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What Does The New Public Charge Rule Mean for Immigration?

Are you an immigrant trying to get a green card? Are you wondering how the new public charge rule announced on August 14, 2019, can affect you?


Immigration Attorney Mario Godoy Discusses the New Public Charge Rule

The Department of Homeland Security, known as DHS, published a final rule and that was relating to the public charge.

According to DHS, the rule will not take effect until October 15th, 2019 but here are a few important points regarding the public charge rule.

Who Does This Law Impact?

First, this law will mainly affect individuals seeking a green card through family member petitions. It’s really directed to those applying for adjustment of status or that are seeking to enter the U.S. from outside our borders. However, this provision of the law does not apply to all immigrants. For example, this rule will not apply to the citizenship process.

Another point is that the new rule defines what a public charge is. That’s now a person who receives any number of public benefits for more than an aggregate of 12 months over a 36 month period of time. Each benefit used counts towards that 12-month calculation. For instance, if an applicant receives two different benefits in one month that could potentially be counted as two months use of benefits. Under this new rule, Medicaid’s Supplemental NutritionAssistance Program known as SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, and section 8 housing assistance in federally subsidized housing can all be used as evidence that the green card or visa applicant is not admissible under the public charge ground.

Criteria for Consideration

It’s important to remember that prior to the receipt of benefits is only one factor in the public charge test. The new rule sets out other criteria for consideration such as the size of family, age, education, skills and employment among others. This rule also allows immigration officers to consider for the first time the ability to speak English, medical conditions and the availability of private health insurance.

The rule will require that immigrants attach a declaration of self-sufficiency when applying for a green card in addition to the many other forms that are already required. The new rule will also apply to adjustment of status applications that are postmarked on or after October 15, 2019. So the rules that apply to adjustment of status applications that are pending or postmarked before that date.

For that reason, now is a good time to speak to an immigration attorney about whether you want to file before that October 15th date. Feel free to reach out to Godoy Law Office, you can call us at 855-554-3639.

¿Es usted un inmigrante que quiere obtener la residencia legal permanente? ¿Tiene preguntas sobre cómo la nueva regla de carga pública puede afectarle? Mire este video para obtener información sobre la nueva regla de carga pública.

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