Legislation and Policies

HB 60 (aka Acevedo Bill, In-State Tuition Bill):
Illinois House Bill 60 became law in May 2003. Under HB 60, undocumented students are considered Illinois residents to receive in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities as long as they meet certain criteria:

  • The student has lived with his or her parent or guardian while attending a public or private high school in Illinois.
  • The student graduated from a public or private high school in Illinois or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Illinois.
  • The student attended at least three (3) years of high school in Illinois prior to their high school graduation date or the date they received a high school diploma equivalent.
  • The student registers as an entering student no earlier than the 2003 fall semester.
  • The student provides the university with an affidavit stating that the student will file an application to become a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States as soon as the student is eligible to do so.
  • All undocumented students who wish to receive in-state tuition rates at UIUC must submit Official High School Transcripts as well as sign an Affidavit attesting that they meet the above-mentioned criteria and return the Affidavit to the Office of the Registrar.

The RISE Act:
The Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act was signed into law June 21, 2019 by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The RISE Act makes undocumented students who are Illinois residents and not otherwise eligible for federal financial aid eligible for state financial aid and benefits at public institutions in Illinois, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This state aid includes Illinois MAP grants as well as other institutional aid including, but not limited to, scholarships, grants, awards, stipends, room and board assistance, tuition waivers, or other financial or in-kind assistance.

IL Dream Act:
The Illinois Dream Act was signed into law on August 1, 2011 by Governor Pat Quinn. Illinois is the first state in the United States to create a private scholarship fund for undocumented students, and this law makes scholarships, college savings, and prepaid tuition programs available to undocumented students who graduate from Illinois high schools. It also allowed for the creation of the Illinois Dream Fund and the Illinois Dream Fund Commission who are actively seeking funds to award more scholarships and funding opportunities to undocumented students in Illinois.

Through administrative relief, DACA was established on June 15, 2012 to provide protection to qualifying individuals who entered the United States as children. Deferred action means to defer removal or deportation of these individuals from the United States. Mainly, qualifying individuals will be granted protection from deportation for two years, subject to renewal, and be eligible for work permit.

Individuals may be eligible for DACA if they meet the following requirements:

  • They were in the United States before turning 16 years old;
  • They were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
  • They were physically present on June 15, 2012 and on the day that they submit their application;
  • They have continuously lived in the United States from June 15, 2007 until the present;
  • They entered the United States without documents before June 15, 2012 or their lawful immigration status expired before June 15, 2012;
  • They are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a high school equivalency certificate (GED) or have been honorably discharged from the United States Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and
  • They have not been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors, or three other misdemeanors.

Please note: DACA does not provide a path to citizenship. The federal DREAM Act, which would help create a path to citizenship for individuals who meet certain requirements similar to DACA, has not passed even after being put up for a vote several times since its inception. You should consult with an attorney if you have had any contact with law enforcement or immigration authorities.

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program was announced on November 20, 2014 to allow certain undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010 to request deferred action and temporary employment authorization. Through DAPA, qualifying parents would be protected from deportation and granted a work permit. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently not accepting applications. There is a current suspension of this program due to a 2016 Supreme Court decision. Even if you are eligible, you cannot apply.

Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License (TVDL) in IL:
Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs) are driver’s licenses issued by the State of Illinois to non-citizens of the United States who are ineligible for a Social Security number and who are temporarily living in the state. These licenses would allow people like foreign students, spouses and children of temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants to drive legally in Illinois. The TVDLs are visually distinct as they are purple and marked with the phrase “not for identification.” A holder cannot use the TVDL license to board an airplane, register to vote, enter a federal government building, or apply for a Firearm Owner Identification card.