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FSP – Guidance on Iraqi and Afghani Special Immigrants

EO Guidance Document #
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (56.25 KB)
DATE:January 24, 2008
SUBJECT:FSP – Guidance on Iraqi and Afghani Special Immigrants
TO:All Regional Administrators

Effective Dec. 26, 2007, PL 110-161 of The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 granted Iraqi and Afghan aliens special immigrant status under section 101(a)(27) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Individuals and family members granted this special immigrant status are eligible for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits the same as refugees admitted under section 207 of the INA, except the period of eligibility cannot exceed six months.

Verification of Special Immigrant Status

For Food Stamp Program purposes, Iraqi and Afghan aliens and family members who claim special immigrant status must provide verification that they have been admitted under section 101(a)(27) of the INA.

Date of Eligibility and Certification Period

The effective date of eligibility as a qualified alien is from the date the special immigrant enters the United States. The special immigrant’s certification period for food stamps cannot exceed six months from the special immigrant’s date of entry as the following illustrates:

Date of EntryDate of Food Stamp ApplicationCertification Period
Oct. 11, 2007—Six months from date of entry is October 11th through March 31st .Jan. 8, 20083 months—Jan. 8, 2008 through March 31, 2008.
Dec. 12, 2007—Six months from date of entry is December 12th through May 31st .Feb. 26, 20084 months—Feb. 26, 2008 through May 31 , 2008.
Sept. 30, 2008—Six months from date of entry is September 30th through February 28th.Oct. 16, 20085 months—Oct. 16, 2008 through Feb. 28, 2009.

Because this is a provision of an appropriations bill, it is only in effect through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2008) unless extended by federal law. States that discover or become aware of any special immigrants who were denied prior to the passage of this bill should reconsider those denials using this current policy.

State agencies can work with or contact their respective state Refugee Coordinator’s Office at if they have questions regarding Office of Refugee Resettlement policy as it relates to Iraqi and Afghani special immigrants.

Arthur T. Foley
Program Development Division

Page updated: January 16, 2024

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.