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(a) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a State is authorized to determine the eligibility for any State public benefits of an alien who is a qualified alien (as defined in section 1641 of this title), a nonimmigrant under the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 et seq.], or an alien who is paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of such Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(d)(5)] for less than one year.
Qualified aliens under this subsection shall be eligible for any State public benefits.
(1) Time-limited exception for refugees and asylees
(A) An alien who is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1157] until 5 years after the date of an alien's entry into the United States.
(B) An alien who is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1158] until 5 years after the date of such grant of asylum.
(C) An alien whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of such Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1253] (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208) or section 241(b)(3) of such Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1231(b)(3)] (as amended by section 305(a) of division C of Public Law 104-208) until 5 years after such withholding.
(D) An alien who is a Cuban and Haitian entrant as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 until 5 years after the alien is granted such status.
(E) An alien admitted to the United States as an Amerasian immigrant as described in section 1612(a)(2)(A)(i)(V) of this title.
(2) Certain permanent resident aliens
An alien who--
(A) is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 et seq.]; and
(B) (i) has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. § 401 et seq.] or can be credited with such qualifying quarters as provided under section 1645 of this title, and (ii) in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 1613 of this title) during any such period.
(3) Veteran and active duty exception
An alien who is lawfully residing in any State and is--
(A) a veteran (as defined in section 101, 1101, or 1301, or as described in section 107 of Title 38) with a discharge characterized as an honorable discharge and not on account of alienage and who fulfills the minimum active-duty service requirements of section 5303A(d) of Title 38,
(B) on active duty (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States, or
(C) the spouse or unmarried dependent child of an individual described in subparagraph (A) or (B) or the unremarried surviving spouse of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) 1 who is deceased if the marriage fulfills the requirements of section 1304 of Title 38.
(4) Transition for those currently receiving benefits
An alien who on August 22, 1996, is lawfully residing in any State and is receiving benefits on August 22, 1996, shall continue to be eligible to receive such benefits until January 1, 1997.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - 8 U.S.C. § 1622 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 8. Aliens and Nationality § 1622. State authority to limit eligibility of qualified aliens for State public benefits - last updated January 01, 2018 | https://codes.findlaw.com/us/title-8-aliens-and-nationality/8-usc-sect-1622.html
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