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Green Card Rule in Effect February 24, 2020

statue of liberty, New Green Card Rule in Effect February 24, 2020

Last week the Supreme Court ruled to uphold one of President Trump’s immigration reform policies that may affect many green card applicants. The “public charge” rule will be implemented on the 24th of this month. This rule does not currently apply to applications originating from outside the United States. Green Card applicants currently in the United States must prove they are not likely to become a “public charge.”  This primarily affects adjustment of status applicants, interviewing in the United States. This could be a family petition

What is the “public charge” rule?

The “public charge” rule has been in effect since the 1880’s. Now the parameters are expanding to likely affect many more applicants.  Applications may be denied for:

  1. Anyone who has received one or more of government provided benefits, for more than 12 months combined, within any 36-month period.
  2. Anyone who may potentially use a government benefit in the future, based on age, family size, or health.  

What programs constitute government assistance?

The list of assistance programs that may exclude an applicant will now include but are not limited to:

  • SSI—Supplemental Security Income
  • TANF—Temporary assistance for needy families (welfare)
  • State or local general assistance
  • Medicaid or other long-term institutionalized care such as a nursing home or mental health facility.
  • SNAP—Supplemental nutrition assistance program (food stamps)
  • Section 8 housing and rental assistance
  • Federal housing subsidies
  • Non-emergency Medicaid benefits (with exceptions for minors, people with disabilities, pregnancy, and mothers within 60 days of giving birth). 

What does this mean for you?

The take-away is that if you are preparing to submit an application for an adjustment of status, be aware of elements taken into consideration for approval. Some factors considered when determining whether an applicant may potentially utilize government assistance in the future are:

  • Age—under the age of 18 or older than 61.
  • Health—any medical conditions which may affect the applicant’s ability to work
  • Family size—more children or dependents could be reason for a visa denial.
  • Skills—proficiency in English language along with adequate education and skills to obtain employment
  • Financial status—credit history, credit scores, and general likelihood that finances would interfere with work or education. 

What should you do?

Arm yourself with knowledge and don’t assume that since you are interviewing abroad that you are in the clear. Now more than ever, it is extremely important to provide the most detailed information in your application proving that you will be able to live in the United States without government support.

Even better, seek the advice of a Certified Expert in International Law for further assistance with your green card application.

Contact Us Today to discuss your adjustment of status!

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