The Public Charge Rule mandated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that immigrants coming to the United States cannot rely financially on the government to support them. The public charge rule applies to all individuals coming into the United States, but it is largely misunderstood. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the public charge rule and their answers.
The public charge rule is not new. Congress passed the law in 1882, and it has been in place since that time. However, the USCIS made the rule more restrictive in early 2020. The new rule is more restrictive than it was in the past, as it requires a test that considers the totality of the circumstances to determine if an immigrant is likely to become a public charge at any time after they enter the United States.
When determining if a person is a public charge, the USCIS considers each case individually and applies the determination test that has two distinct parts. The first determines if the person has received a public benefit at any time in the past. The second part of the test is much more vague, as it only considers whether the individual is likely to become a public charge in the future.
Not all public benefits deem a potential immigrant as a public charge. The benefits that make a person ineligible include:
To be considered a public charge, a person must receive these benefits for 12 months out of a 36-month period.
Again, certain benefits do not deem someone as a public charge. Benefits that will not affect a person’s immigration status include:
Intending immigrants can receive these benefits without fear of having their status impacted.
Many people think that all immigration applicants are subject to the public charge rule, but that is not true. Certain applicants are exempt from the public charge rule, including:
People need financial support from time to time, which is what makes the public charge rule so difficult. If you need help determining if you are considered a public charge, or with any other aspect of your case, call our Chicago immigration lawyers at Kriezelman, Burton & Associates, LLC. We will help you through the complicated immigration system and give you the best chance of success with your case. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
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