In a previous article (“What is the Public Charge Rule?”) we discussed that the public charge concept was established by Congress to allow the U.S. government to deny a visa to anyone who “is likely at any time to become a public charge”, but without defining what “public charge” means.
We explained that since 1999, immigration officers had followed agency guidelines that a public charge is someone “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” as demonstrated by either (a) using public cash assistance for income maintenance or (b) institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.
The Trump administration’s new policy on the “pubic charge rule”, which took effect on October 15, 2019, is designed to reduce the number of people who are eligible for green cards and other visas, by redefining what makes them dependent on government benefits, or “likely” to be in the future.
Changes under the new “public charge” policy:
- A. The new policy radically expands the definition of “public charge” so that green card and other visa applicants could be denied – not for being “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence” (the previous standard) but instead for being “more likely than not” to use certain public benefits at any point in the future.
- B. The new policy sets a new criteria for denying a green card application from within the United States as follows:
- Prior use of certain government benefits.
- Likelihood of future use of government benefits.
- Insufficient financial resources.
If you have any questions about the “public charge policy” or any other immigration matter, contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. Our experienced immigration attorneys can advise you on what actions to take to avoid jeopardizing your ability to obtain the immigration benefits you seek.