undocumented/illegal status: Student in the US, possible?

  1. Have anyone heard of California's AB 540 law? Read about it here FAQ of AB540

    Basically undcomented immigrants can go to school with in state tuition as long as they attended a california High school for 3 years and graduated. I know New York has the same law but probably under a different name.

    What if you're trying to get an RN degree by steps, like LVN/LPN first then Associate Degree Nursing, then Bachelor's degree, all under the AB 540 law. And if, for example, you finished the LVN or the Associate and wanted to work while going for the BSN, how is it possible to WORK?? The AB 540 doesn't say anything about working student. Can anyone shed some information on this? Thanks in advance.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   RN BSN 2009
    Maybe possibly find an employer that would be willing to help you adjust status? I've never heard of this law
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    I read the link that you posted, and it was very clear...you have to APPLY for legal status to stay in this country before you are eligible for the tuition benefits it describes.

    The reason it doesn't say anything about a working student is because it appears that the link you posted refers to getting an education and that is not associated in any way with working.

    You need to be legally working in the USA to make sure that anything you pay into social security is accounted for lifetime earnings, and any rights you may have in regards to unemployment should you lose your job.

    Getting paid "off the books" does have disadvantages.

    You are not going to be able to work in the USA legally until you get the proper paperwork to do so, and because of the nature of hospital work, background checks , etc...there may or may not be more stringent requirements for those that are majoring in the healthcare fields. The college would best be able to answer those questions.

    My advice is to find an immigration lawyer and start the process immediately to becoming a legal resident. Hospitals will not under any circumstance, hire anyone without the proper legal authority to do so.
  5. by   suzanne4
    Quote from confuzhn
    Have anyone heard of California's AB 540 law? Read about it here FAQ of AB540

    Basically undcomented immigrants can go to school with in state tuition as long as they attended a california High school for 3 years and graduated. I know New York has the same law but probably under a different name.

    What if you're trying to get an RN degree by steps, like LVN/LPN first then Associate Degree Nursing, then Bachelor's degree, all under the AB 540 law. And if, for example, you finished the LVN or the Associate and wanted to work while going for the BSN, how is it possible to WORK?? The AB 540 doesn't say anything about working student. Can anyone shed some information on this? Thanks in advance.

    This does not pertain to you. You did not come to the US as a child with your family and that is what this is geared towards.

    Please take the time to do things legally or it will turn around and bite you on the butt. Your best bet would be to complete your education in your country, and then come here as an RN.

    On a student visa, you need to show proof that you have the funds for the tuition, as well as living expenses, and therefore it is not as easy to get a student visa to the US from many countries. As a student, you cannot work while in school initially, later on under the RN program, you can get the CPT, which will let you work up to 20 hours per week, but that is to get training, not to cover your living expenses, it will not.

    And as the LPN, you cannot work legally...........you are looking for loop holes and we never recommend that.
  6. by   confuzhn
    Sorry i'm actually asking about the AB 540 for someone else I have a relative, went to the US at about 5 years old, have been undocumented all this time, left california in 2003 because there's obviously no way to go to school with no documents. Left cali without knowing about the AB 540, so now she wants to go back to cali and go to school under AB 540 (but then, the problem is she's barred from entering the US but IF a there's a miracle and she gets to go back, she'll be under b1/b2 which i understand that doesn't apply for AB540 either.

    so i guess she has to loose her b1/b2 once she gets there and purposely be illegal again just so that she'll be able to fall under ab540 (??). Uh, that doesn't good. I don't know what to recommend her anymore.

    About the LVN/LPN to BSN route questions (in the other thread), that's the one for me
  7. by   suzanne4
    The thing that you are overlooking is that she will not be able to get back into the US in the first place, so now way to come over illegally. She is out of the US, so it does not apply to her even if she could go back.

    She must produce a valid visa to even get on the plane to come here, and by overstaying for years, it will be almost impossible to get.

    If she left just as she became an adult, then she has a chance of getting another visa, but it would be easier if she went to nursing school in the Philippines and then applied for a green card. If she stayed after becoming of age, then she will not be able to get back for quite some time.
  8. by   confuzhn
    she left when she was 18.
  9. by   suzanne4
    If she left at 18, then she should not have a problem qualifying for a visa for the US, but the AB 540 would not apply as she left the US. So she would be starting over with initial application..................but since she left when she turned 18, she has a much better chance, and should not be barred. But that is based on the fact that she left on her own and was not deported.
  10. by   gneyda
    This question is an extended part of this topic:

    Can ab540 students be eligible for any Nursing Programs?
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from gneyda
    This question is an extended part of this topic:

    Can ab540 students be eligible for any Nursing Programs?
    The ADN and BSN programs I've taught in (not in California ...) did not have any special requirements (re: immigration status) any different from any other program in the college/university. I'm guessing that schools will be happy to let students attend school if they qualify otherwise (and collect the tuition $$$), and whether or not they'll legally be able to get licensed or work in the US after they graduate is the student's problem ...

    I used to teach in a BSN program that required criminal background checks of the students as part of the admission process -- but only because the clinical facilities we used insisted on it. They did not turn down otherwise-qualified students because of a criminal background, and did not even counsel these students that they could expect to have problems getting licensed and might want to clarify their status with the BON before they put the time and $$$ into going to nursing school -- their rationale for this was that that was the student's responsibility, not the school's. As long as they got that tuition money, they were happy ...
  12. by   suzanne4
    We have seen illegas attend nursing school, but then the issue becomes that they do not have a legal visa to adjust, so their is no adjusting their status when that is even available.

    And when they apply for licensure, they need to list a SSN#. Sure, if the nurse does not have one, then it means that they trained out of the US and are a foreign grad. But, and a very big but, if they have attended school here and do not have a SSN# after all of these years, then they are going to have quite a bit of explaining to do.

    It is one thing if the student attended school here for several years and then was ready to begin college or university, they at the age of 18 can apply for legal status as they had no control over things when they were broght to the US, but are aware that things need to be corrected, and usually they do not have any problems, and then can continue on with their studies and not have to worry.

    But when they are over 21 and have attended nursing school here, and we all know that it takes over three years to get thru it, then they are set up to be deported if picked up for any reason because they have known for years and did not make any attempts to get this corrected.

    They definitely will not be able to adjust their status here, and the only possibility is to leave the US and get petitioned thru Consular Processing out of the US.

    Sure, you always here of so and so had a friend that did such and such, but the fact remains that what was happening in the past with immigration no longer is the rule now. Being out of status can get one deported and for minimum of ten years before being able to get any type of visa to reenter the US, even if a family member is ill, there are no exceptions made to this by immigration.
  13. by   Destro16
    Quote from suzanne4
    This does not pertain to you. You did not come to the US as a child with your family and that is what this is geared towards.

    Please take the time to do things legally or it will turn around and bite you on the butt. Your best bet would be to complete your education in your country, and then come here as an RN.

    On a student visa, you need to show proof that you have the funds for the tuition, as well as living expenses, and therefore it is not as easy to get a student visa to the US from many countries. As a student, you cannot work while in school initially, later on under the RN program, you can get the CPT, which will let you work up to 20 hours per week, but that is to get training, not to cover your living expenses, it will not.

    And as the LPN, you cannot work legally...........you are looking for loop holes and we never recommend that.
    Hi Suzanne4,
    I have looked over many of the threads, pertaining to these immigration issues, offered on this site and have found your name popping up quite often. Thnx for all the useful info. I came across a situation that I think i already know the answer to but if i can bug you or anyone else for a reply, that would be at the very least reassuring.

    Here is the situation:
    Over stayed a tourist visa from the late 80s. Never left the States, and attended elementary and high school here in California. Went to college under AB 540. Attended nursing school and will graduate in a couple of weeks. Over the age of 21, have a SSN#, but no valid (gov't issued) identification.

    Question:
    This person cant even do their Live Scan can they? And if they cant do that, then no getting their IP, no sitting for the boards right? Even if an employer is willing to petition them under a H-1, would they even be qualified to be petitioned? Are there any other options to gain employment, sit for the boards, etc?

    Thnx to all for your time!
  14. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from Destro16
    Hi Suzanne4,
    I have looked over many of the threads, pertaining to these immigration issues, offered on this site and have found your name popping up quite often. Thnx for all the useful info. I came across a situation that I think i already know the answer to but if i can bug you or anyone else for a reply, that would be at the very least reassuring.

    Here is the situation:
    Over stayed a tourist visa from the late 80s. Never left the States, and attended elementary and high school here in California. Went to college under AB 540. Attended nursing school and will graduate in a couple of weeks. Over the age of 21, have a SSN#, but no valid (gov't issued) identification.

    Question:
    This person cant even do their Live Scan can they? And if they cant do that, then no getting their IP, no sitting for the boards right? Even if an employer is willing to petition them under a H-1, would they even be qualified to be petitioned? Are there any other options to gain employment, sit for the boards, etc?

    Thnx to all for your time!

    If they have an overstay in visa (which is what you indicate) then they really need to speak to a immigration lawyer who specialises in this because they have big issues and can not be sorted easily. They may have to consider leaving the country because if they get caught they will be looking at a 10 year ban

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