New York State Immigrant Resource Guide

TOP New York State Immigrant Resource Guide
Language Services
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Find Community-Based Legal Assistance and English Language Classes

  • The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) has 27 community-based Opportunity Centers that provide a variety of free services including language services, English-for-Speakers-of-other-Languages (ESOL) classes, naturalization support, entrepreneurial trainings, and workshops on accessing state services.

Find an Opportunity Center

Call the Multi-Lingual New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636

  • The multi-lingual New York State New Americans Hotline provides free and confidential immigration information and referrals to trusted help. Information for immigrant New Yorkers include referrals to free English language classes, immigration legal services and more.
  • Call the Hotline toll-free at 1-800-566-7636 open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Know Your Rights for Language Access

  • On October 6, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 26, which directs executive state agencies that provide direct public services to offer language assistance services (translation and interpretation) to people of Limited English Proficiency (LEP). 

Language Access

Report Crime & Discrimination
Report Crime & Discrimination
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Fight Crime and Discrimination in New York State

  • New Yorkers are encouraged to report incidents of bias and discrimination across the state and to file a complaint with the State Division of Human Rights by calling the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-888-392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. If you need to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

Report Human Trafficking

  • If you are a victim of human trafficking or if you suspect that someone you know is, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 for free and confidential help in 170 languages or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

Contact the New York State Domestic Violence Hotline

  • To speak with someone at the NYS Domestic Hotline call 1-800-942-6902.

Report Housing Discrimination

Federal, New York State and local laws make it illegal to discriminate against individuals in a housing context based upon race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, creed, age, sexual orientation, marital status or military status, among others.  These protections apply regardless of an individual’s immigration status. If you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination and would like to file a complaint, you can contact the New York State Division of Human Rights by telephone at (888) 392-3644.  For further information, visit the New York State Division of Human Rights home page and the New York State Division of Human Rights Fair Housing Guide.    

For further information on fair housing laws, visit the New York State Homes & Community Renewal Fair and Equitable Housing Office website.

If you are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, contact your local Department of Social Services.

Report Tenant Harassment

New York State law and some local laws prohibit the harassment of a tenant by a landlord and/or the landlord’s agent, no matter the tenant’s immigration status.  If you live in a rent-regulated unit and believe you have been a victim of tenant harassment, or are unsure whether you live in a rent-regulated unit, you can contact The Governor's Tenant Protection Unit by telephone at (718) 739-6400 or by email at TPUinfo@nyshcr.org

For further information, visit The Tenant Protection Unit website.  If you do not live in a rent-regulated unit and believe you have been a victim of tenant harassment, you can contact your local legal services provider.

Legal Services
Legal Services
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Find Immigration Legal Services

Additional Legal Assistance

Consumer Protection
Consumer Protection
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Fight Immigration Fraud

  • Beware of scammers and attorneys seeking to take advantage of immigrants. File a complaint against scammer by calling the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday - Friday.
  • To check if your lawyer is currently registered with New York State, visit the New York State's Unified Court System's Attorney Search website by clicking the button below.

Attorney Search

  • To check if a community-based organization and their non-lawyer staff are accredited and recognized by the federal government to help you with immigration assistance services, visit the United States Department of Justice. 
  • Resources about immigration assistance services fraud, including a handbook to help provide local government and law enforcement with the tools to crackdown on immigration assistance fraud, can be found at the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers website.

Find Consumer Protection Information

  • Find information on how to protect yourself from scams, identify theft, and where to file a consumer complaint on the Consumer Protection website.
  • There is also a toll free Consumer Assistance Hotline: 1-800-697-1220 open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Protect Yourself

Health Services
Health Services
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Find a Health Care Center

  • Certain health centers offer checkups and sick visits regardless of the person’s ability to pay, insurance status or immigration status. Find a Health Center near you or call 311 (for New York City) and 211 (for all other counties in New York State) and ask about your closest health center.

Find a Health Center

Get Health Insurance

  • Some immigrants are eligible for health insurance based on your immigration status. Visit the Health Care Navigator for to find in-person assistance in your community. If you are hearing impaired, call the TTY number at 1-800-662-1220.

Get Health Insurance Assistance

Find a Mental Health Program

  • The NYS Mental Health Hotline can be contacted at 1-800-273-8255.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted at 1-800-273-TALK.

Find a Mental Health Program

Financial Assistance
Financial Assistance
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SNAP Eligibility

  • Some immigrants may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which can be used to purchase food. SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others feed their families.

SNAP Eligibility

Find Temporary Assistance

  • Temporary Assistance (TA) is available to some immigrants for temporary help for needy men, women and children. If you are unable to work, can’t find a job, or your job does not pay enough, Temporary Assistance may be able to help you pay for your expenses.

Find Temporary Assistance

Reduced Fare Metro Cards Eligibility

  • MTA offers a reduced fare MetroCard for seniors or people with certain disabilities. Immigration status does not matter. Find out if you're eligible for a reduced fare MetroCard. You may also visit a Reduced Fare MetroCard Walk-In Center at 3 Stone Street (between Broadway and Broad Street).

Find a MetroCard Location

Community Involvement
Community Involvement
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Enroll Your Child in School

  • Anyone over age 5 and under 21 who has not received a high school diploma is entitled to attend free public school at the school district in which they reside, no matter their immigration status. For more information on the local enrollment process, please contact your local school district. If you need assistance in determining what school district or school zone you reside in, you can call 311 (for New York City) and 211 (for all other counties in New York State). 

Find Your School District

Know Your Rights as a Worker

  • The Department of Labor educates New Yorkers about employment services for individuals (such as job searches, resume development, and interviewing skills), job postings for businesses, and enforcement of labor law.

Find Services

Visit the Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs

  • This Division of the State Labor Department addresses the needs, issues, and challenges of immigrants by:
    • Outreach in immigrant communities
    • Monitoring compliance with labor laws by farms and farmers in the state

Immigrant Policies and Affairs

Download the Guide
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