December 4, 2023

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USCIS Rule On Public Charge Inadmissibility Will Go Into Effect In December – General Immigration

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a
final rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The new
rule will go into effect on December 23, 2022 and will apply to
applications postmarked on or after that date. Until then, USCIS
will continue to apply the 1999 Interim Field Guidance on public
charge inadmissibility, as it has done since March 9, 2021. Under
the new rule, USCIS formalizes an approach that allows it to follow
the law, protect the country’s interests, and address the fear
and confusion that previously led eligible noncitizens to disenroll
from public benefits (even when they were not subject to the public
charge ground).

Under the final rule, USCIS will determine if a noncitizen is
likely to become a public charge based on the following:

  • Age, health, family status, financial status (including assets
    and resources), education, and skills;

  • Whether a sponsor has submitted Form I-864, Affidavit of
    Support Under Section 213A of the INA, for the noncitizen (when
    required); and

  • Whether the noncitizen has received or is receiving:

    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

    • Cash assistance for income maintenance under Temporary
      Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

    • State, tribal, territorial, or local cash benefit programs for
      income maintenance (often called “General Assistance”);

    • Long-term institutionalization at government expense.

Under the new rule, USCIS will NOT consider the following when
making a public charge determination:

  • Benefits received by the noncitizen’s family members;

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other
    nutrition programs benefits;

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits;

  • Medicaid (other than long-term institutionalization at
    government expense);

  • Housing benefits;

  • Any benefits related to immunizations or testing for
    communicable diseases; or

  • Other supplemental or special-purpose benefits.

Under U.S. immigration law, public charge inadmissibility does
not affect or apply to some applicants. That means the new rule
will not affect a noncitizen if she or he is:

  • Already a lawful permanent resident (in most cases);

  • A refugee;

  • An asylee;

  • Applying for or re-registering for Temporary Protected

  • A special immigration juvenile; or

  • Applying for or have T, U, or Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

SOURCE: Federal Register:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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