Immigrants can access many NYC services, regardless of immigration status. Free translation and legal help are also available.
City employees will not ask about immigration status unless it’s necessary to do their jobs. They must keep immigration status information confidential. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs works to ensure undocumented immigrants can access most City services, regardless of status.
What help can I get?
If you need free or low-cost health care or insurance, visit the Health page on this site. Immigrants can access several services regardless of immigration status.
If you need free legal help with an application or immigration-related issue, the Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) can help. Visit the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs for more information. Services are available regardless of immigration status.
If you’re facing eviction, are a worker facing wage theft or other workplace violations, or are facing other legal challenges, the OCJ can help. Visit the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs for more information. Services are available regardless of immigration status.
If you need to receive school information in another language, tell your school’s principal or parent coordinator. You can also call the DOE at 718-935-2013 or email [email protected].
If you’re looking for an English language learning program, see We Speak NYC.
If you’re looking for free and safe legal help about immigration, or help with your citizenship application, see Action NYC.
If you’re looking for help with your US citizenship application, see NYCitizenship.
How do I get started?
- Go to Access NYC and fill out a short online survey. The survey results will let you know what City benefits you’re eligible for, including some of the ones listed here. Follow the instructions on the result page to apply for benefits. You can also email your results to City staff at your child’s school or your shelter for help.
- Speak to City staff who can help. In schools, there may be an STH Community Coordinator or STH School-Based Liaison who can answer questions. If your child’s school doesn’t have those roles, reach out to the school’s regional manager. In a shelter, speak with a social worker, case manager, or family assistant.
- Gather your documents. You may need certain documents to apply for services. Common ones include proof of identity, proof of address, and proof of income. Don’t let missing documents keep you from applying. City staff can help you replace missing documents.
Undocumented immigrants can access many city services, regardless of their status. City employees will not ask about immigration status unless it is necessary to do their jobs. They must keep information about immigration status confidential.
What benefits and programs does NYC offer?
Click an entry to learn more.
We Speak NYC
Education | Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
We Speak NYC is the City’s English language learning program. It serves intermediate English language learners ages 16 and above. You can learn about City services and practice English at community classes in all five boroughs. The program has online classes, videos, web, and print materials for you to practice at home.
Emergency Food Assistance Program
Food | NYC Human Resources Administration
There are two ways to get free food quickly: get groceries from a food pantry, or a cooked meal from a community kitchen. Find the closest food pantries and community kitchens by using the Get Food NYC map.
Family Services | Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
ActionNYC offers free and safe immigration legal help regardless of immigration status. Services are offered by trusted legal service providers at community-based organizations, hospitals, and schools.
City ID Card | NYC Human Resources Administration
IDNYC is a free government-issued photo ID card for people 10 years and older who live in NYC. It can help you get City services, museum memberships, and more.
Excluded Workers Fund
Cash & expenses | NYS Department of Labor
Payment to workers with low income who lost income due to COVID and who are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) due to immigration status or other factors.
Health Insurance Assistance
Health | NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA), NY State
Every New Yorker can get health insurance. There are low-cost and free plans for people who qualify, and counselors to help you choose a plan.
Food | NYC Department of Education
The New York City Department of Education is pleased to announce that breakfast and lunch are completely free for all students in every New York City public school.