Final Rule Published On Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility

Mario A. Godoy
Final Rule Published On Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final rule on September 8 that restored the Public Charge rule for noncitizens. It also restored the previous long-held public charge criteria that had been in effect before the Trump Administration. This determined that supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid and nutritional assistance are part of inadmissibility determination.

The final rule published on public charge clarifies that noncitizens who receive health or other public benefits to which they are entitled will not have negative immigration consequences.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said,

“This action ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members. Consistent with America’s bedrock values, we will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.” 

Why Was the Public Charge Rule Changed?

The public charge rule, also called the wealth test, gave U.S. immigration officers the authority to deny applicants of green cards, visa extensions, or other changes in immigration status. During the Trump administration, the Public Charge rule was expanded to include that someone who was dependent on government benefits or was likely to become dependent on public health benefits in the future is not eligible for a green card or other U.S. visas. Effective September 9, 2022, visa applicants are not required to submit Form I-944 or DS-5540. President Bident signed an executive order on February 2 calling for a review of the public charge rule implemented by the Trump administration.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Section 212(a), says that noncitizens will become inadmissible if they become a public charge. Prior to the 2019 public charge changes, benefits that were not considered for noncitizen inadmissibility included Medicaid or nutrition assistance.

Do You Have Questions About Your Immigration Application?

The experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office offer assistance in immigration matters. We also advise family and employment-based immigrants looking to secure status. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 630-912-0322.

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