The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) do NOT consider health, food, and
housing services as part of the public charge determination. This means
many government funded benefits and services are safe to use.
MANY IMMIGRANTS SHOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT PUBLIC CHARGE.
Most immigrants are NOT subject to public charge! The rule is mainly
applied to people seeking admission (Visa) into the United States or
applying to adjust their status (to get a Green Card) through a
family-based petition. Public charge does NOT apply to:
- Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with green cards when they apply for U.S. citizenship or renew their green cards.
- Refugees, Asylees, Temporary Protected Status applicants, DACA
applicants or recipients seeking renewal, Special Immigrant Juveniles,
asylum applicants, and certain victims of crime, including domestic
violence and human trafficking.
WHAT IS THE PUBLIC CHARGE RULE TODAY? Public charge
is defined as a non-citizen who is likely to become primarily dependent
on the government for support, by receiving either: cash assistance for
income maintenance (like CalWORKs, SSI, and General Relief/Assistance),
being institutionalized for long-term care at government expense.
EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT, SO REACH OUT FOR QUALIFIED LEGAL ADVICE.
- The public charge rule does NOT apply to every immigrant.
- Getting government funded benefits alone does NOT make you a public charge.
- Government funded benefits received by your children and family members do NOT make you a public charge.
- Most people with green cards are NOT subject to the public charge rule.
ON DECEMBER 23, 2022, A NEW RULE, PUBLIC CHARGE OF INADMISSABILITY WILL GO INTO EFFECT.
Most immigrants are not subject to public charge; however, Afghan
Humanitarian Parolees, Afghan SI/SQ Parolees, and Ukrainian Humanitarian
Parolees are not currently explicitly exempted. The new rule details
change in how DHS will interpret public charge, clarifies DHS policy
regarding those to whom the public charge rule applies, and explicitly
exempts those granted refugee benefits by Congress.
- The following populations will be explicitly exempted from public charge:
- Afghan humanitarian parolees delineated within the Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022
- Ukrainian/non-Ukrainian humanitarian parolees delineated within the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022
- Noncitizen victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons
- When making public charge determinations, DHS will NOT consider
any public benefits that were received by noncitizens who are eligible
for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits
available to refugees.
- Noncitizens will be able to access health-related benefits and
other supplemental government services to which they are entitled by
law, without triggering harmful immigration consequences.
- Accessing benefits, even those included in a public charge
determination, will NOT affect the ability of individuals within the
exempted groups to adjust status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) or
their eligibility for other immigration benefits.
encourages these populations to access any and all services and benefits
available to them without fear of a future negative impact.
Additional information and detailed summaries of the new rule are provided in press releases from the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) news service and Health and Human Services (HHS).
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