Immigration Statuses and Medicaid/FAMIS

Eligible Immigration Statuses for Medicaid and FAMISFive-Year Waiting Period  | Emergency MedicaidResources

Eligible Immigration Statuses for Medicaid and FAMIS

“Qualified” Immigrants:

  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR/green card holder)
  • Refugee
  • Asylee
  • Cuban/Haitian Entrant
  • Paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
  • Conditional Entrant
  • Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal
  • Battered Spouse, Child and Parent
  • Trafficking Survivor and his/her Spouse, Child, Sibling or Parent
  • Member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada


Five-Year Waiting Period

“Qualified” Immigrants are subject to a five-year waiting period (also known as the “5-year bar”). The five years begin when an immigrant obtains a “qualified” immigration status.

Some people with a “qualified” immigration status are not subject to the 5-year bar:

  • Immigrants who physically entered the U.S. before 8/22/96 and remained in the U.S. continuously until obtaining a qualified status
  • Refugees, asylees, persons granted withholding of deportation/removal (even if they later become LPRs)
  • Cuban/Haitian entrants, certain Amerasian immigrants, individuals granted Iraqi or Afghan special immigrant status, trafficking survivors (even if they later become LPRs)
  • Qualified immigrants who are U.S. veterans or on active military duty and their spouses or children
  • Children
  • Pregnant women


Emergency-Only Medicaid

Medicaid payment for limited services related to an emergency medical condition is available to people who meet all the state’s Medicaid eligibility requirements except for immigration status, including:

  • Qualified immigrants who have not met the 5-year waiting period
  • Lawfully present but not qualified immigrants, such as persons with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and many others
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • DACAmented immigrants



Reference Guide to Immigration Documents

Tips for Addressing Immigrant Families’ Concerns When Applying for Health Coverage Programs

Health Reform: Beyond the Basics Webinar OE6: Immigrant Eligibility for Health Coverage Programs

Making Coverage Accessible: Working Effectively with Vulnerable and Underserved Populations – Part I Webinar

Making Coverage Accessible: Working Effectively with Vulnerable and Underserved Populations – Part II Webinar

Making Coverage Accessible: Providing Effective Communication and Language Assistance Service Webinar

Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation Health Coverage of Immigrants Fact Sheet


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