On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) published the final rule on inadmissibility on public charge grounds that dramatically revises the definition of “public charge” and expands the types of public benefits that could render many foreign nationals ineligible to adjust their immigration status in the U.S.
The final rule goes into effect on October 15, 2019 and supersedes previous rules, although applications and petitions already filed with USCIS before this date will not be subject to the new rule. USCIS’ stated goal in implementing this final rule is to better ensure “aliens within U.S. boundaries do not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, sponsors, and/or private organizations.” This is in line with President Trump’s goal of ensuring public benefits do not serve as an incentive for immigration to the United States.
This final rule:
The new regulation would not apply to:
In certain limited situations and circumstances, USCIS can choose to exercise its discretionary authority to allow an alien to post a public charge bond (minimum amount of $8,100). This is the exception and will vary from case to case based upon the alien’s circumstances.
While the final rule is set to go into place on October 15, 2019, over 60 lawsuits filed by several states attorney generals and advocacy groups call into question when and to what extent the rule will be implemented.
If you have more questions or concerns about this new rule, you should contact our office to schedule a consultation and in-depth review of your circumstances with one of our experienced and licensed immigration attorneys.