By now, everyone should be aware that the new Public Charge Rule is in effect as of the 24th of February 2020. The Public Charge Rule will have a profound impact on the ability of many Jamaican individuals applying to either obtain legal permanent residence (LPR) in the United States or an immigrant visa overseas at a US Embassy or Consular Post. In this article I will provide some additional details regarding the new Public Charge Rule.
If you are seeking to come to the United States as an immigrant, you will have to supply additional information as part of your application at any Consular Post or Embassy. If you are seeking to adjust your status to legal permanent resident, you will have to supply additional information. This additional information will include information about your health, family, education, income, assets, liabilities, receipt of any public benefits and affidavit of support from a financial sponsor. If you are found to be inadmissible as a public charge, you may able to pay a bond and still adjust, change or extend your status. Not everyone is subject to the Public Charge Rule. The most common exceptions to the Public Charge Rule are as follows: (1) Asylee and refugees; (2) applicants for U or T non-immigrant visas; (3) VAWA self-petitioners; (4) special immigrant juveniles; (5) applicants seeking temporary protected status; (6) applicants under the Cuban Adjustment Act; (7) US citizens, including naturalized citizens; and (8) lawful permanent residents (please note, if you plan to be abroad for more than 180 days, seek legal advice as it could have an impact upon you).
What benefits could create problems and subject you to inadmissibility due to the Public Charge Rule: (1) cash assistance for income maintenance (including TANF, SSI and Federal, State, and local assistance programs); (2) SNAP or food stamps; (3) Medicaid (there are exceptions which will be discussed below); (4) housing assistance (public housing or section 8 and housing vouchers and rental assistance). If you receive any such benefits after February 24, 2020, the receipt of such benefits could have an adverse effect on your obtaining an immigrant visa or adjusting status.
You are still able to receive certain benefits with no adverse consequences and those benefits are: benefits received by the immigrant’s family members; benefits received by US Armed Services service members; emergency medical assistance; Medicaid received by (1) children under 21; (2) during pregnancy or within 60 days of pregnancy; or (3) under the individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA); health insurance under the affordable care act; social security and Medicare; WIC; CHIP; energy assistance (LIHEAP); PEL Grants and student loans; worker’s compensation or unemployment benefits; tax related cash benefits.
If you have received any public benefits or are uncertain as to whether you have received public benefits, or are concerned about other factors that might make you inadmissible due to the new Public Charge Rule, or generally wish further information about the new Public Charge Rule, you should consult with an attorney. I would be happy to consult with you and my contact information is as follows: via telephone at (305) 648-3909 or via email at [email protected] for a confidential consultation. Now more than ever, it is important that you do not file for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa without first consulting a qualified immigration attorney. The new Public Charge Rule alone is reason to be cautious and consult with an attorney.
I may be contacted via telephone at (305) 648-3909 or via email at [email protected] for a confidential consultation.
About the Author
Oliver J. Langstadt is a Jamaican American attorney admitted to practice law in the state of Florida. He was raised in St. Mary Jamaica, near Highgate. He completed his high school education at the Priory School in Kingston, Jamaica. He attended the University of Miami School of Law and graduated with his law degree in 1985. He has been practicing law and immigration law for over twenty-five years. He is well-seasoned in all aspects of immigration law, including family petitions, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, business visas, investor visas, waivers from removal and unlawful presence, naturalization applications, and removal defense. He may be contacted at 305 648 3909 or via e-mail, at [email protected] He welcomes the chance to be of service regarding your US immigration cases and matters.