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Services for Asylum Seekers

CIANA is proud to have joined the citywide effort to welcome asylum seekers and connect them with social services, legal screenings, food, and clothing.

We have served hundreds of asylum seekers in the last few months alone, mostly from West Africa and Latin America. Some are staying in shelters close to our office in Astoria; others are as far as away as Randall's Island or JFK Airport. No matter where they come from and what their needs are, we do what we can to welcome and assist them.
Explore resources for asylum seekers here.

Please note that at this time, CIANA does not directly assist with applications for asylum, work permits, or temporary protected status (TPS). However, our legal team can conduct a free legal screening and give a list of referrals to organizations that do provide these services.

Our staff speak Arabic, French, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, and Spanish. We recruit volunteers and interns who speak Wolof, Pulaar, and Fulani to assist our West African asylum seekers in their native languages.

Browse through the different types of assistance we offer asylum seekers, and
contact us if you need assistance.


Know-Your-Rights Workshops

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Our team periodically conducts workshops in Arabic, French, and Spanish to familiarize new arrivals with their rights and responsibilities in the U.S., and to help them understand the legal process of applying for asylum.

English Classes

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CIANA offers free, virtual English classes for adults who wish to learn basic English language skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and grammar. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am-12:00pm on Zoom.


Our English classes currently have a waitlist. Contact us if you would like to join or need more information.

Social Services

Social Services

We help connect asylum seekers with various social services and public benefits program based on their eligibility.

NYC Care

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Our Case Managers help new arrivals enroll in NYC Care, a no-cost and low-cost health plan for New York City residents, regardless of immigration status. With NYC Care, you can get a unique membership card to access health services, choose your own doctor, and get affordable medications.


Learn more about NYC Care.

Fair Fares

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We help our clients apply for Fair Fares, a program that offers discounted MetroCards (half-priced, NOT free) for low-income New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status.

Learn more about Fair Fares.



All New York City residents, no matter their immigration status, can get a free ID card. Appointments can be made at select libraries across the five boroughs.


There is currently a waitlist for IDNYC appointments. As appointments open up, we can help schedule them for our clients. Learn more.



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Our Case Managers connect asylum seekers with various food and nutrition assistance programs. Pregnant women and families with children under five years old can be referred to WIC, and those who receive NYC Care may be eligible for Groceries to Go. We also help asylum seekers find nearby food pantries and community fridges.

Explore more food and nutritional resources.


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Thanks to the generosity of community members and supporters, we are able to offer asylum seekers of all ages gently-used donated clothes, such as jackets, sweatshirts, socks, shoes, and boots.

If you would like to donate new or gently-used clothing items to CIANA, please contact us.


Contact Us

Reach out to us if you need assistance or would like to refer someone. We kindly ask that those in need of assistance contact us in advance to make an appointment before coming to our office. Find more resources for asylum seekers here.


If you would like to volunteer, donate clothes, or support us in another way, don't hesitate to reach out. There are multiple ways to reach us:

  • Call (718) 545-4040

  • Email

  • Message us on our website

  • Follow us on social media @cianainc: X (Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram

Contact Us

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