Miscellaneous FAQs, Part II

Port of Entry Codes: What port of entry is designated by a “Z” code on the I-94?

The “Z,” in front of two other letters, designates an asylum office. For example, ZMI is Miami, ZNY is Rosedale, New York. A list of port of entry codes has been added to Chapter 8: Common Refugee Codes.

REAL ID Act Requirements: Are refugee service providers required to comply with the identification document standards of the REAL ID Act?

No, according to ORR State Letter #07-07 (April 12, 2007), refugee service providers may continue to accept driver's licenses and other proof of identity that fail to meet all of the security requirements of the REAL ID Act. The REAL ID Act set minimum identification security standards for federal agencies. Many ORR-served clients initially possess no photo identification, and their first photo ID is often the Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Though the USCIS-issued EAD meets REAL ID requirements for both identity and proof of lawful presence, delays frequently occur in the processing of initial, replacement, or renewal EADs. Consult with the Office of Refugee Services if you have questions about acceptable documentation.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS): Do persons with Temporary Protected Status receive refugee program benefits if they are from Haiti or come from a refugee-producing country?

No, persons granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by DHS are not eligible for refugee program benefits or services, regardless of nationality. Note, however, that if Haitian nationals meet the definition of a Cuban/Haitian entrant, they do not lose refugee benefits even if they subsequently receive TPS. TPS allows individuals affected by ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war), an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or other extraordinary conditions in their country to remain and work temporarily in the United States until conditions permit their return home.

Tourists: Are Cubans who enter as tourists, temporary workers or in other non-immigrant visa categories and become permanent residents under the Cuban Adjustment Act eligible for refugee services?

No, Cubans who enter the U.S. as tourists or other non-immigrants are not eligible for refugee benefits. If they later acquire a status that confers eligibility, such as asylum applicant, they would be eligible to apply based on that status. Adjustment of status under the Cuban Adjustment Act does not in and of itself confer eligibility for refugee program services.

U.S. Citizens: Can refugees and other eligible groups continue to get refugee services after they become U.S. citizens?

Under 45 CFR, Part 400, formerly eligible individuals who become U.S. citizens are no longer eligible for refugee services.

VISAS 91: Are persons admitted as V-91 eligible for refugee services?

V-91 inscriptions on an I-94 arrival/departure card indicates that the person is "following to join" a parent or spouse who was admitted to the United States as a parolee. Only Cuban or Haitian nationals paroled into the United States are eligible for refugee services under 45 CFR 501.2; the eligibility of a Cuban or Haitian national admitted as a V-91, therefore, is determined based on the parole stamp on his or her own I-94, not on the relative's status.

Visa Lottery/Diversity Lottery: Are Cuban visa lottery immigrants eligible for refugee program benefits?

No, visa diversity lottery immigrants are not eligible for refugee program benefits, even if Cuban or Haitian nationals. Their documentation shows a permanent resident status associated with the code “DV.” This worldwide visa diversity lottery is a regular immigration program and persons enter as legal permanent residents. This status is not the same as "Cuban lottery parolees." These individuals enter the United States in parole status and are unable to become permanent residents until they have been in the United States at least one year.

Special Immigrant Visas (SIV): Are all persons issued a Special Immigrant Visa eligible for refugee services?

No, only Iraqi and Afghan nationals issued Special Immigrant Visas are eligible for refugee services. See Chapter 4 for other eligibility information.

Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) Eligibility Period: How long are Iraqi and Afghan SIVs eligible for refugee services?

Iraqi and Afghan SIV’s are eligible for refugee services for the same period as other refugees, that is, up to five years after entry. Note this is a change from their earlier eligibility of only eight months.