8 U.S.C. § 1612 - Limited eligibility of qualified aliens for certain Federal programs

Cite as:8 U.S.C. § 1612
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Limited eligibility for specified Federal programs

(1) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in paragraph (2), an alien who is a qualified alien (as defined in section 1641 of this title) is not eligible for any specified Federal program (as defined in paragraph (3)).

(2) Exceptions

(A) Time-limited exception for refugees and asylees

With respect to the specified Federal programs described in paragraph (3), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien until 7 years after the date-

(i) an alien is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [ 8 U.S.C. 1157 ];

(ii) an alien is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act [ 8 U.S.C. 1158 ];

(iii) an alien's deportation is withheld under section 243(h) of such Act [ 8 U.S.C. 1253 ] (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208) or section 241(b)(3) of such Act [ 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3) ] (as amended by section 305(a) of division C of Public Law 104-208);

(iv) an alien is granted status as a Cuban and Haitian entrant (as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980); or

(v) an alien is admitted to the United States as an Amerasian immigrant pursuant to section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100-202 and amended by the 9th proviso under MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE in title II of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1989, Public Law 100-461 as amended).

(B) Certain permanent resident aliens

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who-

(i) is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act [ 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.]; and

(ii)

(I) has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act [ 42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.] or can be credited with such qualifying quarters as provided under section 1645 of this title, and

(II) in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 1613 of this title) during any such period.

(C) Veteran and active duty exception

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who is lawfully residing in any State and is-

(i) a veteran (as defined in section 101, 1101, or 1301, or as described in section 107 of title 38) with a discharge characterized as an honorable discharge and not on account of alienage and who fulfills the minimum active-duty service requirements of section 5303A(d) of title 38,

(ii) on active duty (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States, or

(iii) the spouse or unmarried dependent child of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) or the unremarried surviving spouse of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) who is deceased if the marriage fulfills the requirements of section 1304 of title 38.

(D) Transition for aliens currently receiving benefits

(i) SSI

(I) In general

With respect to the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A), during the period beginning on August 22, 1996, and ending on September 30, 1998, the Commissioner of Social Security shall redetermine the eligibility of any individual who is receiving benefits under such program as of August 22, 1996, and whose eligibility for such benefits may terminate by reason of the provisions of this subsection.

(II) Redetermination criteria

With respect to any redetermination under subclause (I), the Commissioner of Social Security shall apply the eligibility criteria for new applicants for benefits under such program.

(III) Grandfather provision

The provisions of this subsection and the redetermination under subclause (I), shall only apply with respect to the benefits of an individual described in subclause (I) for months beginning on or after September 30, 1998.

(IV) Notice

Not later than March 31, 1997, the Commissioner of Social Security shall notify an individual described in subclause (I) of the provisions of this clause.

(ii) Food stamps

(I) In general

With respect to the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), ineligibility under paragraph (1) shall not apply until April 1, 1997, to an alien who received benefits under such program on August 22, 1996, unless such alien is determined to be ineligible to receive such benefits under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 1 [ 7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.]. The State agency shall recertify the eligibility of all such aliens during the period beginning April 1, 1997, and ending August 22, 1997.

(II) Recertification criteria

With respect to any recertification under subclause (I), the State agency shall apply the eligibility criteria for applicants for benefits under such program.

(III) Grandfather provision

The provisions of this subsection and the recertification under subclause (I) shall only apply with respect to the eligibility of an alien for a program for months beginning on or after the date of recertification, if on August 22, 1996, the alien is lawfully residing in any State and is receiving benefits under such program on August 22, 1996.

(E) Aliens receiving SSI on August 22, 1996

With respect to eligibility for benefits for the program defined in paragraph (3)(A) (relating to the supplemental security income program), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who is lawfully residing in the United States and who was receiving such benefits on August 22, 1996.

(F) Disabled aliens lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996

With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal programs described in paragraph (3), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who-

(i) in the case of the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A)-

(I) was lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996; and

(II) is blind or disabled (as defined in paragraph (2) or (3) of section 1614(a) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a) )); and

(ii) in the case of the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), is receiving benefits or assistance for blindness or disability (within the meaning of section 3(j) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 1 ( 7 U.S.C. 2012(r) )).2

(G) Exception for certain Indians

With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal programs described in paragraph (3), section 1611(a) of this title and paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual-

(i) who is an American Indian born in Canada to whom the provisions of section 289 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1359 ) apply; or

(ii) who is a member of an Indian tribe (as defined in section 5304(e) of title 25).

(H) SSI exception for certain recipients on the basis of very old applications

With respect to eligibility for benefits for the program defined in paragraph (3)(A) (relating to the supplemental security income program), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual-

(i) who is receiving benefits under such program for months after July 1996 on the basis of an application filed before January 1, 1979; and

(ii) with respect to whom the Commissioner of Social Security lacks clear and convincing evidence that such individual is an alien ineligible for such benefits as a result of the application of this section.

(I) Food stamp exception for certain elderly individuals

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