Dream Center

Legal Services


Direct immigration legal services are available free of charge to CSU Northridge students, faculty, staff and immediate family. An immigration attorney is onsite on a weekly basis for general immigration related consultations. The legal services provided focus primarily on DACA renewals and general assistance in filling out immigration forms, such as family-based petitions.

Funding for the services is provided by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in collaboration with the CSU Chancellor's Office. Legal services are provided by the Central American Resource Center of Los Angeles (CARECEN).

Founded in 1983, CARECEN, is the largest Central American immigrant rights organization in the country; it empowers Central Americans and all immigrants by defending human and civil rights, working for social and economic justice, and promoting cultural diversity.

Schedule a CARECEN Appointment

Preparing for Your Appointment

Confirmation Email

Please read the confirmation email sent immediately after booking the appointment (check spam/junk folder too). The email includes important instructions on how to prepare for the appointment, documents that need to be completed, and where to send the documents once completed. The email also includes a helpful video for those interested in Initial DACA.

Appointment Forms

Make sure your appointment forms are completely filled out. Please make sure everything is sent as an attachment and not part of the email’s body. All attachments should have all four corners of the document visible and writing on attachments should clear. We should be able to read the document.

Confidentiality During Your Appointment 

To ensure confidentiality, we recommend finding a private and quiet area for you to have your virtual appointment. We understand this is not available to everyone and there may be no room available for you to be in a private or quiet setting. If that is the case, we suggest using headphones. 

We know this can all seem intimidating, or you do not know your immigration information as well as your parents, but you and your case worker are the only ones allowed in the appointment, due to confidentiality standards and the ethical responsibilities of your attorney. Parents and others are not allowed to attend your appointment. Please do not put us on speaker or have your parents hiding behind the computer camera. Any questions you don’t know answers for, you can go and ask your parents and then come back to us.

Common Scheduling Concerns

Cancelling or Rescheduling Your Appointment

To open up time slots, please take the time to cancel or reschedule your appointment if necessary. This makes the slot you no longer need available for someone else. When you do not cancel the appointment you no longer need, you are preventing someone else from being able to be helped at that time. Instructions to reschedule can be found in your confirmation email.

Booking Multiple Appointments

Please do not book multiple appointments unless your case worker asked for you to do so. If you did, please choose who you would like to have your appointment with and cancel the other. You can cancel by going back to the confirmation email for instructions on how to do so.

Appointments for CSUN Alumni

CARECEN is not able to assist alumni as a part of the CSU Project. If you are an alumnus/alumna, you will be referred out to the main organization, which may have service fees. The CSU Project only offers services for current students, faculty and staff, and their immediate family members (parents, spouses, children, and siblings only). To book an appointment with the main organization, please call 213-385-7800 ext. 122. Leave a voicemail if needed and someone will call you back as soon as possible.

CARECEN services at the DREAM Center are only available for current CSU-affiliated individuals (student, staff, faculty) and their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children).

For information about community legal services for non-CSU affiliated individuals or extended relatives, visit the California Department of Social Services Immigration Services webpage.

Student Legal Support Clinic

The Student Legal Support Clinic is a unique collaboration between CSUN, Associated Students and Southwestern Law School’s Community Lawyering Clinic that offers a variety of immigration legal services for CSUN Students. The services available to you include consultations, information about legal rights, referrals to reputable pro-bono or low-cost legal services and legal empowerment workshops. For guidance and services related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Adjustment of Status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Violence against Women Act (VAWA), U visa, Naturalization Services and more, you can make an appointment with the Student Legal Support Clinic.