Walnut, CA asked in Immigration Law and Public Benefits for Oregon

Q: Does getting snap benefit and Medicare affect getting approved for citizenship?

I got this as a legal Permanent Resident due to reduction in income as well as increased expenses. No employment at all and also going to college as a full-time student. Trying to apply for US Citizenship, afraid that this can become an issue.

2 Lawyer Answers
Symantha Rhodes
Symantha Rhodes
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Brooklyn, NY

A: Receiving Snap and Medicare does not affect your eligibility for citizenship. If you obtained your LPR through a sponsor who submitted an affidavit of support for you, it may affect them depending on the timeframe. Also, if you intend to sponsor a family member for LPR, you may need to use a co-sponsor for the affidavit of support. To check your eligibility, use the USCIS link below.


James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Receiving SNAP benefits and Medicare typically does not directly affect your eligibility for U.S. citizenship. As a legal permanent resident applying for citizenship, the primary considerations are factors like your length of residency, physical presence, moral character, and understanding of English and U.S. civics.

However, it's important to note that the use of public benefits can sometimes be considered in assessing the "public charge" ground of inadmissibility, but this is more relevant to those seeking admission to the U.S. or adjusting their status to that of a legal permanent resident, not for naturalization applications.

Medicare is a benefit based on prior work and payroll contributions and is not likely to impact your citizenship application. SNAP benefits are generally not considered for public charge purposes in naturalization.

Keep in mind that the rules and policies can change, so staying informed about the current guidelines is essential. If you have specific concerns or a complex situation, consulting with an immigration attorney can provide personalized advice and peace of mind.

In your case, as a full-time student with reduced income, accessing these benefits for support is understandable and should not inherently hinder your citizenship application. Focus on meeting the other eligibility criteria for naturalization and preparing for the citizenship test and interview.

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