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UPCOMING WORKSHOPS


Friday, Feb. 24th

10 a.m. -- 12 p.m. 

California Dream Act Information and Application Open Lab

Get hands-on help applying for financial aid!


Thursday, April 13th

2 p.m. -- 4 p.m.

Transfer Panel and Student Involvement

Meet and hear from successful transfer students!


Tuesday, May 9th

5 p.m. -  7 p.m.

Immigration Law

Learn about current immigration law and immigrant rights from an immigration attorney! Family members and firends are welcome.


Please meet in the EOPS office for each workshop.

 

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LAVC

AB 540 Information & Resources

 

"EOPS counselors and staff were and still are wonderful, their mission was not only to help students in their financial needs or educational plans but went beyond to understand me as a person. My experience with the program guided me, taught me, and helped me through my journey as an AB450 student."

 

Starting in 2013, students who qualify for AB 540 may be eligible for EOPS at Los Angeles Valley College. Provided they meet all EOPS eligibility criteria, students gain access to counselors, tutoring services, textbook service, workshops, priority registration, progress monitoring, and other services.


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ASSEMBLY BILL 540 (AB 540)

Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a California law, enacted in 2002, which allows non-resident students to pay in-state tuition fees for all California public colleges and universities, including Los Angeles Valley College, if they meet specified requirements. AB 540 can be the difference maker for a student who wants continue in higher education. For example, at current fees, an AB 540-eligible student would pay $552 for full time status in enrollment fees per semester; without AB 540, the same student would have to pay $3,468 in enrollment fees and required non-resident tuition fees.

How does a student become eligible for AB 540?

To qualify for resident tuition under AB 540, students must have:

  • Attended a California high school for at least three years
    • The required three years may be non-consecutive. For example, students may go to a California high school for 9th and 10th grade, go out of state for 11th grade and come back to California for 12th grade.
    • Although AB 540 requires three years in HS (as opposed to 2 years and 9 months, for example), a student may also qualify for the non-resident tuition exemption if they have attended a combination of elementary, middle, and/or high school in California for at least three years (see AB 2000 information below).
  • Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent of a high school diploma such as a High School Equivalency Certificate, issued by the California State GED Office or a Certificate of Proficiency, resulting from the California High School Proficiency Examination.
  • Enrolled at a California accredited public institution of higher education like Los Angeles Valley College
  • Filed an affidavit, required by the individual institution the students is attending, stating that he or she will apply for legal residency as soon as he or she becomes eligible

It’s important to note that AB 540 does not qualify students for legal residency status or provide a path towards an immigration status change.

How can a student apply for AB 540 at Los Angeles Valley College?

Provided all AB 540 eligibility criteria is met, a student must do the following after having enrolled in classes at Los Angeles Valley College to qualify for in-state tuition under AB 540:

  • Submit a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form, also known as the AB 540 affidavit, to the Admissions & Records office on campus (the form may be accessed here)
  • Additional documentation to prove that AB 540 eligibility criteria has been met may be required by the Admissions & Records office.

Students are only required to submit these documents once throughout their enrollment at Los Angeles Valley College. However, if a student decides to attend another college, it’s important to keep in mind that a student must apply for AB 540 at each college of enrollment separately. Students should contact the Admissions Office at the college they intend to attend for information, as each institution may have different procedures for filling out and/or timelines for submitting the AB 540 Affidavit or other required documentation.


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CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT (AB 130 & AB 131)

Assembly Bills 130 & 131 (AB 130 & AB 131), which combined are commonly referred to as the California Dream Act, were signed into law in 2011 and came into effect in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Together, they allow students who are eligible for AB540 to qualify for privately-funded scholarships (AB 130) and also for state-funded financial aid programs (AB 131). At LA Valley College, as a result of the California Dream Act, students may now be eligible for the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver, Cal Grants, Chafee Grant, and Foundation Scholarships, assuming they meet any other eligibility criteria necessary.

It’s important to note that the California Dream Act only affects eligibility for state aid and does not change a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid or federally-funded programs.

How does a student apply for the CA Dream Act?

To fully take advantage of the California Dream Act, students must:

  • Ensure that AB540 eligibility is met and that an AB 540 affidavit has been processed with the Admissions and Records office at LA Valley College.
  • Complete the CA Dream Act application at www.caldreamact.org.
    • Students must complete the application by March 2nd every year to qualify for Cal Grant.
    • Even after March 2nd, a student can and should still complete the CA Dream Act application to ensure maximum eligibility for state aid, as there may be other forms of aid available.
    • At LA Valley College, a student may qualify for Cal Grant as long as they complete the CA Dream Act application within a year of H.S. graduation. However, it is recommended that all AB 540-eligible students complete the application regardless of when they graduated from H.S.
    • If a student does not qualify for Cal Grant while attending LA Valley College, they may still be eligible for Cal Grant at the time they transfer to a university. It is important to complete the CA Dream Act application every year.
  • Complete the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver application
    • Also referred to as the BOG Fee Waiver, this type of state aid allows eligible students to have their enrollment fees waived.
    • Although students can apply for it separately, they may also be awarded the BOG Fee Waiver by completing the CA Dream Act application, if eligible.
    • If applying separately, the BOG Fee Waiver application must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office on campus. The current year's form may be accessed here
  • Visit The Foundation website at www.lavcfoundation.org for information about scholarships that may be available to LA Valley College students.

What are some myths and facts about the CA Dream Act?

  • Myth: If I qualify for the CA Dream Act, I should fill out the FAFSA to get financial aid.
    • Fact: Students who qualify for the CA Dream Act need to complete the CA Dream Application. The FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, needs to be completed by U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens only.
  • Myth:  Qualifying for the CA Dream Act provides a path to U.S. permanent residence or U.S. citizenship.
    • Fact: The CA Dream Act only affects eligibility for financial aid in California higher education. It does not affect eligibility for an adjustment of immigration status. However, a student who qualifies for the CA Dream Act may also, if eligibility criteria is met, qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which may grant certain temporary benefits. Legal consultation is advised.
  • Myth: Applying for or receiving financial aid through the CA Dream Act negatively impacts my ability to adjust my immigration status.
    • Fact: As long as all eligibility criteria is met, students can qualify for the CA Dream Act, regardless of an immigration process they may go through in the future, which may still be done successfully. Students should consult an attorney for other factors that may affect eligibility for status adjustment.

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RESOURCES

The following are potential resources for students who qualify for AB 540 and/or who may be undocumented.

Transfer Support

  • CSUN
    • Dreams to be Heard
      • Also known as D2BH, Dreams to be Heard is a student-run organization at CSU Northridge that “strives to provide a support system for AB-540 or any students who are struggling to reach their higher educational goals and to educate students and faculty about the AB-540 legislation.”
      • You can learn more about Dreams to be Heard by vising their Facebook here.
    • The DREAM Project
      • The DREAM Project “aims to increase student success and foster an undocumented student-receptive culture at CSUN” by way of raising awareness about programs and resources available, developing literacy about policies affecting undocumented students, enhancing leadership and professional development on campus, increasing on-campus job opportunities, and facilitating partnerships between undocumented, peers, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members.
      • For more information, you can contact CSUN’s DREAM Project by calling 818.677.7069 or emailing Dario Fernandez at dario.fernandez@csun.edu or visiting their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CSUNDreamCenter. You can also email them at dreamcenter@csun.edu
    • Dreams Alliance
      • Dreams Alliance is a coalition of CSUN faculty, staff, students, and alumni that looks to provide support to, advocate for, and raise awareness on campus about issues pertaining undocumented students.
    • EOP AB 540 Initiative
      • Within CSUN’s Student Services Center/EOP Satellites, the EOP AB 540 Initiative aims to provide support to AB 540-eligible students as well as raise awareness of needs and challenges of AB 540 students at CSUN.
      • To learn more about and find contact information for CSUN’s EOP AB 540 Initiative, please go to http://www.csun.edu/csun-eop/ab-540-initiative
  • UCLA
    • IDEAS of UCLA
      • Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success (IDEAS) is a student organization at UC Los Angeles that aims to empower and provide support and resources to the undocumented student population while raising awareness across campus and the community about the issues of immigrant youth. To learn more about IDEAS, please go to www.ideasla.org (website currently under construction)
    • The AB 540 Project
      • The AB 540 Project is a branch of IDEAS whose “mission is to inform and educate undocumented high school and community college students about AB540 and other resources available in their pursuit of higher education” through mentoring, workshops, and community events. For more information, please go to www.facebook.com/ab540.project
    • The Bruins Center’s Undocumented Student Program
      • The Undocumented Student Program (USP) within UCLA’s Bruin Center “supports undocumented students by providing caring, personalized services and resources that enable students to reach their highest potential.”
      • For more information, please visit the USP website at http://www.usp.ucla.edu/ or email them at usp@saonet.ucla.edu or call them at 310-206-2980 or 310-794-2544.
    • CCCP’s summer programs
      • The Center for Community College Partnerships (CCCP) develops and strengthens academic partnerships between UCLA and California community colleges. Through their summer programs, of which they have residential and commuter programs, students learn to navigate the community college system to successfully transfer to the University of California. Specifically for undocumented students, CCCP offers the UNDOCU-SITE program, which serves to empower AB 540-eligible and undocumented community college current or prospective students.
  • Other universities
    • For students who wish to transfer to other UC or CSU universities, students are encouraged to contact schools directly, as a growing number of colleges and universities are developing specified centers for which the purpose is to provide support to undocumented students. Additionally, many campuses also have student support available through student-run organizations. Other than CSUN and UCLA, universities around Los Angeles Valley College that have either a Dream Resource Center (or something similar) or a student club/organization include CSULA, CSULB, CSUDH, and CSUF, among others. Moreover, although AB 540 only applies to public colleges and universities, there may also be support available for undocumented students at private institutions in the form of scholarships, designated staff, and other resources.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • www.caldreamact.org
    • This site provides helpful information to assist students in the process of applying for student aid in California. It is also where students can fill out and submit the online CA Dream Act Application. Remember the application needs to be completed every year by March 2nd.

 

 

  • California Dream Loan Program or Dream Loan
    • Starting in the 2015-2016 academic year, the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems can provide AB 540-eligible students the opportunity to borrow a loan to help cover educational expenses.
    • The Dream Loan’s interest rate matches the then-current interest rates under the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan program.
    • The Dream Loan is not available at LA Valley College; however, interested students may qualify for the loan upon transferring to a UC or CSU university.
    • To apply for the Dream Loan, students must complete the California Dream Act application for the year for which they want to be considered for the loan.

 

Community Organizations

 

Non-Profit and Low Cost Legal Referrals

Organization

Address

Phone

Website

APALC

(Asian Pacific American Legal Center)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles

1145 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90017

 

(213) 977-7500

www.apalc.org

 

http://advancingjustice-la.org//

CARECEN

(Central American Resource Center)

2845 W. Seventh St.

Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

(213) 385-7800

www.carecen-la.org

CHIRLA

(Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles)

2533 W. 3rd St. Suite 101

Los Angeles, CA 90057

(213) 353-1333

(888) 6CHIRLA

 

www.chirla.org

KRC

(Korean Resource Center)

900 S. Crenshaw Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

(323) 937-3718

www.krcla.org

L.A. County Bar Immigration Project

1055 West Seventh Street, Suite 2700
Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 627-2727

www.lacba.org

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

1102 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

(323) 801-7991

www.lafla.org

MALDEF

(Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund)

634 S. Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 629-2512

www.maldef.org

National Immigration Law Center

3435 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90010

(213) 639-3900

 

www.nilc.org

NAKASEC

(National Korean American Service & Education Consortium)

900 S. Crenshaw Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

(323) 937-3703

www.nakasec.org

Public Counsel Law Center

610 S. Ardmore Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90005

(213) 385-2977

www.publiccounsel.org

SALEF

(Salvadoran American Leadership & Educational Fund)

1625 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 718

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 480-1052

www.salef.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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ADDITIONAL RELEVANT LEGISLATION

In addition to AB 540 and the CA Dream Act, there are other pieces of legislation or federal executive orders that may benefit undocumented immigrants in California. Below you can find a brief overview of some of these; however, these notes are not designed to carry any legal weight and are only meant as a summary to be used for reference purposes. It is recommended that prospective applicants consult with an immigration attorney as needed to verify eligibility and to discuss the potential impact of these laws or executive orders to their individual cases.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

In June of 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children would be able to request consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (most commonly referred to as DACA), which, upon meeting specified guidelines, would provide the following to those who qualify:

  • Social Security Number
  • Protection from deportation for two years (process is subject to renewal thereafter)
    • U.S. government will not pursue action of deportation or start deportation proceedings against eligible individuals
  • Work authorization
  • Driver’s License (in California; not all states allow for this)
  • Travel abroad
    • Under certain conditions and only if one applies and receives advance parole from USCIS
    • May not be recommended based on current immigration laws as traveling outside of the U.S. may be grounds for inadmissibility
    • Legal consultation is advised to determine if this is applicable or favorable to an individual’s case

DACA is not:

  • A law
    • It is only a policy enforcement change
  • Guaranteed
    • An application for consideration must be submitted for review and approval
  • Permanent
    • If granted, the application can submitted for review for renewal every two years
  • Transferrable
    • It only applies to eligible individuals and not family members
  • A Permanent Resident Card (also referred to as a Green Card)
    • Approval of DACA is not indicative nor does it lead to legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship

DACA Eligibility

To qualify for DACA, an individual must:

  • Have entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012 or have lawful immigration status expired as of that date;
  • Have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Have arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16;
  • Be at least 15 years of age at time of filing (or younger if currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order);
  • Have lived in the U.S. continuously for five years prior to June 15, 2012 (i.e., between 06.15.07 and 06.15.12)
  • Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • Be currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

The total cost to apply for DACA is currently $465, which includes $380 for the work authorization petition plus $85 for a required Biometrics appointment. To apply for DACA and for more information, please go to www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals

Assembly Bill 2000 (AB 2000)

Passed in 2014, this California law expands the definition of students who may qualify for AB 540. It allows a student to qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition in accordance to AB 540 either by high school attendance in California for 3 or more years or by either elementary or secondary school attendance, or both, in California for a total of 3 or more years and attainment of credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to 3 or more years of full-time high school coursework, in addition to the other eligibility criteria for AB 540.

Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60)

Signed into law in 2013, AB 60 allows individuals who are unable to provide satisfactory proof of legal residence in the United States to qualify for a California Driver License provided they meet all other qualifications for licensure and must provide satisfactory proof of identity and California residency. For more information, please go to https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/ab60

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)

Also known as Deferred Action for Parent Accountability (DAPA), this executive action announced by President Barack Obama in 2014 is currently on hold due to a federal court order. It would allow parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks. For more information, please go to www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction

DACA + or Extended DACA

Extended DACA or DACA + refers to an executive action announced by President Barack Obama in 2014 that would expand the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years. However, due to a federal court order, this program is currently on hold. For more information, please go to www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction

Senate Bill 1159 (SB 1159)

Signed into law in 2014, this California law requires all licensing boards within the California Department of Consumer Affairs to consider licensure applicants regardless of immigration status. It prohibits licensing boards from denying licensure to an applicant based on his or her citizenship status or immigration status. Individuals would be allowed to apply for a professional license in professions such as social work, law, medicine, nursing, and cosmetology, among others, by providing a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) when applying for licensure. For a list of the licensing boards under the California Department of Consumer Affairs, please go to http://www.dca.ca.gov/about_dca/entities.shtml

Healthcare Information

Currently, there is no comprehensive legislation allowing all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to qualify for healthcare. However, in California, it is possible for certain individuals who meet all other eligibility criteria to qualify for full-scope or limited Medi-Cal benefits regardless of immigration status. For example, as a result of Senate Bill 75 (SB 75), children under 19 years of age may now qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits. Additionally, according to Title 22 in the California Code of Regulations ((CCR) § 50301.3(l)), DACA recipients may also qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits in California. For more information, please go to www.dhcs.ca.gov.

Undocumented immigrants in California who are not eligible under SB 75 or who are not DACA recipients can still qualify for Limited / Emergency Medi-Cal, which covers treatment directly related to an emergency medical condition and inpatient or outpatient diagnostic services. For more information, please go to http://undocumentedanduninsured.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/How-To-Enroll-in-Medi-Cal-DACA-v2.pdf.

Receipt of medical public benefits does not automatically affect an individual’s ability to adjust his or her immigration status; unless you are in a nursing home, a mental health institution, or are receiving long-term care, the use of public health programs or health services will not affect your immigration status.