New Public Charge Rule Announced by USCIS Following the US Supreme Court’s Stay of Nationwide Injunction

February 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

USCIS will soon begin to use a much heightened standard to determine admissibility when reviewing nonimmigrant visa and adjustment of status green card applications.

On and after Feb. 24, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (“Final Rule”), except for in the State of Illinois where the rule remains enjoined by a federal court as of Jan. 30, 2020. Under the Final Rule, USCIS will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, income, education and skills, among other criteria, in order to determine whether an alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. Foreign nationals who are applying for nonimmigrant visas such as H-1B and green cards from within the United States — through a process known as “Adjustment of Status” — will soon be affected by the new rule.  Immigration officials will soon start to review several more factors to determine whether someone should be granted a visa or a green card. A green card applicant who is relatively educated, healthy and productive, doesn’t carry a lot of debts, for example, will be a lot more likely to be approved for a green card compared with someone who’s retired and has health problems.

USCIS emphasized that this new rule is to encourage immigrants’ “self-sufficiency”, a core American value, and to protect American taxpayers.

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