Public Charge: What is important to know

The rules to apply for a “Green Card” in the United States have been updated. Understand Public Charge and how you could be affected.

Beginning on February 24, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will apply a new set of rules to approve permanent resident status regarding Public Charge. This especially concerns immigrants and family members who are viewed as likely to become dependent on the government.

In this way, Trump administration officials hope to discourage immigrants and their families from seeking public assistance they may be qualified for, such as Medicaid food stamps, free or reduced meals, or housing assistance.

What does it apply to

Based on these new admission rules, factors such as age, health, language skills, the credit score – see more on the box -, insurance are evaluated. Whether an applicant has previously used public benefits for more than 12 months over a 36 months period before submitting the application for adjustment or admission will be crucial.

Factors that show dependency on public services, such as the enrollment of children in public schools, were already observed in some cases. But, since February 24, 2020, it has become the rule.

Does the new Public Charge apply to me?

Are you a U.S. Citizen?

Public Charge does not apply in this case. You can continue to use Government Programs.

Do you or someone in your family have a “Green Card”?

Public Charge and any of the new rules do not apply to you. This is why it is possible to renew your “Green Card” or apply for U.S. Citizenship. However, if you want to leave the country for more than six months, it is important to speak with your immigration lawyer.

Did you apply for a “Green Card” and are waiting, in Temporary Protected Status (TPS), have visas U or T (referring to certain crime victims), an asylee, or a refugee?

The new rules do not apply in any of these cases. Therefore, you can continue to use American Government services.

Are you planning to apply for a “Green Card” in the family-based system?

If you use the public assistance programs listed above, you will be considered for Public Charge. Your income, age, health, education, skills, family status and statement of support from sponsors will also be considered.

Have a high Credit Score helps you to show to American Government that you are not at risk of becoming dependent on public services.

Do you want to apply to “Green Card”? Contact us at our main office.

Have any questions about Public Charges or want to give a suggestion? Leave your comment.

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