Sunday, July 14, 2024

Does Applying For Food Stamps Affect Immigration

Will Receiving Snap Benefits Hurt My Immigration Status

Temporary order to affect immigrants’ ability to apply for food stamps

ALERT: Many of the rules in the SNAPAdvocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 & DTA benefits page: until further notice for more information about changes.

The public charge test has been part of federal immigration law for decades. It is designed to identify people who may depend on government benefits as their main source of support. If the government determines someone is likely to become a public charge, the government can deny admission to the U.S. or refuse an application for lawful permanent residency .

In August 2019, the Trump Administration announced a rule that would change longstanding public charge policy. The rule would redefine public charge to include not only immigrants who receive cash benefits or need long-term care, but also people with disabilities, those deemed to have limited earning potential, and participants in many safety net programs used by millions of working Americans. It would make it much easier to shut out anyone earning less than 250% of the federal poverty line . The rule is not retroactive. This means that the new changes will not be used by immigration officials until after the rule goes into effect. Further, multiple lawsuits have been filed to stop the rule.

We encourage you to consult the below resources and learn the facts before you stop any important benefits like SNAP – that help you and your family stay healthy.

Is Information About Sponsorship Required As A Component Of Applying For Snap Financial Assistance Child Care Or Medicaid

Yes, in some situations it may be required for you to provide information about the sponsorship to determine your eligibility for the programs you have applied for. Each program has different requirements for sponsorship. However, in many cases, it may be determined that you are exempt from providing sponsorship information, such as having 10 years of work history or meeting certain immigration statuses.

Will Snap Hurt My Chances Of Getting A Green Card Or Becoming A Citizen

No. SNAP will not affect your chances of getting a green card or becoming a US citizen.SNAP is not “cash assistance benefits”.

See the “public charge” information on the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services website and the joint letter from the United States Food and Nutrition Service and Department of Homeland Security.

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Issues That Will Affect Your Us Citizenship Application

By FindLaw Staff | Reviewed by Maddy Teka, Esq. | Last updated May 07, 2020

Applications for U.S. citizenship can be denied for a variety of reasons. While the naturalization process can be long and confusing, it is helpful if green card holders seeking citizenship are aware of the following four common application issues and how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services addresses them.

What Can I Purchase With Snap

Shocking! U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Leaflet Encourages Illegal ...

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , has strict rules and regulations in place regarding the use of SNAP benefits. Allowable food purchases are very specific.

A detailed list of items that may be purchased with SNAP benefits can be found at .

Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:

Foods for the household to eat, such as, but not limited to:

  • Breads and cereals
  • Household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines

Read Also: How Do I Apply For Food Stamps In Florida

How Will My Personal Information Be Used

Your personal information is protected and only used to determine your eligibility for benefits. Federal and state laws protect the privacy of people who apply for and receive CalFresh. If you are applying for benefits only for another person in your family or household, you do not have to share your immigration status with CalFresh. Our office may share information with other government agencies only to determine your eligibility for benefits, with limited exceptions.

How Can I Know If I Might Be Eligible For Snap

To find out if you may be eligible for SNAP Benefits, visit and click on Am I Eligible? to use the SNAP pre-screening eligibility tool. Please note: The pre-screening tool is not an application for SNAP. The tool will look at the information you provided to see if you might be able to get help with buying food and other services. You’ll have to apply for the programs listed to get a final decision about benefits, and information will be provided to let you know how to do that. Keep in mind that you always have the right to apply for these benefits.

In New York State, the SNAP Program now allows you to have more money in a checking or savings account, or even a retirement account, without affecting your eligibility for SNAP benefits. As of January 1, 2008, most households applying for SNAP benefits no longer have to pass a savings/resource test in order to get SNAP benefits. This means having money in a savings, checking or retirement account, or having other resources, will not keep you from being eligible for SNAP benefits, as long as you meet the income guidelines.

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Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women Infants And Children

Congress allows increased fruit and vegetable benefits. At present, WIC provides $9 for children and $11 for women monthly for fruits and vegetables. The American Rescue Plan Act makes funding available for a four-month increase in the benefit of up to $35 monthly, if a state chooses to do so.

DOH attains waiver allowing remote issuance: Department of Health obtained a waiver of the requirement that participants pick up their EBT cards in person at recertification or during nutritional education appointments.

âWIC participants allowed to substitute certain food. Under a waiver from USDA, WIC participants in Florida are allowed to substitute milk of any available fat content and whole wheat or whole grain bread in package sizes up to 24 oz. when 16 oz. packages are unavailable.

âUSDA waived physical presence requirements: Although the scope and logistics are unclear at this time, USDA has given DOH permission to waive the requirement that persons be physically present at each certification or recertification determination in order to determine eligibility under the program through May 31, 2020.

USDA extends certification periods through May 31, 2020, for some participants.

For a list of current WIC waivers for Florida from USDA, go here.

HHS provides guidance. HHS has issued guidance on the flexibilities in TANF to respond to COVID-19.

Mobile app deployed. DEO has deployed a mobile app for RA applications.

For DEOâs latest claims data, go here.

What To Do If You Have Received Public Benefits And Wish To Naturalize

New rules can deny green cards for immigrants on food stamps

If you have ever received public benefits in the U.S., and think you might have done so when you shouldn’t have, talk to an attorney.The attorney can check your records and see whether you received the benefits legally, then analyze whether you still qualify for U.S. citizenship.

If you did not receive public benefits illegally or improperly, however, your receipt of public benefits will not affect your chances of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. Again, financial need alone does not reflect on your moral character.

Read Also: How Do I Renew My Food Stamps Online

How Do I Go About Getting Snap

If you want to find out if you may be eligible to receive SNAP, visit and click on Am I Eligible? to use the SNAP pre-screening eligibility tool. Please note: This pre-screening tool is not an application for SNAP.

In order to apply for SNAP, you need to file an electronic or paper application with your local county Department of Social Services, or, if you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, with your local SNAP Center.

If you decide to submit a paper application, the SNAP office must give you an application form on the same day you ask for one. The office also must accept and register your application on the same day you turn it in.

You may submit, and the SNAP office must accept, your application as long as you have filled in your name, address and telephone number and signed the application. However, you should try to provide as much information as you can. Whatever information you cannot provide, a SNAP worker can help you complete at your eligibility interview.

You may have a complete eligibility interview done on the same day you file your application, or you may be asked to come back another day for a complete interview. If you qualify for SNAP, you must get them no later than 30 days from the date the office got your application.

Calfresh Eligibility For Immigrants

Who qualifies?

Legal permanent residents, qualified immigrants, victims of trafficking, and U visa applicants and holders may be eligible for CalFresh. Visit The California Guide to Food Benefits for more information on which immigrant groups can qualify.

Even if a household has members who cannot get CalFresh, it is possible that others may qualify.

The income guidelines chart does not apply to households with mixed immigration status. This calculator can help.

Frequently asked questions about CalFresh and immigrants

Will using CalFresh hurt my immigration status?No. Using CalFresh will not hurt your chances of getting a green card or gaining citizenship. For more information, please see this flyer .

Will I be considered a public charge if I use CalFresh? No. The United States Citizen and Immigration Service does not consider people using CalFresh to be public charges. Using food programs like CalFresh, WIC, and school meals will not affect your immigration status. For more information, please see this letter .

Will my children or I have to pay back the CalFresh I get?You and your children will never have to pay back CalFresh benefits you were eligible to receive.

Will my children be taken away if I apply for CalFresh?No. Applying for CalFresh is a good way to make sure your childrens nutrition needs are met.

Will I be deported if I apply for CalFresh for my children?No. CalFresh does not share your information with immigration authorities.

Recommended Reading: Food Stamps And Medicaid Phone Number

What If I Was Sponsored By A Relative

Some immigrants get their LPR status through a family member who may have signed a contract agreeing to support them. If your family member who sponsored you provides you with regular income, this income will count in determining your benefits, along with any other income you have. If you are low income and your family member who sponsored you does not provide you with regular income, then their income does not count.

The same rules apply to LPRs who qualify for cash benefits .

Illegal Receipt Of Public Benefits Can Affect Your Eligibility For Naturalization

Food stamps, Section 8 could affect immigration application under proposal

If you have ever illegally received public benefits, or even owed but not paid back debts resulting from an overpayment of public benefits, this could cause USCIS to decide that you do not have “good moral character.” And this, in turn, will result in a denial of your application for naturalization.

It is possible that you received public benefits when you should not have, but do not even realize it.

For example, many U.S. government agencies that provide public assistance require that you let them know if you are going to be outside of the country for 30 days or more at a time. Under these circumstances, they will stop paying benefits. Since some people do not know about this requirement, they often receive benefits they are ineligible to receive because they are not in the United States.One example would be food stamps.

When you fill out your N-400 naturalization application, you will have to list your work history for the past five years. You will also have to list all of your international trips since receiving LPR status. Although it does not happen at every naturalization interview, it is possible that the immigration officer will review your travel and work history closely and see that you received public benefits at or around the same time that you were outside of the U.S. for 30 days or more. Then, the officer could ask you whether you stopped your public benefit payments during your long trip.

Read Also: Apply For Food Stamps Contra Costa County

What If Some People In My Household Qualify And Others Dont

It is common for a household to have some people who qualify and some who dont. Make sure to include everyone on your applicationCalFresh will only grant benefits to household members who qualify. Household member information is only used to determine eligibility for CalFresh. The CalFresh office is not allowed to share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement .

What Happens After I Submit My Application

After you submit your application, our office may reach out to you to schedule an interview. This interview is required to review the information you provided on your application. If you are missing any documents, our staff will let you know what to provide.

Know your rights! If a non-citizen in your home is not requesting benefits, we are not allowed to ask for proof of their immigration status. For example, a green card holder who is not applying for benefits for themselves should not be asked to provide their green card information.

Recommended Reading: Phone Number To Check Food Stamp Balance

Information For Noncitizens Applying For A Public Benefit

This page provides useful information to noncitizens regarding how the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program affects your application for public benefits. For foreign language versions of this page, please visit Multilingual Resources for Benefit Applicants.

If you are a noncitizen or naturalized citizen, a benefit-granting agency may verify your immigration status in the United States using the SAVE Program before granting you a state-issued drivers license, Social Security card, housing assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, or other public benefit. In order to access your immigration information through SAVE, a Federal, state, and local benefit-granting agency must have the legal authority to verify your immigration status and must enter into an agreement with the SAVE Program. SAVE only provides immigration status information to the agency for the purpose of determining whether you meet their eligibility requirements. It is the responsibility of the agency to follow the SAVE verification process and determine your eligibility for the benefit.

How Can I Get More Information

New rules can deny green cards for immigrants on food stamps

We strive to offer you the most up-to-date information, but policies can change. If you need help making the most informed decision for you and your family, call the Bay Area Legal Aid Free Advice Line at , Mondays and Thursdays,9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You can also visit

More about CalFresh: Visit our CalFresh web pages or call us at , 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Recommended Reading: Department Of Human Services Application For Food Stamps

Which Immigrants Can Get Calfresh

  • Is a green card holder
  • Has refugee status, asylum, or parolee status
  • Has, or is applying for, a U-Visa or T-Visa
  • Is an applicant for VAWA relief
  • Is a Cuban or Haitian entrant

An individual does not qualify for CalFresh if:

  • The person is here on a student, work, or tourist visa
  • The person is here under DACA
  • They are here under TPS, unless you meet the other qualifying factors
  • They are undocumented

Generally, non-citizens that are in the U.S. temporarily, such as students or tourists are not eligible just as undocumented individuals are not eligible.

However, people who are not eligible because of their immigration status can always apply for CalFresh on behalf of other household members, like US-born children.

If you dont see your immigration status on here, talk to a local expert on public benefits and immigration.

How Your Agency Verifies Your Immigration Status By Using Save

When you apply for a benefit at a government agency, you may be required to present the agency representative with documents that demonstrate your immigration status such as your Arrival/Departure Record , Permanent Resident Card , Employment Authorization Document or Foreign Passport and Visa. The agency will enter the information from your immigration document into the SAVE verification system. SAVE will then check your information against records in the Department of Homeland Security databases and respond electronically to the agency.

In more than 90% of cases, SAVE responds electronically to the agency with your immigration status within 3-5 seconds and no additional information is needed. However, in a few cases SAVE may request that the agency provide more information from you.

Also Check: Apply For Food Stamps Philadelphia Pa

Calfresh For Immigrants Summary

Heres the bottom line:

A household can get CalFresh if at least one person:

  • Is a US Citizen
  • Is a green card holder
  • Has refugee status, asylum, or parolee status
  • Has, or is applying for, a U-Visa or T-Visa
  • Is an applicant for VAWA relief
  • Is a Cuban or Haitian entrant

Public Charge is a term used to describe an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.

However, those who are eligible for CalFresh are not considered a public charge.

Also, USCIS will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care for COVID 19 as a public charge.

Finally, receipt of stimulus funds under the CARES Act will not be considered in assessing public charges.

I Have A Green Card Can I Get Snap

Some legal immigrants will no longer qualify for food stamps, Medicaid

If you have a green card, you are a Lawful Permanent Resident or an LPR. Many LPRs who are low income can get SNAP. Some LPR adults need to have a green card for 5 years before they can get SNAP.

But, there is no 5-year wait for:

  • Kids with a green card who are under 18.

  • LPR adults who get a disability-based benefit .

  • LPRs who:

  • have a spouse with enough work history,

  • whose parents worked enough in the United States before the LPR turned 18, or

  • had certain immigration statuses before getting a green card.

Also Check: How To Check Food Stamp Balance Florida

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