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.
Low-cost and free health insurance
Health Insurance Assistance
Health | NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA); NYS Department of Health (NYS DOH)
Health insurance helps pay for planned or unexpected medical care. Health insurance options are available to all New Yorkers, even if you are not a citizen. Counselors are available to help you choose a health insurance plan.
Free school breakfast and lunch
Food | NYC Department of Education (DOE)
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.
A free City ID card
City ID Card | NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA)
IDNYC is a free government-issued photo ID card for people 10 and older who live in NYC. It can help you get City services, museum memberships, and more.
Food from pantries and community kitchens
Community Food Connection
Food | NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA)
There are ways to get free food quickly – get groceries from a food pantry, or a cooked meal from a community kitchen. Use the Food Help NYC (https://foodhelp.nyc.gov/) map or call 311 to find your closest food pantry and community kitchen.
English conversation and learning program
We Speak NYC
Education | Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)
We Speak NYC helps English language learners age 16 and above to learn English and access services. The program has online classes, videos, web, and print materials for you to practice at home.
STEM programs during school breaks
STEM Matters NYC
Enrichment | NYC Department of Education (DOE)
STEM Matters NYC offers many exciting and hands-on STEM programs for K-12 students during spring break and summer.
Payment for workers with low income who are excluded from other benefits
Excluded Workers Fund
Cash & expenses | NYS Department of Labor (DOL)
Payment to workers with low income who lost income due to COVID and who are not eligible for (https://access.nyc.gov/programs/nys-unemployment-insurance/) Unemployment Insurance (UI) due to immigration status or other factors.