D&S Immigration Update: New Public Charge Inadmissibility Rule


Under a newly-published regulation that is expected to take effect on October 15, 2019, foreign nationals who have received certain federal public benefits or who are deemed likely to become dependent on the government will face additional scrutiny when applying for certain immigration benefits and may be found inadmissible to the United States as a result.

The new rule changes the standards used to determine whether an applicant for admission to the U.S. or for adjustment of status is “likely at any time to become a public charge” at any time in the future. To make this determination, USCIS adjudicators will consider factors including the individual's age, health, education and skills, in addition to their current assets, resources, and financial status and whether they have used any covered public benefits in the past. The new rule also changes the definition of “public charge” from a noncitizen who primarily relies on public benefits to a noncitizen who receives a specified public benefit for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.

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