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Filing for unemployment benefits as a non-U.S. citizen

If you are not a U.S. citizen and you are applying for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) must verify that you are legally authorized to work in the United States.

Verifying your legal authorization to work

If you’re a non-U.S. citizen filing for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, DUA must verify that you are legally authorized to work in the United States. This is required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Your legal authorization to work will be verified through a computer match with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The information received from the USCIS may affect your eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Required documentation

When you apply for unemployment benefits, you will be asked to provide your Alien Registration Number. If you fail to provide this information, your benefits may be delayed or you may be disqualified from receiving benefits.

You may also be asked to provide a copy of the papers that establish your authorization to work. These papers may include:

  • Resident Alien Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Any other information that you believe makes it possible for you to work in the United States

Please note that you are not required to provide this information. However, if you choose not to prove to DUA that you are legally authorized to work, DUA will not be able to pay you unemployment benefits, even if you meet all other eligibility requirements.

Work authorization fraud

The USCIS may take action on any papers that they determine to be false or altered for criminal purposes. This includes any paperwork used to falsify eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Additional Resources

Multilingual SAVE Factsheet

Multilingual SAVE Factsheet

Contact for Filing for unemployment benefits as a non-U.S. citizen


Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available.

To request weekly benefits, daily 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

To check your claim or benefit payment status (*please do not transfer to an agent while in the system-this is not staffed at this time)

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