Effective: June 1, 2012
11.35 - Changes in Immigration Status
Immigration law allows for some noncitizens to adjust to lawful permanent resident (LPR). Adjusting to LPR status is beneficial not only because it is a pathway to U.S. citizenship, but it may also lead to federally funded health care program eligibility. Under federal and state law, noncitizens who are eligible to adjust their status to LPR are required to do so to qualify for either state- or federally funded health care programs.
Noncitizens such as refugees and asylees who are already present in the United States may apply for adjustment of status to LPR.
l Refugees are granted the right to live and work in the United States and, after a one-year period, may apply to become lawful permanent residents.
l Asylees may also apply for adjustment to LPR status one year after they are granted asylum.
Cooperating with USCIS.
Becoming a U.S. Citizen.
Adjusting to LPR Status (Entered U.S. With Federally Funded Status).
Adjusting to LPR Status (Entered U.S. Without Federally Funded Status).
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Cooperating with USCIS
State law requires that noncitizens who are lawfully present in the United States with a status that only qualifies them for state-funded health care must cooperate with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) The federal agency responsible for immigration and citizenship. This agency was formerly known as the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). in efforts to obtain a qualified A person who meets certain USCIS criteria has this legal status designation. Qualified noncitizens must meet all eligibility requirements. The qualified status does not give a noncitizen automatic MHCP eligibility or ensure federal funding. The person must meet one of the following: was lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or, was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee under section 207 of the INA, or, was granted asylum under section 208 of the INA, or, removal is being withheld under section 241(b)(3) of the INA (or deportation was withheld under section 243(h) as in effect prior to April 1, 1997), or, was paroled under section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year, or, was granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(A)(7) of the INA as in effect prior to April 1, 1980, or, is a Cuban or Haitian entrant, or, is a battered noncitizen with an approved or pending petition for immigration status. status or pursue U.S. citizenship in order to qualify for federally funded health care. Close nonpregnant adults who fail to follow through with USCIS requirements for a status change or U.S. citizenship. See Funding Health Care for Noncitizens for further information.
The USCIS application process and type of documentation required will vary according to the person’s status. Certain noncitizens will not be able to adjust their immigration status because the terms of that status will not allow them do to so. See Adjustment Requirements for Other Lawfully Present Noncitizens for information about the requirements for some statuses. For information about other statuses, refer to the specific manual section for that status.
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Becoming a U.S. Citizen
Noncitizens who wish to become naturalized citizens A person who was not born in the United States, but who became a citizen by meeting legal requirements for citizenship and taking an oath of allegiance to the United States. of the United States must have a lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. Generally, only LPRs may become U.S. citizens A person (other than the child of a foreign diplomat) born in one of the several States or in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands who has not renounced or otherwise lost his or her citizenship; or a person born outside of the United States to at least one U.S. citizen parent (sometimes referred to as a ’r;’r;derivative citizen’’); or a naturalized U.S. citizen.. They may apply for naturalization to U.S. citizenship after maintaining an LPR status for five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen.
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Adjusting to LPR Status (Entered U.S. With Federally Funded Status)
Determine eligibility under the original status for noncitizens who were originally admitted to the United States under a status that qualified them for federal funding and later adjusted to LPR status. See Federally Funded Health Care for more information. Since these noncitizens qualify for federally funded health care without adjustment of their status, do not require them to adjust as a condition of eligibility.
Jennifer entered the United States as a refugee on August 21, 2001. She was granted LPR status on December 1, 2004.
When determining Jennifer’s health care program eligibility, continue to determine her eligibility as if she were still a refugee. She would be eligible for MA or MinnesotaCare with federal funding if she meets all other eligibility requirements for those programs.
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Adjusting to LPR Status (Entered U.S. Without Federally Funded Status)
Immigration law allows some noncitizens, who originally entered the United States with a status that does not qualify for federal funding, to later adjust to LPR status. If they entered the Unites States before August 22, 1996, and meet certain other criteria, they are eligible for federal funding upon attaining a qualified status. If they entered the United States after that date, they may not be eligible for federal funding until five years after attaining a qualified status.
People may be eligible for federally funded health care effective the date of adjustment to LPR status or another qualified status if they:
l Entered the United States before August 22, 1996, and
l Have been continuously present from the date of entry to the date of status adjustment, and
l They adjusted to LPR or another qualified status on or after August 22, 1996.
People who do not meet all of the above conditions are not eligible for federally funded health care until five years after obtaining a qualified status.
Malcolm entered the United States on January 15, 1995, as a nonimmigrant and has been continuously present since that time. He was granted LPR status on February 14, 2006.
If he meets all other eligibility factors, Malcolm would be eligible for federally funded MA or MinnesotaCare beginning February 14, 2006, because he was present in the United States before August 22, 1996, and now has a qualified status.
Rita entered the United States on August 29, 1999, with a Temporary Protected immigration status. She was granted LPR status on December 1, 2007. Rita does not qualify for federal funding because she entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996, her current status is LPR and she has not had a qualified status for a period of five years.
If she meets all other eligibility factors, Rita would be eligible for state-funded health care coverage. She would be potentially eligible for federally funded health care on December 1, 2012.
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