Many people who want to come to the U.S. envision it as simple as applying for and receiving a visa. There would likely be many more individuals coming to this country if doing so were as easy as that. It’s not if you’re looking to qualify for a visa to live or work here, though.
Most individuals looking to come live in the U.S. must meet the self-sufficiency public charge requirement. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) responsibility is to determine whether a visa applicant meets this requirement. This federal agency will also assess this if someone already in the U.S. requests an adjustment of status.
What should you know about the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule?
The DHS enacted this rule on Aug. 14, 2019. It outlines how the U.S. government generally only issues visas to applicants who can financially support themselves. There are a few exceptions, though.
While this rule applies to most individuals looking to become temporary or permanent U.S. residents, it doesn’t apply to those who receive a DHS waiver. Congress also exempts certain individuals from needing to meet this requirement, such as asylees and refugees.
Venezuelans wishing to come here under Temporary Protected Status and some nonimmigrant trafficking or crime victims may also not have to meet this requirement.
Does DHS consider public benefits when making Public Charge Grounds rule decisions?
There is a look-back period of up to 36 months. DHS officials will look to see if you received public benefits during that time when assessing whether you can be self-sustaining.
Federal officials don’t generally consider a minor child’s receipt of Medicaid when determining whether you can support yourself. They’re also unlikely to use your receipt of benefits for an emergency or anything you receive during your first 60-days postpartum against you when determining visa eligibility.
How likely is it that you will qualify for an adjustment of status or a visa to the U.S.?
While no attorney has a crystal ball to know exactly how immigration officials will handle your adjustment of status or visa request, their experience in handling prior cases may give them unique insight into your chances. An attorney can review your case details and give you an idea of your prospects. They can also help protect your interests.