|On January 27th, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed (lifted) the injunction issued by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, allowing the new Public Charge Rule to go into effect nationwide, except for inside the State of Illinois. There is separate litigation going on in the State of Illinois. For everyone else, USCIS announced last week that the Public Charge Rule will take effect on February 24, 2020.
Here are some key points to remember about the Public Charge Rule:
This particular public charge rule applies to green card applicants within the United States. Specifically, beneficiaries of family-based adjustment of status applications (I-485) are targeted by this rule, as well as non-immigrant visa holders who seek to extend or change their status. A very similar rule applies to family-based immigrants who go through consular processing in their home country. That rule is still being finalized by the Department of State and has yet to take effect.
Under the public charge rule, USCIS will consider and balance six factors of the applicant: Age, Family Status, Financial Status, Health, Education and Skills, and the Affidavit of Support. The Affidavit of Support will no longer be considered the most important factor. Instead, the applicant will have to show that they are unlikely to become a public charge (a person who uses public benefits) due to their age, size of the family, formal education and training, history of employment, and assets/wealth.
In addition, the receipt of public benefits (listed below) will be considered a negative factor, even if only for one month’s time. If a person receives public benefits for 12 months or more over a three-year time period, this will be considered a heavily-weighted negative factor.
For additional information and resources, visit the links below:
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