Alien Status and Eligibility for the PFD

AS 43.23.005(a)(5) states that, to be eligible to receive a permanent fund dividend, the individual must be:

A. a citizen of the United States;

B. an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States;

C. an alien with refugee status under federal law; or

D. an alien that has been granted asylum under federal law;

When considering an alien status for PFD eligibility, the term “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” means that an alien must be legally present in Alaska and be able to form the intent to remain in Alaska indefinitely. This specifically references aliens who are not restricted from forming the legal intent to remain in the US under the terms of their visa.

15 AAC 23.154 provides additional guidance on eligibility of alien applicants.

The Division “will not consider an alien to be lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the USCIS assigns the alien a status that requires that alien to declare that the alien has a residence in a country other than the United States.” 15 AAC 23.154(b). See also 15 AAC 23.154(a)(2).

Physical presence in Alaska is not, by itself, sufficient to establish residency. Before January 1 of the qualifying year, an individual must have taken at least one step beyond physical presence in Alaska to establish residency. Applicants must provide proof of residency showing intent to remain indefinitely in Alaska.

Individuals from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau may enter the US via the Compact of Free Association and must provide an I-94 to establish intent and residency before the Division can determine eligibility.

Individuals from American Samoa are considered US Nationals (non-naturalized) and must provide an original birth certificate before the Division can determine eligibility. If the individual is from Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa), they must provide an original birth certificate and initiate the naturalization process before January 1st of the qualifying year. Proof of their action must be provided to the Division. Other US Nationals (non-naturalized) include the Swain Islands and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Like individuals from American Samoa, they must provide an original birth certificate.

When applying for a PFD an original birth certificate must be provided by individuals from US Territories - Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. (Individuals from Puerto Rico must supply a birth certificate issued AFTER July 1, 2010.)

Canadian-Born North American Natives with a minimum of 50% quantum of Native blood can provide documentation on their tribe’s letterhead stating what percentage American Native blood they possess. This is known as the Jaye Treaty.

Other documentation that can be considered allowable for Permanent Fund Dividend Purposes include:

  • I-181 Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence.
  • A passport that displays “Immigrant Visa” in the upper right corner with the date of entry prior to January 1st of the qualifying year.
  • A passport date stamped by Immigration with a date prior to January 1st of the qualifying year and a stamp stating “Temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent resident valid until _xx/xx/xxxx__.”
  • An I-94 document identifying Refugee Status with a date stamp prior to January 1st of the qualifying year.
  • An Employment Authorization Card that shows Asylee Class with an issue date prior to January 1st of the qualifying year.
  • A “Grant of Asylum” document issued by USCIS and granted prior to January 1st of the qualifying year.