Immigration Status

Systems Navigation

  • Immigration Court: Care teams can help people navigate the operating rules of their local Immigration Court. Care teams can also help people find case information online if they what is called the “alien registration number” or “A-number” (A-#########) or by calling the Executive Office of Administration Review at 1-800-898-7180.
  • Application Status: Care teams can help people find information about their application status online with their 13-digit receipt number (three letters followed by ten numbers).
  • Delays: Processing times for immigration applications are significantly delayed. Care teams can help people can check the average processing times based on location and application type.
  • Extensions: Individuals must respond to requests from USCIS by the deadline listed on the notice or request. Care teams can refer applicants to the USCIS extension announcement.
  • Asylum: A new asylum rule applies to anyone who enters the US after May 11, 2023. With very limited exceptions, the rule requires applicants to apply for asylum in any country they pass through on the way to the US and to have a screening interview before entering legally with a visa or parole. Care teams can refer applicants to an attorney through their local legal service agency or the American Bar Association.
  • Benefits eligibility: Means-tested benefits, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, TANF, require applicants to be both income and immigration-status eligible. Status eligibility standards can vary from program to program and from state to state. Care teams can review the status requirements for program by visiting the National Immigration Law Center. Care teams helping people with questions about applying for benefits can share Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition’s resource.

Types of Immigration Status

  • Naturalization: When lawful permanent residents apply for naturalization, USCIS will automatically extend their green card for 24 months. USCIS has also simplified the disability waiver to make the naturalization process more accessible for applicants with disabilities. To ensure they have up-to-date information, care teams can refer people to the USCIS Naturalization page.
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS): DHS designates countries for TPS when conditions make it unsafe for nationals to return, allowing them to apply to stay in the US legally. Due to significant processing delays, USCIS is allowing workers to use their expired employment authorization and their renewal receipt to prove they are allowed to work in the US. Care teams can help people use USCIS to see if their country is on the list and find application materials.
  • Humanitarian Parole: Parole allows people to enter the U.S. and remain in the U.S. lawfully. Parole can be granted based on personal need or public benefit. To ensure they have up-to-date information, care teams can refer people to the USCIS Humanitarian Parole page.
  • Legal Permanent Residents (Greencards): When lawful permanent residents apply to renew their status, USCIS now automatically extends their green card for 24 months. To ensure they have up-to-date information, care teams can refer people to the USCIS Green Card Renewal page. Even though green cards have a new design, older versions can still be used as identification, proof of immigration status, and work authorization.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): This protects eligible young adults who were brought to the US as children from deportation and provides work authorization. DACA is currently being challenged in federal court. Although USCIS is not accepting new applications, current DACA recipients can still renew their status. DACA recipients must use the new renewal form.
  • Visas: Some visa types have limits to how many can be issued each year. After reaching the cap for H2-B visas for non-agricultural temporary works, the limit was raised. For up-to-date information, care teams can refer people to the US State Dept.
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD): EADs provide work authorization to certain immigrants. Some people will now be eligible to have EADs valid for 5-years, including refugees, asylees, people pending asylum applications or adjustment of status (greencards). When certain applicants apply to renew their work authorization, they will have a 540-day automatic extension. People with pending U-Visa applications are also now eligible to obtain employment authorization. Care teams can find information on who qualifies for this extension at the USCIS Employment Authorization page. Even though employment authorization documents have a new design, older versions can still be used.

Public Charge

Many immigrants who are applying for legal permanent residency are concerned about the public charge test affecting their application.

  • Financial assistance programs are considered for the public charge test. This includes TANF, SSI, and general cash assistance.
  • Nutrition assistance programs are not considered for the public charge test. This includes SNAP, P-EBT, WIC, school lunch, summer meals, and food pantries.
  • Additional programs include Medicaid (except for long-term institutionalization), public housing, Section 8 vouchers, fuel assistance (LIHEAP) and the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Care teams can provide people who are concerned about public charge with resources from Protecting Immigrant Families (available in 9 languages).

Last-reviewed: 10am, Nov. 20, 2023

Unlocking Access Partner Resources

There are many ways to support immigrant and mixed-status families in meeting their health-related social needs. MLPB Unlocking Access partners can access these and other resources in the Unlocking Access Hub.

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Immigration is just one of many topics covered by this resource.