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Possible changes to “Public Charge” test for immigrants

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
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Legal Alert


On September 22, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a proposed rule that could change the “public charge” test for people applying for green card status in the U.S.  The public charge test primarily affects people seeking to immigrate through a visa petition filed by a family member.  Humanitarian entrants, such as asylees, refugees, and self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act are not subject to the public charge test.  

The proposed rule expands the types of public benefits that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could consider in the public charge test and adds other guidelines.  The changes would not apply to benefits received before finalization of the proposed rule.  

At this time, the rule is only proposed.  The government has posted a notice that it will publish the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on October 10, 2018. The public will have until December 10, 2018 to submit comments before the rule can be finalized.  

Last Review and Update: Sep 25, 2018