Are undocumented persons eligible to apply? (Additional Information)

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians. In June 2018, we launched All For NC: ZSR’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning. One of the new initiatives that is part of that Framework is the All For NC Fellowship.

The Fellowship is designed to support North Carolina residents ages 21 to 35 who have bold ideas. We know there are throngs of young people from all walks of life who are contributing to our state and have ideas about how to make it better. However, the Foundation is legally prohibited from supporting undocumented individuals within the All For NC Fellowship. We acknowledge that this exclusion is at odds with ZSR’s desire to be open and accessible to all, but federal law does not permit the Foundation to support Fellows who do not have legal status (3), or legal presence (4), or the right to work (5) in the United States. Within those restrictions, however, anyone can apply to be a Fellow.

Immigrants with legal status/presence/the right to work in the US, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, are eligible for the fellowship. If you have any questions about immigration as it relates to the All For NC Fellowship, please contact


(3) The term "People with legal status" includes, without limitation, US citizens, legal permanent residents, individuals with temporary work visas (there are many), individuals granted asylum, individuals granted status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U Visa status, S Visa Status, T Visa Status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Fiancé Visa status, Students, Exchange Visitors, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and in most cases the family members (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) of those just listed.

(4) The term "Individuals granted legal presence" includes many but not all individuals who are applying for the above immigration benefits. (Exceptions would include individuals seeking permanent resident status, but who cannot file for Adjustment of Status -- i.e., the process for finishing the green card case in the US -- but instead must leave the US and consular process. Such individuals who are consular processing would need an independent grant of work permission.) “Individuals granted legal presence” also recipients of DACA, as well as individuals who, at the end of a removal case, have been granted Withholding of Removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. These latter individuals also have permission to remain in the US until DHS re-opens the case on proof that country conditions have changed; they also have the right to file for a work permit. Individuals with removal cases that have been administratively closed also have been granted legal presence; i.e., the removal case is simply not pursued by DHS, but they may not have the right to work.

(5) All individuals in removal/deportation proceedings are required to remain in the US for the duration of their removal cases, but not all have the right to work. Those who do have the right to work incident to a removal case include individuals who have filed the defense of Cancellation of Removal, or who have filed a defensive asylum claim. How soon the person receives the right to work will vary (it is much quicker for a person filing for Cancellation of Removal than for a person using asylum as a defense) depending on the nature of the defense and when the defense is submitted in court.