New Public Charge Rule Set to Start on February 24!


New Public Charge Rule Set to Start on February 24!

The Trump administration has the approval of the Supreme Court (5-4) to implement its Public Charge changes to immigration law. USCIS has alerted that the changes will begin on February 24th, 2020. Any adjustment of status application that is filed after February 24th, will be subject to the new rules. USCIS has created a new form “I-944 Declaration of Self Sufficiency” that will be required for all adjustment of status applicants, to determine if they will become a public charge on the United States.

The new Public Charge rule is a prospective rule that gives immigration agents and officers extreme discretion to deny based on the “totality of the circumstances”.

Factors to Look at:

  • Age (18-61) anyone under 18 or over 61 will be considered to have a negative factor
  • Health
  • Household size
  • Assets, Resources, liabilities, and Financial Status
  • Education and Skill
  • Prospective Immigration Status and Period of Admission
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Benefits
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Federal, State, or local cash benefits programs for income maintenance
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps)
    • Section 8 Housing Assistance
    • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance
    • Public Housing (Section 9)
    • Medicaid/CHIP
    • But not:
      • Benefits received for an emergency medical condition
      • Benefits received while pregnant, plus 60 days post birth
      • Benefits received by someone under the age of 21

Heavily Negative Factors

  • Not a full time student, who has authorization to work, but does not work, has no work history, or cannot show reasonable prospect of future employment
  • More than 12 months of Benefits over a 36 month period
  • Diagnosis of medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment
  • Uninsured, unable to obtain private insurance, or unable to pay for private insurance

Heavily Positive Factors

  • Alien’s household has income, assets, or resources, and support of at least 250% of FPG
  • Authorized to work and has income of 250% of FPG
  • Has private insurance (no subsidies)