If you’re an immigrant living in California, here is what you need to know to protect yourself, your family, and your community from coronavirus. Help and public benefits are available to you, some regardless of immigration status.
Don’t let fear stop you from getting necessary help or treatment, as the effects of avoiding health care services may be very serious. This will help keep you, your family, and your community healthy.
Testing and treatment
If you’re undocumented or don’t have insurance, you can still get needed COVID-19 testing and treatment at no cost. Medi-Cal care for COVID-19 related testing or treatment alone does not count under the public charge rule.
See who can get tested.
Uninsured? Have Medi-Cal, but no regular doctor? Call Medi-Nurse
Medi-Nurse is a free, 24/7 nurse advice line available at 1-877-409-9052. You can speak directly with a health professional about your symptoms, get advice for further treatment in your area, or ask how to apply for health insurance.
Find out more about how to get testing and treatment.
Know your rights
All Californians regardless of immigration status, have protections under our laws and Constitution.
- Know your basic rights
- Create a family preparedness plan
- Know your rights at work (available in English and Español)
- Rapid response numbers to report ICE activity
- Legal help for individual immigration cases
A new law provides renters, homeowners, and small landlords with relief if coronavirus or quarantine has impacted your ability to pay all or part of your rent or mortgage.
Learn more at Housing is Key.
Hotel rooms for agricultural workers
The Housing for the Harvest program offers temporary hotel housing to agricultural and food processing workers, including farm workers, who need to isolate due to COVID-19. It helps exposed agricultural workers protect their loved ones by giving them a place to stay and meals so they can self-isolate until they recover.
Visit Housing for agricultural workers to get the contact info for this program your county.
Guide for Immigrant Californians
The Guide for Immigrant Californians (PDF) will help you stay safe and informed. The guide may be updated over time.
The guide is available in:
If you work and have low income, you may qualify for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). If you qualify for CalEITC and have a child under the age of six, you may also qualify for the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC). These state credits can give you hundreds of dollars.
The CalEITC is now available to taxpayers who do not have a Social Security number, but do have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If you have an ITIN and are eligible, you can claim the credit on your 2020 individual tax returns (which are filed in 2021). The Franchise Tax Board has more info on CalEITC and YCTC (en Español).
You may also be eligible for free tax preparation at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site.
Avoid utility power shut-offs
Many utility companies are not shutting off services due to non-payment.
The Water Board restricts shut off to water services during the COVID-19 crisis. Fill out this form to report any water shut off or reconnection issue. Language assistance is available (en Español) for Spanish speakers to report water shut-offs by calling 916-445-5617.
Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants
On April 15, Governor Newsom announced one-time disaster relief assistance for undocumented Californians impacted by COVID-19 who are ineligible for most other forms of pandemic assistance, including direct assistance under the CARES Act and unemployment insurance.
This program ended June 30, 2020. No more applications are being accepted.