Being a public charge for the American administration is either make usage of public benefits or having highly likely to do it in the foreseeable future. This final rule applies to foreign people, legally known as non-immigrants. In other words, visa holders are allowed to study, invest or working for a limited period of time in the United States.
The final rule on public charge ground of inadmissibility was a controversial implementation date. Firstly, it was published on the Federal Register in August 2019. By that time the rule was ready to be applied on October 15th of last year, but several lower court judges interrupted its entry into force.
After several months of paralysis, on January 27, 2020, the Supreme dismissed the appellation of those judges. Its vote resulted: 5 magistrates in favor and 4 against it. Finally, the rule began to apply since last January 24 in all states except Illinois. Eventually, this state also was included.
Sonia Sotomayor, a magistrate of the Supreme Court, accuses the Government of repeatedly urging this institution to vote urgently on the entry into force of the new rule. This replaces the 1999 Provisional Field Guidelines on Deportation and Inadmissibility based on grounds of public charge.
After February 24th
Self-sufficiency was not a crucial requirement for the evaluation by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to acquire a permanent residence status. However, being supported by a sponsor had to be demonstrated in most types of visas in order to avoid becoming a public charge.
Since the last February 24th, applicants of certain visas and those who want to adjust their status to permanent resident (only it is possible to be adjusted within the U.S) will be subject to the principle of self-sufficiency. The final decision will depend on income level, age, possession of health insurance, level of English language skills and higher studies, acquired public benefits, among other factors.
List of public benefits that USCIS considers to determine if a nonimmigrant is, or highly likely will be, a public charge:
Public charge equals the equivalent usage of 12 months of public benefits during a 36-month period. In addition, they will count double when 2 types of aid are used at the same time, that is, if 2 types of benefits are used in the same month it will translate into 2 months of usage if it is 3 triple and so on.
Medicare drug aids
Food aid, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANAF).
Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI).
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Child Tax Credit Glance.
Housing rental aid, as a part of the Public Housing program.
Housing Choice Vouchers (HDU).
Cash aid of any sort of it in order to maintain income.
Medicaid, the vast majority of types of aid.
Other factors evaluated by the USCIS.
• The primary caregiver immigrant for a household member, children, or the elderly. DHS will take into account difficulties in making a financial contribution to the home due to its full dedication to its dependents. Unemployment or lack of employment history will not be considered.
• It will be considered a significant negative factor to have received public benefits if the immigrant was economically above the poverty guidelines.
• It will be a relevant positive factor to have Private Health Insurance.
• The immigrant’s health status will be a primary factor for the final decision.
• Household goods will be taken into account.
• Household income and members of the Armed Forces will be taken into account.
• It will be taken into consideration the part of public benefits corresponding to the household income.
• Tax payment by householders will be evaluated.
• Household income from illegal activities will not be given due consideration as part of income, assets or resources.
• It will be considered whether the immigrant has used public benefits in the past and canceled their obtaining public benefits.
• Education and skills will be examined. The lower level of them, the more probability of becoming a burden.
• DHS sets a minimum bond of $ 8,100 to avoid the inadmissibility for a public charge.
• DHS eliminates the possibility of exemption from the Affidavit of Support (form I-864). Previously, there was a possibility that certain non-immigrants did not need a sponsor to obtain their alien status.
Does public charge have the same federal meaning?
According to an April 2018 report prepared by the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public charge is reflected in the law in different ways in each state. In Massachusetts, it is described as a person who accepts public benefits due to indigence. In Pennsylvania, it means: “people who cannot support themselves and require and receive help from the community or from some political division of the community.” Whereas in Iowa, parents are responsible for keeping children over 18 economically dependent that may be a public charge.
The bond to avoid the inadmissibility for a public charge. Did you ask for benefits beyond your means?
The foreigner will be considered a public charge, after a consular officer’s or Attorney General’s evaluation, may pay a minimum deposit of $ 8,100 (it would be increased in relation to the proportions of public charge) to avoid inadmissibility or to be able to change his status.
Types of non-immigrants exempt of consideration for this new rule.
• Non-immigrants T (Victims of Human Trafficking) applying for adjustment of status will not need to send a waiver to avoid inadmissibility for a public charge.
• Non-immigrants with classification U (Victims of Criminal Activity) will continue to be exempt from inadmissibility for a public charge.