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Public Charge Rule

As I have mentioned in September 8, 2022 the Biden Administration released the Final rule on Public Charge, as a ground of inadmissibility. This Rule will become effective on December 23, 2022 and will apply to applications submitted on or after that dat. The Public Charge Rule that was implemented by the Trump Administration in 2019 was cancelled on March 9, 2021 and we currently utilize the Public Charge Rule consistent with the 1999 Field Guidance.

Who is Subject to This Rule?

In general, applicants for Green Cards: those who apply for their Green Cards abroad (through an Immigrant Visa process) or those who apply for their Green Cards inside the United States (Adjustment of Status process).

Who is exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility?

  1. Applicants seeking refugee or asylee status.
  2. Persons seeking T non-immigrant status (victims of human trafficking)
  3. Persons seeking U non-immigrant status (victims of criminal activity)
  4. Applicants seeking Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  5. Applicant seeking Registry
  6. Certain applicants seeking recognition as American Indians born in Canada
  7. Self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Which public benefits does the Government consider when determining whether an applicant is inadmissible under the public charge ground?

  1. Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  2. Cash Assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
  3. State and local cash assistance programs that provide benefits for income maintenance (General Assistance programs).
  4. Institutionalization for long-term care at government expense, such as in a nursing home or a mental health institution.

Which public benefits does the Government not consider when determining whether an applicant is inadmissible under the public charge ground?

  1. Medicaid and other health insurance and health services, including emergency medical services (other than support for long term institutional care).
  2. The Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  3. Nutrition programs, including food stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program and other supplementary and emergency food assistance programs.
  4. Housing benefits.
  5. Childcare services.
  6. Energy assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  7. Emergency disaster relief.
  8. Foster care and adoption assistance.
  9. Educational assistance, including benefits under the Head Start Act and aid for elementary, secondary, or higher education.
  10. Job training programs.
  11. In-kind, community-based programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter).

Besides, the government does not consider cash payments that have been earned, such as Social Security benefits, government pensions, veterans’ benefits, etc.).

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Public Charge

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