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How FEMA Aid Applies To Undocumented Immigrants

Release date: 
October 5, 2009
Release Number: 

ATLANTA, Ga. --  Everyone affected by the September Georgia flooding can still apply for state and federal disaster assistance, including foreign nationals here legally, said officials from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

People issued a legal permanent resident card - commonly referred to as "a green card" - may apply for assistance if they have disaster-related losses. Other non-citizens who can apply with FEMA include those with legal resident status because of asylum, refugee status, parole status, suspension of deportation status or status as victims of domestic violence.

Only one member of a household needs to be eligible to qualify the entire household for assistance, so parents and guardians may apply for assistance on behalf of a minor child here legally. A household with family members with mixed immigration status may be eligible for disaster assistance.

FEMA does not collect information on the immigration status of other household members. 

Those in the United States with temporary tourist visas, student visas, work visas and temporary resident cards are not eligible for disaster assistance.

The counties under the disaster declaration for Individual Assistance are Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Stephens and Walker.

Applicants should register by calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 800-462-7585 and apply. Help in all languages is available. The toll-free telephone numbers are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Application for disaster assistance also can be made by registering online at

FEMA HelpLine specialists can also refer you to other programs that may provide disaster-assistance regardless of your immigration status. about their application or review information FEMA needs to process the application. Recovery specialists can supply contacts for other programs that may be able to help.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:25