Some lawfully present immigrants are also considered "qualified." Qualified immigrants are eligible for additional federal benefits. Many restrictions apply.
The categories of lawfully present immigrants considered qualified are:
- Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs or "green card" holders)
- Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal, under immigration laws or under the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
- Cuban - Haitian Entrants
- Paroled into the U.S.
- Conditional Entrants
- Certain battered immigrant spouses and children and their children and parents
- Certain trafficking victims and certain family members
If you are a qualified immigrant, you are eligible for all the benefits above for lawfully present immigrants. You may also be eligible for these federal programs:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – cash assistance for low-income families
- Federally funded food stamps
- Refugee cash and medical assistance
- Non-emergency Medicaid
- Social Security Income (SSI) – cash assistance for seniors and persons with disabilities. This program has many eligibility restrictions, especially if you arrived in the U.S. after August 22, 1998
Some immigrants are not eligible for these programs for their first 5 years in qualified status. These include people who get green card status through a visa petition filed by a family member. Humanitarian entrants, such as asylees and refugees, are not subject to this five-year bar. There is also an exception for persons in the military and veterans, and their family members.
If you got legal status through a visa petition filed by a family member, your sponsor's income may be counted in deciding if you are eligible. Some exceptions may apply. Read Washington Public Assistance for Family Visa Beneficiaries.