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Mixed-Status Families & Undocumented Citizens
This guide is for mixed-status families and undocumented citizens. It has information on how to apply for coverage, frequently asked questions, where to find assistance and what resources are available.
Immigration Resources in Nevada:
You can contact the State Bar of Nevada’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 702-382-0504 (toll-free in Nevada at 1-800-789-5747).
The State of Nevada Bar’s main office can tell you whether or not an attorney is licensed in Nevada and is in good standing. For more information, read the full brochure.
The UNLV Immigration Clinic offers law students real world experience providing pro bono deportation defense and is a community leader in protecting children and families in Nevada. It includes the Bernstein Children’s Rights Program, which defends unaccompanied children fleeing violence.
All legal services provided through the clinic are free of charge.
Additional Resources: https://law.unlv.edu/clinics/immigration/resourcesPhone: (702) 895-2080
Fax: (702) 895-2081 Mailing Address
UNLV Immigration Clinic
Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic
P.O. Box 71075
Las Vegas, NV 89170-1075
The State’s Bar Main Offices:
Las Vegas Office:
3100 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 100 Las Vegas, NV 89104
Phone: 702-382-2200 or toll-free 1-800-254-2797
9456 Double R Blvd., Suite B Reno, NV 89521
Phone: 775-329-4100 Fax 775-329-0522
Office for New Americans
555 E. Washington Avenue, Suite #5600
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Phone: (702) 486-0800
More Resources in Nevada: The United State Citizenship and Immigration Services website Nevada office field locator can be found on their website.
Call toll-free: 800-375-5283. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability: TTY 800-767-1833.
- Carga Pública Preguntas Frecuentes Versión en Español
- Public Charge FAQ, English Version
- Dept. of HHS, Division of Welfare & Supportive Services (DWSS) Public Charge Flyer
- NV Dept. of HHS, Division of Welfare & Supportive Services (DWSS) Public Charge Flyer (Spanish)
- Nevada’s Response to COVID-19
- Nevada Health Link FAQ
- NVHL Mixed Status Family FAQ – Spanish
- NVHL Mixed Status Family FAQ – English
Understanding the Public Charge Final Rule
What is Public Charge?
As defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a “public charge” means an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for support. The final rule went into effect on Oct. 15, 2019 and is only be applied to DHS applications and petitions postmarked (or, if applicable, submitted electronically) on or after Oct. 15, 2019. The DHS applications and petitions postmarked before Oct. 15, 2019, will be adjudicated under the prior policy, the 1999 Interim Field Guidance.
- “Public charge” is a term used in immigration law for more than 100 years, to identify an individual who is likely in the future to become dependent on public benefit programs.
- Being considered a public charge can result in the denial of a lawful permanent residency (green card) application or entry to the United States.
- When determining if a person is likely to become a public charge, the federal government looks at a variety of factors including age, health, income, family size, public assistance received, and education level.
ALERT: Judges before United States District Courts have ordered that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot implement and enforce the final rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court orders also postpone the effective date of the final rule until there is final resolution in the cases. Most of the injunctions are nationwide, and prevent USCIS from implementing the rule anywhere in the United States.
ALERT: USCIS encourages all those with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus (COVID-19) (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventative services. Such treatment or services will NOT negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis. The Public Charge rules does not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. In addition, the rule does not restrict access to vaccines for children or adults to prevent vaccine-preventable disease. Read further on the USCIS website.
Public Charge Q&A
Question: If I apply for Marketplace, Medicaid and/or CHIP, won’t that jeopardize my, or a family member’s, citizen application status?
Answer: No, it will have no effect on you or anyone in your family who is in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship. It does not affect those in your family that are U.S. Citizens, applicants for citizenship, lawful permanent residents, those with a Green Card, people applying for a Green Card or DACA renewal, and/or those applying for asylum or refugee status. The only exception is if Medicaid is used to cover long-term institutional care.
Question: I heard that if I apply, I could jeopardize other members of my family’s immigration status?
Answer: Applying for health insurance through a state-based marketplace, Healthcare.gov, or Medicaid and CHIP does not jeopardize your or your family members’ immigration status. All application information, personal and otherwise, is kept strictly confidential.
Question: I heard they were making it harder for immigrants to apply for government health insurance programs?
Answer: The 2019 public charge rules are no longer in effect. The federal government has reinstated much more reasonable rules that do not penalize people for using most forms of public benefits. Eligible immigrants and their families can sign up for free or low-cost health insurance without worrying about any impact on a family’s immigration status.
However, when Medicaid is used to cover long-term care, it is an exception and does consider noncitizens’ receipt of long-term institutional care, such as nursing home or mental health institution stays, as a government expense.
Question: Shouldn’t I wait to apply until I become a citizen?
Answer: There’s no need to wait, so apply today. If you need health insurance, eligible immigrants and their families can sign up for free or low-cost health insurance without worrying about any impact on their family’s immigration status or Green Card and citizenship process.
Question: What documents do I need to apply for health insurance through the Marketplace, Medicaid and/or CHIP?
- You and your spouse’s taxable income.
- Social Security numbers and birth dates of people in your home.
- Current or recent health insurance information.
- And if you have insurance, for all household members with health insurance, please provide health insurer’s name, policy or group number, type of coverage, effective date, policy holder’s name and ID. • Identity and citizenship information, or alien registration information.
- Income information including employer name, address, and phone number, of all household members who are employed.
- Amount of money received from other types of income.
January 27, 2020: Supreme Court allows Trump administration to proceed with immigration rules
August 12, 2019: Trump to deny green cards to immigrants receiving public benefits
October 11, 2019: A Judge Blocked Trump’s Plan To Deny Green Cards To Immigrants Who Use Public Benefits (BuzzfeedNews.com)
Health Benefits NOT Included in the Final Rule:
- Eligibility rules for the public benefit programs such as Nevada Health Link have not changed. If an individual or family is receiving subsidies or tax credits on an exchange plan, the subsidies are not included in this final rule.
- Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Nevada Check-Up
- Affordable Care Act Marketplace subsides, Nevada Health Link
State/locally-funded non-cash programs
Who could be impacted in Nevada?
- Individuals seeking to legally enter the United States.
- Individuals legally in the U.S. seeking to become a lawful permanent resident/obtain a green card.
- Individuals legally in the U.S. seeking to extend a current visa
- Individuals legally in the U.S. seeking to change visa types
- Applicants for, or recipients of, any of the expanded list of non-monetized benefits subject to the public charge.
- Immigrants not subject to the rule, but who disenroll from benefits due to confusion, fear, or misinformation.
- Anyone seeking lawful permanent resident status through a family petition
The Public Charge Rule DOES NOT apply to:
- Green card holders who renew green cards or apply for citizenship, unless they leave the country either for more than 6 months and/or with certain criminal convictions, and then see to re-enter
- Groups of aliens that Congress specifically exempted from the public charge ground of inadmissibility, such as refugees, asylees, certain Cuban, Haitian, Central American, Afghans and Iraqis with special immigrant visas, non-immigrant trafficking and crime victims
- Individuals applying under the Violence Against Women Act, and special immigrant juveniles. Additionally, the rule excludes consideration of benefits received by U.S. citizen children of aliens who will acquire citizenship under either section 320 or 322 of the INA, and by alien service members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Read more from UCIS here.
Customer Assistance Service line: 1-800-547-2927 (TTY 711)
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST