Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
|DATE:||January 28, 2015|
|SUBJECT:||Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Eligibility of Individuals Who are Participating in Department of Homeland Security Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program|
|TO:||All Regional SNAP Directors|
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has received several inquiries regarding the eligibility of participants in the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) new Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
On Dec. 18, 2014, DHS announced the implementation of the HFRP Program to expedite family reunification for eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPR) (79 F.R. 75581). Under the HFRP Program, DHS' U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will offer certain Haitian beneficiaries of family-based immigrant petitions an opportunity to apply for a discretionary grant of parole for up to approximately two years to enter the U.S. This would allow the beneficiaries to wait for their immigrant visas with their families in the U.S. rather than in Haiti. USCIS will begin accepting applications for the HFRP Program on or around Feb. 2, 2015.
Pursuant to guidance issued by DHS, those Haitians approved for the HFRP Program will enter the U.S. as Cuban/Haitian entrants under §501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 (REAA). When their immigrant visas become available, they would then be eligible to apply to adjust to LPR status. At the point of adjustment to LPR status, many of these individuals must have a sponsor execute a USCIS 1-864 affidavit of support.
The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, limit eligibility for SNAP benefits to U.S citizens and certain non-citizens who meet specific immigration status requirements. Because beneficiaries approved for the HFRP Program will be paroled into the U.S. as Cuban/Haitian entrants under §501(e) of the REAA, those individuals will be eligible for SNAP benefits without a waiting period. For those cases in which an 1-864 form has been executed when the individual adjusts to LPR status, sponsor deeming will apply in accordance with existing federal law.
More information on SNAP immigration policy is available in FNS' SNAP Guidance on Non-Citizen Eligibility, which is accessible on the FNS website.
Program Development Division
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.