PPID would like to take this time to thank you for your loyalty and continued support during this most difficult time. Sadly, we are aware that as a direct result of COVID-19, many people have lost their jobs and are struggling financially to make ends meet. Indeed, many of our existing clients have called and asked us about the potential immigration consequences of applying for unemployment insurance benefits. Moreover, they have expressed concern about whether or not unemployment benefits are considered a public benefit by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which could adversely effect an application for immigration benefits.
For NYS residents: Although the New York State Department of Labor administers the unemployment insurance program, it is technically not a public benefit because it is generally not funded by government monies. The funds actually come from a tax that employers must pay. Therefore, applying for and receiving unemployment benefits during this crisis will not affect your current or pending immigration status. To apply for unemployment benefits and receive additional information click on the link: (https://www.ny.gov/services/get-unemployment-assistance).
Unfortunately, the foregoing is not a blanket rule. It is not advisable nor in the best interest of most non-immigrant visa holders to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. Eligibility for these benefits is a matter of state law and the rules will vary based on the state where you reside. If you are a non-immigrant visa holder, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney before you apply.
Please rest assured that we will get through this difficult time together.
For more information on how PPID is responding to Coronavirus COVID-19, please CLICK HERE.