Public Charge Rule for Immigrants Goes Live on February 24, 2020

Following a US Supreme Court ruling in favor of Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds, USCIS will implement it on all applications and petitions submitted on or after Feb. 24, 2020.

Not newly formed, this inadmissibility rule has always been a part of the USCIS immigration system and is now being strictly enforced. Requiring to be self-sufficient, all immigrants and their dependents coming into the US are expected to rely on their own resources and families without solely depending on the American economic infrastructure.

What You Should Know About the Implemented Public Charge Rule:

The final rule is not implemented in the State of Illinois and each alien immigrant’s petition will be assessed on an individual case by case basis.

  • DHS will not consider an alien’s application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits before Oct. 15, 2019.
  • DHS can only enforce this rule to public benefits received on or after Feb. 24, 2020.
  • Updated forms, submission instructions, and Policy Manual guidance will be available after February3, 2020.
  • The Final Rule also addresses USCIS’ authority to issue public charge bonds in the context of applications for adjustment of status. 
  • In case of extensions and change of status, every immigrant will have to prove that they have not received public benefits since obtaining the nonimmigrant status.

What are the Exceptions to The Wealth Test?

Here’s a list of which non-cash benefits and special-purpose cash benefits are NOT subject to public charge consideration

Who Is a Public Charge?

In determining inadmissibility, USCIS defines ‘public charge’ as an individual who is likely to become “primarily” dependent on the US government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance, or institutionalization for long-term care at government’s expense.

What Factors Are Considered to Assess an Alien Immigrant as ‘public charge’?

The ‘wealth test’ implemented by USCIS will assess the following before determining whether he will become dependent upon the US government for subsistence:

  • age
  • health
  • family status
  • assets
  • resources
  • financial status
  • education and
  • skills

No single factor, other than the lack of an affidavit of support, if required, will determine whether an individual is a public charge. If the visit is temporary and of non-immigrant nature, the visitor can be a self-sponsored during his visit to the US.

Are you visiting the US on a temporary B2 Visitor Visa?

Here are all the documents you will need for a B2 visa application