FAQ: New Public Charge Rule

Q&A: New Public Charge Rule

The Department of Homeland Security recently published new rules for the public charge ground of inadmissibility. We understand that this news has many immigrants feeling worried and confused as to whether this will impact their status or pending citizenship applications. Here are some of the ways the new public charge rule might affect you:

Question: What is a public charge?

A: “Public charge” refers to an immigrant who is likely to be dependent on government assistance for subsistence.

Question: Does the public charge rule apply to the naturalization process?

A: No. The new public charge rule does not apply to naturalization proceedings.

Question: How does USCIS determine if an immigrant is a public charge?

A: Adjudicating officers look at the following factors to determine if someone is a public charge:

  • Health
  • Age
  • Assets
  • Family status
  • Financial status
  • Education & skills

Officers can also consider whether a person receiving certain publicly funded benefits will likely be a public charge.

Question: What forms of public assistance might be considered under the new public charge rule?

A: The followingpublicly funded benefitscan be considered by officers for public charge purposes:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • “General Assistance" programs
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The following non-cash benefits cannot be considered for public charge purposes:

  • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Childcare services
  • Emergency disaster relief
  • Foster care & adoption assistance
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program
  • Educational assistance
  • Job training programs
  • Community-based programs

Our lawyers at Davis & Associates are here to answer all of your questions regarding the new public charge rule to help you determine if your immigration status might be impacted. Call (214) 999-1942 today to schedule your free case consultation with a member of our law firm.

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