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DHS Resumes Wealth Test for Green Card Applicants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is resuming the implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide. On September 22, 2018, the Trump administration announced a proposed public charge rule to make it harder for immigrants to obtain a Green Card or Visa. The rule was labeled a ‘wealth test’ by immigration advocates, appealed and a temporary injunction blocking enforcement was placed on implementing the new policy. On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York granted a full stay of the injunction.

DHS announced on September 22, 2020, that it was resuming implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide.

What Is The New Public Charge Rule?

When the public charge rule is a wealth and health test that allows officers to deny immigrants the opportunity to obtain a green card based on whether the person is likely to use public benefits in the future. It does not require actual use of public benefits, only that an officer finds that you may likely use public benefits in the future.

The rule could impact over 500,000 immigrants in the United States who receive Green Cards — the first step to Citizenship — each year. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 69% of recent Green Card recipients had at least one negative public charge factor.

The public charge rule will impact:

• Anyone in the U.S. who applied, but has not yet been approved for a green card through DHS on or after February 24, 2020, will have to prove they are not likely to rely on government benefits in the future. The rule applies to all applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically, including pending applications and petitions.

• USCIS will not re-adjudicate any applications and petitions that were approved following the issuance of the July 29, 2020, injunction continuing through September 22, 2020.

• Immigrants who are eligible for needed public benefits, but may not apply because they fear it will hurt their chance to qualify for a Green Card.

The “wealth test” public charge rule will disproportionately hurt lower-income working-class immigrants, compared to wealthy immigrants.

WATCH: Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy explains the “wealth test” new public charge rule and who will be affected by the rule as well as some of the new changes.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

Mario Godoy and the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and immigration application status. With experience in many different types of immigration cases and understanding of the impact of new immigration regulations, it can be beneficial for you to contact an immigration lawyer today. Please call us at 855-554-6369

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