Q) Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to receive SNAP benefits?
A) Certain legal, qualified aliens may be eligible for SNAP benefits. They must meet the same eligibility requirements as U.S. citizens. An example of a non-citizen who may qualify is someone who has been a lawful permanent resident (LPR, i.e. aliens with green cards) for 5 years. Other immigrants, such as children and refugees, may also be eligible. Eligible household members can get SNAP benefits even if other members of the household are not eligible.
Receiving SNAP benefits does not make an immigrant a “public charge.” An immigrant to the United States will not be deported, denied entry to the country, or denied permanent status because he or she receives SNAP. Receiving SNAP will not affect an immigrant’s ability to become a citizen.