DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 18: Financial Support Systems
18-2.3  PRUCOL (Permanent Residence Under Color of Law)
Financial Support Systems
18-2.3  PRUCOL (Permanent Residence Under Color of Law)
Reference Points
PRUCOL Applications for Children under DFCS Supervision
PRUCOL Application for Adults
Other References

Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 8/31/2015
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Legal Basis Text
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
pdf Verification Request Form (Prucol) G-845
MS Word Verificaton Request Supplement Form  - G-845 Supp
 CWS/CMS Forms:
PDF Forms Text


PRUCOL, Permanent Residence Under the Color of Law, is a term defined by regulations and court decisions to describe categories of non-citizens who are potentially eligible for certain public benefits in California. 

Children who are undocumented are only eligible for restricted Medi-Cal benefits, and, upon entering foster care placement, costs may need to be paid from all county funds.  Therefore, when an undocumented child is placed in temporary custody with the potential for becoming a dependent of the court and placed in out-of-home care, it is important for the social worker to explore PRUCOL status for the child.  Through the PRUCOL process, the child is able to receive a VISA, which in turn makes the child eligible for federally funded programs and services, including full-scope Medi-cal, Transition Housing Program, and Chafee grants, to name a few.

A PRUCOL application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS) allows that agency to recognize the court dependent status of a child.  Through the PRUCOL process, the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) is informed if the USCIS has any pending action to limit the child's U.S. residence.  A PRUCOL response from the USCIS indicating that no deportation action is being pursued regarding the child allows the Social Services Agency/Department of Eligibility Benefits (DEBS) to explore approval of full scope Medi-Cal and a state share in the cost of care for the child. 

A PRUCOL response from USCIS is for entitlement purposes only.  It is not a separate USCIS classification such as Lawful Permanent Resident Amnesty, etc.  The USCIS does not recognize PRUCOL as a real or implied legal resident status, so no immigration benefits result from it. 

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PRUCOL Applications for Children under DFCS Supervision  

Social workers are required to complete the PRUCOL application for any undocumented child who is placed in out-of-home care, as soon as the first Initial Petition Hearing is held. However, any social worker who discovers that an undocumented child has not had a PRUCOL application submitted on his or her behalf must submit a PRUCOL application for the child.

Important Note: The PRUCOL application must be completed regardless of the disposition of the referral or petition, if the child was at anytime in an out-of-home placement

To apply for PRUCOL status for a child, the social worker

  • Completes
    • Completes G-845 and
    • Parts A and C of the G-845 Supplement form.
      • Secure necessary information from all available sources, i.e., minor, school records, parents, relatives, etc.
      • Complete all questions on the form.
      • If, after checking all sources, the information is not known or is not available, write that response, "Information Not Known" or "Information Not Available", in the appropriate box and note with an asterisk.
        • No sections can be left blank.
        • The USCIS must have a completed form to respond to any PRUCOL request.
        • A response of "Information Unknown" or "Info Not Available" is better than leaving it blank.
      • Explain why the worker is completing the form for the child and add additional information to any question in the "Remarks" Section, line 21, page 4.

    • "Case Summary-Foster Care" (Attachment 2) of the form.
      • In this summary, which must be completed for processing of PRUCOL, concisely address areas that include:
        • Medical problems
        • No likelihood of family reunification with either parent
        • No one to return child to in country of origin
        • Prospects for adoption are slim
        • Minor will remain a dependent until the age of majority
      • A sample of a Summary write-up is included in the MC G-845 form (Attachment 2A).

  • Makes copies of the G-845 and the G-845 Supplement and all supporting documents and places the copies in the case file.
  • Sends originals of the G-845 forms and all supporting documents to the Intake Foster Care Eligibility Work Supervisor (E92A) who completes the application process.
    • The Eligibility worker forwards the original application to the USCIS and keeps a copy of the application in the eligibility case.
    • The USCIS will contact the county if it plans to deport the person listed on the G845 Supplement.
  • Initiates the application for a one-year redetermination when notified by the eligibility worker.
    • All PRUCOL granted determinations are provisional and must be redetermined by USCIS within one year and a day that USCIS annotates the G-845 Supplement form.
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PRUCOL Application for Adults  

Social workers may assist parents of children in applying for Medi-Cal benefits under PRUCOL.

  • Immigrants who meet all eligibility requirements may receive either full Medi-Cal benefits (if they are in a satisfactory immigration status) or restricted benefits limited to emergency and pregnancy-related services (if they are not in a satisfactory immigration status).

  • USCIS will not deport persons from other countries on the basis that a claim for PRUCOL status was subsequently denied by the USCIS.  USCIS, however, reserves the right to seek deportation  action when a case warrants it for reasons unrelated to the PRUCOL request, such as an open warrant for the applicant's arrest.  If the social worker has any concerns regarding deportation, consult with County Counsel prior to assisting an adult in applying for PRUCOL.
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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 13-20.2: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
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