Immigration status affects SNAP eligibility. Learn the facts to make sure you and your family have access to the food you need.

SNAP is no longer considered for Public Charge. The Biden Administration has ended the Trump-era public charge policy. We applaud all the litigators and plaintiffs, advocates and community members who worked to make this happen!

The general SNAP eligibility rule for non-U.S. citizens requires legal residents to have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. However, there are many exceptions for certain populations such as refugees, victims of trafficking, and asylum recipients.

Here is a table that helps breakdown SNAP eligibility for non-U.S. citizens.

Immigration Status


LPR* (18 and over)

Eligible (after 5-year bar or qualifying work history)

LPR (under 18)


LPR (Pregnant Women)

Eligible (after 5-year bar or qualifying work history)

Refugees, asylees, victims of trafficking, certain others


Those without documentation and DACA recipients (including children and pregnant women)

Not Eligible

* LPR stands for “Legal Permanent Resident,” colloquially referred to as a green card. This table is an edited and simplified version of one published by the National Immigration Law Center, which can be found here.

Further Resources

Joint letter on Public Charge from USDA and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Know the Facts on Public Charge (updated 2/14/22) from Oregon Law Center, Causa and Oregon Latino Health Coalition

Oregon Law Center page on Public Charge, available in English, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Pashto and Dari.