"Every family, every child, every human being deserves to feel safe and secure in the place they call home. I am committed to making sure that value defines what it means to live in Illinois."
Governor JB Pritzker
This web page lists resources offered by the State of Illinois and community-based organizations to assist new arrivals resettling in Illinois.
On Oct. 12, 2022, the United States announced a new process that allows Venezuelan nationals and their immediate family members to come to the United States. This provides a safe and orderly way for nationals of Venezuela who are outside the United States and lack U.S. entry documents to be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for advance authorization to travel and a temporary period of parole for up to 2 years for urgent humanitarian reasons and significant public benefit.
If you are interested in sponsoring a Venezuelan family outside of the United States, here is the Process for Venezuelans
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- ASSISTANCE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
- Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC)
- Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP)
- Family Support Network and Hotline
- PROGRAMS & SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
- Emergency & Transitional Housing Program
- Child Care Assistance
- School & Education
- Food Connections
- Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
- Mental Health Support
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- For 24-Hour Support for Deaf or hard of hearing American Sign Language users
- IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES
- Illinois Access To Justice
- Employment Authorization
- Protect Yourself from Immigration Scams
- Reporting Scams
- OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION
ASSISTANCE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
Illinois Welcoming Center (IWC)
The Illinois Welcoming Centers (IWC) consist of 34 comprehensive service centers providing a variety of free support services to all immigrants and refugees in Illinois, regardless of status, such as:
- Comprehensive and holistic case management and service coordination to immigrants and refugees in a linguistically, culturally sensitive manner.
- Benefits and services provided by state and federal agencies as well as social service agencies and connect individuals to appropriate services as needed through case management or referral.
- Coordinate social services in their particular geographic location by creating Community Alliances. These Community Alliances consist of meetings with local service providers to address common challenges shared in the delivery of services to immigrants and refugee and to enhance service effectiveness and improve service coordination.
- Host a variety of community education workshops to help immigrants and refugees learn about resources and information that can advance their successful integration and build the capacity of immigrant and refugee communities.
Visit the Office of the Illinois Welcoming Center website
Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP)
The Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP) is a contract between immigrant-serving organizations in Illinois, The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), and the Illinois Department of Human Services to support immigrant access to public benefits.
They currently partner with several community-based organizations with capacity in 59 languages. Here is a complete list of their partner organizations with direct contact information for IFRP services.
Visit the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights website.
Family Support Network and Hotline
The Family Support Network (FSN) HOTLINE is to unify, build and coordinate a full range of support - legal, social services, ministry, law enforcement, and political action - for all families torn apart by our immigration system. The Hotline operates 24/7.
Call 1-855-435-7693 for assistance.
Visit the Family Support Network and Hotline website
PROGRAMS & SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
Emergency & Transitional Housing Program
If you are in a vulnerable situation facing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, the Emergency and Transitional Housing Program can give immediate and comprehensive shelter services. For more information on Emergency and Transitional Housing providers.
Child Care Assistance
We know how important it is for you to find quality childcare for your child. The Illinois Department of Human Services' (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency are working together to support families to get the information and resources they need to find and select the best childcare for their child.
Visit Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) website.
School & Education
If you are looking for resources on school enrollment and need assistance searching for the nearest Public School, visit the Illinois State of Education website.
If you are searching for resources that can connect you to food pantries and soup kitchens in Illinois, please visit our website for a list of Illinois Food Banks and the area they serve.
Visit the Food Connections website.
Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
If you would like to locate a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) has a health center locator tool where you can search for a health center by address, state, or county.
FQHCs are in most cities and many rural areas. They will help you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income.
Visit Federally Qualified Health Center website.
Mental Health Support
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number-it is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress, including family, friends, and/or caregivers.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, or is having thoughts of suicide, 988 provides a connection to free, 24/7 confidential support.
For 24-Hour Support for Deaf or hard of hearing American Sign Language users
The national Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is now offering direct crisis counseling and support for Deaf or hard of hearing American Sign Language users via a dedicated videophone option. Disaster survivors and responders can connect with trained DDH crisis workers fluent in ASL by dialing 1-800-985-5990 from a videophone-enabled device or via an "ASL Now" link which can be accessed at DisasterDistress.samhsa.gov.
IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES
BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT IMMIGRATION PROVIDERS! Notaries Public are not attorneys. Generally, notaries, travel agents or insurance agents are not allowed to advise you on immigration matters or other legal matters.
Protections may be available for eligible Venezulans already present in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela for 18 months. Individuals eligible for TPS under this designation must have continuously resided in the United States since March 8, 2021.
Illinois Access To Justice
The Illinois Access to Justice network provides high quality legal services in the neighborhoods where people live and work. Legal Services include representation in criminal, civil, administrative, and immigration matters.
Call 1-888-708-6-A2J to find a legal service provider in your area.
Visit Illinois Access to Justice website.
To legally work in the United States, asylum seekers need to apply for asylum. One hundred and fifty days after their application is accepted, they can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Protect Yourself from Immigration Scams
We do not want you to become the victim of an immigration scam. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is authorized to give legal advice. Only an attorney or accredited representative working for a Department of Justice recognized organization can give you legal advice. Visit the Avoid Scams page for information and resources.
If you find you are a victim of an immigration scam please report this person to the Illinois Attorney General:
Illinois Attorney General - Immigration Fraud
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION
Visit State Departments website