Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Guidance on Non-Citizen Eligibility
For over 50 years, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) has served as the cornerstone of the nation’s nutrition safety net by providing food assistance to low-income families and individuals. Since SNAP is an entitlement program, it is available to nearly everyone with limited income and resources as long as they are citizens or meet certain immigration status requirements. This guidance seeks to help simplify and clarify SNAP policy on non-citizen eligibility so that all those who are eligible for SNAP get the benefits they are eligible to receive, especially children in need.
SNAP eligibility has never been extended to undocumented non-citizens. Specific requirements for non-citizens who may be eligible have changed substantially over the years and become more complicated in certain areas. The goal of this guidance is to assist people in understanding current eligibility requirements in order to bridge the gap between eligible persons in need of food assistance and SNAP benefits.