May 7, 2010

 

CalWORKs Program Guide (CPG) Letter No. 206

 

Subject

Eligibility of Afghan Special Immigrants for Benefits and Services

 

Effective Date

·        Upon receipt

 

References

All County Letter ACL  09-39 and ACL 08-35

 

Purpose

The purpose of this letter is to provide updated information regarding:

 

·        The eligibility of Afghan Special Immigrants and their eligible family members for federal and state public assistance programs.

·        The extension of Federal Eligibility to the CalWORKs Program for Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) from six months to eight months.

·        The different Federal eligibility periods for these individuals with Special Immigration.

·        The requirement to change the funding from state to federal.

·        The revised on-line United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Class of Admissions Codes Table to include the update on the Afghan federal eligibility extension.

 

Background

For Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2009 through 2013, up to 1,500 Afghan applicants may be granted Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Status annually. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the applicant to the U.S. but they do not count against the annual quota. There is no authority to provide federally funded benefits and services to Afghan Special Immigrants beyond September 30, 2014 at this time.

 

Summary of Update

CPG section  42-400.E – Eligible Non-Citizen Status has been modified and loaded to the online CalWORKs Program Guide:

 

CPG Section

Title

Program Updates/Changes

42-400.E

Eligibility Requirements

Added Victims of trafficking Etc.

 

Federally Qualified Non-Citizens

Added Holders of Special Immigrant Visa’s.

 

Special Immigrant Visa Holders

Added whole Section.

 

Refugee Resettlement Eligibility

Explained RRP benefits and Services available.

 

Afghan Special Immigrant Documentation

Listed Documentation for Afghan SIV and Family.

 

CalWORKs Program Eligibility for Afghan SIVs

Added need for review for CW/GR eligibility after RCA benefits terminate.

 

Changes

Effective March 11, 2009, Afghans with Special Immigrant Visa Status and their eligible family members may be eligible for federal benefits for eight (8) months from their date of entry into the United States (U.S.) or if applying for Special Immigrant Status from within the U.S., their date of adjustment of immigration status.

 

Note: Previously, the federal eligibility period for Afghan Special Immigrants and their eligible family members was six (6) months.

 

If they meet all other applicable program eligibility, eligibility for spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) begins from their date of entry into the U.S., not from the date of entry of the principal applicant.  

 

Benefits and services available to Afghan Special Immigrants include those that are provided under the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP), the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Program and the Food Stamp Program (FSP).

 

Refugee Resettlement Program Eligibility

Afghan Special Immigrants and their eligible family members may receive RRP benefits and services to the same extent as persons who are admitted to the U.S. as refugees. Specific RRP benefits and services available to them include Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), Refugee Social Services (RSS) and Targeted Assistance (TA) employment and training services, and ORR discretionary grant services.

 

The spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) of Afghan Special Immigrants, who can provide documentation that demonstrates their status, can also receive RRP benefits and services if they meet all other applicable program eligibility criteria.  Eligibility for these spouses and children begins from their date of entry into the U.S., not from the date of entry of the principal applicant.  Eligibility for principals begins from their date of entry or date of adjustment to Afghan Special Immigrant status within the U.S.

 

The maximum length of time that any Afghan Special Immigrant and eligible family members can receive RRP benefits and services is eight months from their date of entry to the U.S. or, if applying for Special Immigrant Status from within the U.S., their date of adjustment of immigration status.  The start date for benefits and services is the date of application.

 

When an Afghan Special Immigrant is notified of the termination from RCA due to reaching his/her time-limit on aid, the worker must review the client’s case file to determine possible eligibility for CalWORKs or General Relief (GR).  The notice of action to terminate that individual from RCA must also indicate the result of the worker’s determination of eligibility for CalWORKs or General Relief.  

 

CalWORKs Program Eligibility

Afghan Special Immigrants and their eligible family members may receive state-only CalWORKs benefits after their federal eligibility period elapses, if all other eligibility criteria are met.  These Afghan Special Immigrants meet the CalWORKs eligibility requirement of “permanently residing (in the U.S.) under the color of law” or PRUCOL.

 

Afghan Special Immigrant Documentation

 

The Chart below lists the types of documents that confirm both status and date of entry for Afghan Special Immigrants:

 

Afghan Special Immigrant Documentation

 

Applicant

Documentation

Principal Applicant Afghan Special Immigrant

Afghan passport with an immigrant visa stamp noting that the individual has been admitted under Immigrant Visa (IV) Category SQ1 or SI1

Spouse of Principal Applicant Afghan Special Immigrant

Afghan passport with an immigrant visa stamp noting that the individual has been admitted under IV Category SQ2 or SI2

Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of Afghan Special Immigrant

Afghan passport with an immigrant visa stamp noting that the individual has been admitted under IV Category SQ3 or SI3

Principal Applicant Afghan Special Immigrant

Principal Adjusting Status in the U.S.

DHS Form I-551 (“green card”) showing Afghan nationality (or Afghan passport), with an IV code of SQ6 or SI6

Spouse of Principal Applicant Afghan Special Immigrant in SI6 Category

DHS Form I-551 showing Afghan nationality (or Afghan passport), with an IV (immigrant visa) code of SQ7 or SI7

Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of Afghan Special Immigrant in SI6 Category

DHS Form I-551 showing Afghan Nationality (or Afghan passport), with an IV code of SQ9 or SI9

 

Also attached is the USCIS Class of Admissions Codes Table.

 

Period of Federal Eligibility

The chart listed below illustrates Arrival Dates and Eligibility for Federal CalWORKs Benefits for Afghan Immigrants:

 

Afghan Special

Immigrant Arrival or

Status Adjustment Date

Period of Federal Eligibility

Length of Federal Eligibility Period

Any date during

June 2008

Eligible for federally funded CalWORKs up to November 31, 2008

 

6 months

 

Any date during

July 2008

Eligible for federally funded CalWORKs up to December 31, 2008

 

6 months

 

Any date during

August 2008

Eligible for federally funded CalWORKs up to January 31, 2008

 

6 months

 

Any date during

September 2008

Eligible for federally funded CalWORKs up to February 31, 2008

 

6 months

 

Any date during

October 2008

Eligible for federally funded CalWORKs up to May 31, 2008

 

8 months

 

Any date during

November 2008

Eligible for federally funded CalWORKs up to June 31, 2008

 

8 months

 

 

Automation Impact

Refer to How to(s) # 322, 323 and 324 for instructions on:

 

·       Entering Special Immigrant Visa Status (SIV),

·       Entering special indicators, creating and sending a case level alert, as well as changing the funding from federal to State or vice versa.

 

Food Stamp Impact

Refer to Food Stamp Program Guide Letter Number 549 and FSPG letter #537 for detailed policy information on Afghan Special immigrant Visa.

 

Forms/Imaging Impact

None.

 

Access Impact

ACCESS agents will provide updated information to clients about the extension of the federal eligibility to the CalWORKs Program for Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) from six months to eight months, and the different federal eligibility periods for these individuals with Special Immigration.

 

Agents will also explain the eligibility of Afghan Special immigrants and their eligible family members for Federal and State public assistance Programs.

 

Operations Impact

None.

 

Quality Assurance Impact

QA will cite the appropriate error when the requirements in this material have not been followed.

 

Assistant Deputy Director

 

Original signed 05/07/2010

 

 

Sylvia Melena

Assistant Deputy Director

Self sufficiency Program

Strategic Planning & Operational Support