Date of entry
Revised July 25, 2014
Purpose: To explain how to determine a lawfully present immigrant’s “date of entry” into the United States.
"Qualified Aliens" with Entry Date before August 22, 1996
Individuals are not subject to the 5-year bar for health care coverage if they entered the U.S. before August 22, 1996 even if they did not obtain “qualified alien” status until sometime after they entered as long as they continuously resided in the U.S. from the earlier date. “Continuously residing” means the individual only left the U.S. for brief visits.
Example: An individual came to the U.S. in 1992 as undocumented and resided in the U.S. since that time, making annual trips to her country of origin to visit parents. In July 1999 she self-petitioned under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and received a notice that she and her children have a “prima facie case” (as described in WAC 388-424-0001). She is a "qualified alien" and not subject to the five- year bar because her entry date is before August 22, 1996. She and her children are eligible for federally-funded Apple Health.
Example: An individual came to the U.S. in 1992 as a visitor for three months. The individual returned in 1994 as a student and returned to his country of origin in 1995. He returned to the U.S. again after he obtained lawful permanent resident status on October 10, 2011. Since he did not continuously reside in the U.S. prior to August 22, 1996, his date of entry is October 10, 2011. He is not a veteran or on active duty in the U.S. military (or the spouse or dependent child of such a person). As a result, he is not eligible for federally-funded Apple Health until October 10, 2016. He may be eligible for state-funded programs, such as Medical Care Services or the Apple Health AEM program.
"Qualified Aliens" with Entry Date on or after August 22, 1996
For individuals with immigration status of parolee, refugee, and asylee, the date that they become a “Qualified Alien” is on their I-94 card or, more recently, on their lawful permanent resident (green) card. This date is when their 5-year bar begins.
For individuals with battered alien status, the date they became a “Qualified Alien” is often before the date on their green card, such as:
- The date of the approval (or notice of prima facie case) of a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition; or
- The date that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse petitioned for the family visa application.
Example: An individual came to the U.S. in 1997 as an undocumented immigrant. She married a lawful permanent resident who petitioned for a family visa on March 1, 1998. She left her husband on May 30, 1999 due to domestic violence and obtained a notice of VAWA prima facie status shortly afterward. She has not yet become a lawful permanent residence and does not have her green card. The date she became a "Qualified Alien" is March 1, 1998 because that is the date of her ex-husband’s family visa petition. Her 5-year bar will be over on February 28, 2003. In comparison, the date on her green card will be the date of her adjustment interview, which could be years after the date her 5-year bar begins.
"Qualified Aliens" who are Exempt from the 5-Year Bar
Some categories of “Qualified Aliens” are exempt from the 5-year bar, including:
- Individuals with Withholding of Deportation/Removal,
- Cuban/Haitian entrants,
- Special Immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, and
- Amerasian lawful permanent residents.
“Qualified Aliens” who are exempt from the 5-year bar remain exempt after they have adjusted to lawful permanent residence and have received a green card. The code on their green card will indicate what provision of law they came to the U.S. under.
Example: A refugee came to the U.S. on September 1, 2011. One year after coming to the U.S., he adjusted to lawful permanent residence. His green card will be dated September 1, 2011 and have code “RE-6” to indicate that he was admitted as a refugee (see the NILC Guide in Appendix II). He is exempt from the 5-year bar.
Immigration Status and State-Funded Apple Health Programs
“Qualified Aliens” who have not met their 5-year bar and “Non-Qualified Aliens” are potentially eligible for state-funded Apple Health programs, such as Apple Health for Pregnant Women, Apple Health for Kids, Apple Health for Kids with Premiums, and Medical Care Services. They are also potentially eligible for Apple Health AEM, which is a federally funded program.
Undocumented immigrants are potentially eligible for Apple Health for Pregnant Women, Apple Health for Kids, and Apple Health for Kids with Premiums. They are also potentially eligible for Apple Health AEM, which is a federally-funded program.