The U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in favor of lifting nationwide injections placed on the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds rule. The ‘Public Charge’ rules will make many applicants inadmissible if an individual was “likely at any time to become a public charge.”
USCIS will implement ‘Public Charge’ for all applications and petitions submitted on or after February 24, 2020. The Public Charge requirement has been a policy for a long time but was never defined as expressly.
The new guidance is applied to those who are “more likely than not” to receive any of nine benefits for 12 or more combined months within any 36 months. Receipt of two public benefits in one month counts as two months. Once an immigrant is labeled a ‘public charge,’ they could be denied green cards, visas, and other forms of legal immigration status.
Previous guidance was applied to applicants who might become “primarily dependent” on any of the designated programs.
The updated regulation shifts away from the petitioner/sponsor’s income when determining public charge inadmissibility and instead focuses on a ‘wealth test’ that asses the following:
No single factor (other than the lack of affidavit support, if required) will determine whether an individual is a public charge.
Programs that are likely to be viewed as those which would make a noncitizen inadmissible as a public charge include:
The Department of Homeland Security also expanded the list of designated state and federal programs considered in the “totality of the circumstances” public charge test.
In limited circumstances, USCIS will exercise discretionary authority to offer an otherwise inadmissible foreign national the opportunity to post a public charge bond. The final rule sets the minimum bond amount at $8,100. However, the actual bond amount will depend on individual circumstances.
It should be noted, that in most cases, lawful permanent residents who possess a green card cannot be denied U.S. citizenship for lawfully receiving any public benefits for which they are eligible.
About the author: Jon Velie has practiced Immigration law since 1993. He is CEO of OnlineVisas.com., the intelligent Immigration platform. Jon is an Amazon number one best-selling author of H1B Visa: Application & Approval, is regularly covered by major media and has won a number of international awards. Jon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-310-4333 office or 405-821-5959 mobile.