Do I Need to Apply for a Green Card Before the Public Charge Rule Goes into Effect?

As of February 24th, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. The rule will only apply to applications and petitions submitted online or postmarked on or after February 24th. If you sent your application or petition via UPS, FedEx, DHL or another commercial courier, then you can find the postmark date on the courier receipt. The only state in the country that won’t be impacted by the final rule is Illinois where the rule is still enjoined by a federal court.

Because the Public Charge Grounds final rule will make it much more complicated for people to apply for green cards, immigrants are racing to complete their green card filings before the rule goes into effect on February 24th. The new rule will require applicants and petitioners to complete an 18-page form that takes people likely significantly longer to completely fill-out. The form asks for specific information regarding the person’s credit score, loans, health insurance, and whether they’ve used Medicaid in the past.

FAQ: Trump’s Public Charge Rule

At The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, we have received numerous calls from clients who are concerned about how the Trump administration’s Public Charge Grounds final rule might impact their immigration status. Here are answers to some of the questions you might have:

Question #1: What is a public charge?

A: A “public charge” is a person who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence through public cash assistance or long-term care at government expense.

Question #2: How does USCIS decide if I’m a public charge?

A: USCIS will look at the totality of your circumstances to decide if you are likely to become a public charge. USCIS officers will consider the following factors:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Skills
  • Family status
  • Assets
  • Resources
  • Financial Status
  • Education & Skills

In addition to the factors listed above, offers can also consider if a person’s receipt of certain publicly funded benefits makes them likely to be a public charge.

Question #3: What publicly funded benefits can be considered for public charge purposes?

A: If you accept any of the following types of public assistance, it may lead USCIS to determine you are likely to become a public charge:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • General Assistance Programs
  • Programs Supporting Institutionalized Long-Term Care

Consult with a Seasoned Immigration Lawyer Today

Our legal team at The Modi Law Firm, PLLC is familiar with the many challenges facing immigrants today. Our dedicated immigration lawyers in Houston are here to answer your questions and guide you through each step of the legal process to ensure your rights are protected as you resolve your immigration matter. If you have more questions about how the Public Charge Grounds final rule might affect your green card application or change of status, please reach out to us to speak to a member of our team.

To set up your case consultation with The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, call us today at (832) 514-4030.

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