- The Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule took effect on December 23, 2022
- The final rule returns to the historical meaning of “public charge”
- Individuals’ receipt of noncash benefits will generally not be considered for the public charge inadmissibility determination
- Individuals’ age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills will be considered
- DHS has published a new edition of Form I-485
On December 23, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule took effect. The final rule reverts to the historical meaning of “public charge,” which was in place for many years before the previous presidential administration amended the definition of “public charge” as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination.
What are the Changes?
Previously, DHS issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek public input on how DHS should define the term “public charge.” DHS has concluded that under the final rule in considering the “public charge” inadmissibility determination, it will consider an applicant’s “age; health; family status; assets; resources, financial status, education, and skills,” along with an Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, if one is required, and current or previous receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for income maintenance; any Tribal, State, territorial or local cash benefit program (“General Assistance”) for income maintenance, or long-term government-financed institutionalization.
To determine whether an individual is a public charge, DHS will not consider the receipt of noncash benefits, such as public housing, school lunch programs, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. An exception applies to long-term institutionalization at the government’s expense.
USCIS started applying the new policy guidance on December 23, 2022, to applications filed or submitted electronically on or after December 23, 2022.
Along with the announcement above, DHS also notes that it has published the December 23, 2022, edition of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for applicants to prepare their Form I-485 in advance of the final rule’s implementation date.
DHS notes that it will only accept the July 15, 2022, edition of Form I-485 if it is postmarked on or after December 23, 2022. It will also only accept the December 23, 2022, edition of Form I-485 if it is postmarked on or before December 22, 2022.
Additional information is available through the USCIS Public Charge Resources page.
Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: Department of Homeland Security