These students are paid a stipend of $300 per semester for working a total of 30 hours organizing study breaks and holding office hours for students interested in fellowships and jobs in public service.
  • Odd Jobs: People in the Harvard community are always looking for a reliable baby-sitters, an extra hand with house chores, etc. Requests for these positions are usually sent out via house lists or through House administrators.
  • Melon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship: The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF) selects ten students in their sophomore year to join a tightly-knit research community during junior and senior years to conduct independent research in close collaboration with a faculty mentor and attend monthly seminar meetings with twenty other fellows. Fellows are paid a monthly stipend of $300 each month for two years and qualify for up to $4000 of funding for summer research projects.