The Public Charge Rule is a requirement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to consider the receipt of any cash or non-cash benefits in a public charge inadmissibility determination. In simple terms, aliens are inadmissible if they are not self-sufficient. The US wants people who come over to the country not to drain the benefits that they have for their citizens.
Who is affected by the Public Charge Rule?
Two classes of people are affected by the Public Charge Rule. Millions are applying for non-immigrant or immigrant visas from abroad or extending their stay—secondly, aliens are applying for adjustment of status. If you have received any public charge benefits before February 4, 2020, and are adjusting your status, you do not need to report these public charge benefits.
Benefits Considered under the Public Charge Rule
If you have received federal, state, local, or tribal cash benefits for income maintenance, these benefits will be considered under the Public Charge Rule. You also receive help from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, which is the food stamp program.
If you have received Temporary Assistance for Needy Homes, Supplemental Security Income, Section 8 housing assistance, public housing under Section 9, and most forms of federally-funded Medicaid, all these fall on the benefits that will be considered under the Public Charge Rule.
Benefits not considered under the Public Charge Rule.
Benefits received by US service members, their spouses, or their children are not considered under the Public Charge Rule. Benefits received by children of US citizens or those born to US citizens or adopted by US citizens outside of the United States are also not considered under the Public Charge Rule.
Certain medical benefits are not considered on the Public Charge Rule, such as emergency medical condition treatment benefits for individuals with disabilities, benefits for individuals at or below the oldest age for secondary education, aliens at the age of 21, pregnant women, and women within the seeded period beginning on the last day of pregnancy, and benefits received on behalf of a legal guardian. Please note that USCIS will not consider aliens who have symptoms of COVID-19 in the future public charge analysis.
In summary, the Public Charge Rule affects those applying for non-immigrant or immigrant visas from abroad or extending their stay, as well as aliens applying for an adjustment of status. To ensure a smooth EB-2 NIW application process, it is important to note which benefits are considered and which are not under the Public Charge Rule.
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