Implications of the public charge rule for immigrant families

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Immigration |

The public charge rule is a policy that applies to individuals seeking to enter the United States or get a green card. It assesses whether they are likely to become dependent on some government assistance programs.

This rule can significantly affect immigration applications. This impact is strongest for those seeking lawful permanent resident status, also called a green card.

Considered public benefits

The rule considers specific public benefits when assessing an application to determine whether an individual will become a public charge. These benefits include cash assistance and Supplemental Security Income. They also include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and certain forms of Medicaid.

Factors considered in public charge determination

When determining a public charge, immigration officials consider various factors. These include age, health, financial status, education and family size. Demonstrating financial self-sufficiency can positively impact the outcome of this process.

Exclusions and exemptions

The public charge rule excludes some categories of immigrants. These include refugees, asylees and some survivors of domestic violence. Family members receiving public benefits do not count against a public charge determination. These exempted family members include U.S. citizen children receiving benefits.

Public health and safety net programs

It is important to note that this rule allows using public health and safety net programs. Immigrants can go to the emergency room or use school lunch programs without jeopardizing their status.

Understanding the public charge rule is necessary for those navigating the U.S. immigration system. Knowing the factors considered in these cases allows applicants to use some benefits while complying with policy. Understanding the rule’s impact on immigration applications helps individuals to make informed decisions.