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USCIS will introduce new Public Charge Regulations

On October 15, 2019, a new regulation will enter into law and will affect individuals applying for a green card or nonimmigrant visas such as F-1 student and B-2 tourist visas.

Under the new regulations, individuals who have received means-tested benefits, such as cash assistance, EBT (Food Stamps), Medicaid, housing vouchers and other benefits may not be able to receive their status or receive nonimmigrant visas. The government will determine the eligibility of each applicant individually. In determining whether the person will become a public charge, the government will use a system of so-called positive and negative factors. If the government determines that a person is likely to become a public charge, the application for immigration benefits may be denied.

The government will introduce the new USCIS form I-944 – Declaration of Self Sufficiency, to determine each applicant’s eligibility. Applicants will be required to submit bank statements, credit reports, tax returns and other information along with the form.

Under the new regulation, individuals who have received public benefits for 12 or more months in the preceding 36 months, are ineligible for a green card. However, there are exceptions to the rules. For example, this includes asylees, family members of U.S. Armed forces and children under the age of 21. Also, women who received Medicaid during pregnancy and for 60 days after the pregnancy do not fall into this category. 

For more information about the new public charge regulations, please visit:

https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge

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