On August 12, 2019, the Trump Administration announced a “public charge” rule to make obtaining a green card or U.S. citizenship more difficult for legal immigrants who use public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, or housing assistance.
The new policy for “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” will take effect in 60 days.
Under the rule, green card and visa applicants can be denied for both being reliant on public assistance and/or likely require such aid at any time. Additionally, there are new requirements for income and financial assets, making it difficult for immigrants earning less than 125 to 250 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to obtain green cards.
Other factors that can count against a green card and visa applicant is having a “medical condition” that will be difficult to pay or interfere with work or school, having a low credit score, not being proficient in the English language, not having a college degree, or having a sponsor who will not likely be financially supportive.
The public charge rule will not apply retroactively, meaning only future green card and visa applicant will be subject to it. Past use of public assistance—or past use of such benefits from dependents or other family members—will not be held against the applicant.
Although this regulation will face legal challenges from immigrant rights groups and other organizations, public health and social service providers have noticed that immigrants are afraid of receiving government aid.
According to a report by the Urban Institute, one in seven immigrant adults said they or their loved ones avoided obtaining public assistance last year because of fear of putting their green card status in jeopardy.
If you are interested in obtaining a green card in Miami, contact Hubbs Law Firm today at (305) 570-4802 and request a free case evaluation.