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How Might New Changes to the Public Charge Rule Affect Your Green Card Status

After a recent Supreme Court ruling, the new “public charge rule” is going into effect on February 24th. We’ll break down what that could mean for you or your loved ones applying for a green card from within the U.S.

What is the “Public Charge Rule”?

This element of U.S. immigration law has its origins in 1882. The purpose of the rule is to allow the government the ability to deny someone a visa who “is likely at any time to become a public charge.” The term isn’t expressly defined in the law, and so it is subject to interpretation. Essentially, it means someone who relies primarily on the government for assistance. The Trump administration has chosen to broadly interpret this to deny more green card applications. While this was initially halted, the Supreme Court has recently overturned the nationwide injunction. Starting February 24th, the government’s new “public charge” standards will make it more difficult for green card applications to be approved.

What Falls Under the “Public Charge Rule”?

The new rule doesn’t just ban people who already rely on the government for assistance, but also those who are considered “likely at any time to become a public charge.” The government takes a variety of factors into account when making this judgment. Some of those factors are:

  • Age

  • Education

  • Income

  • Having Private Insurance

  • Financial Liabilities, such as Debt.

  • Pre-existing Medical Conditions

  • Proficiency in English

  • Employment History

As you can tell, there are a lot of potential factors that could work in your favor or work against you.

Who Does This Effect?

This new rule will only go into effect for those applying for a green card from within the U.S. through the “Adjustment of Status” process. These new standards will not impact those applying from another country for a green card.

Immigration law changes on a month to month basis. Our firm has the experience and the focus to find a successful resolution to your immigration case. Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. has more than 50 years of collective legal experience and can offer you a free consultation. Give us a call at (888) 491-8770 or fill out an online contact form.

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