Important Announcements Related to the Public Charge Rule
According to the announcements of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the specifications of the public charge rule of inadmissibility as per section 212 (a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act will apply to all applications submitted on and after 23 December 2022.
Everything You Need to Know About the Public Charge Rule
The primary reason behind the implementation of the public charge rule is to enable immigration officers, consular officers, or a judge to regard a visa applicant or an individual seeking status adjustment as inadmissible on the basis of their likelihood of depending on government support in the future. This support could take the form of public benefits, including a long-term residency at the expense of the government or cash assistance.
What is Public Cash Assistance?
According to the rule, this is what public cash assistance could look like;
● State, territorial, local, or tribal cash benefit programs to maintain income. This is also known as General Assistance.
● Supplemental Security Income, or SSI
● Cash assistance as per the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
There are a few other forms of cash assistance, which are not often considered under the public charge rule.
Which Benefits Would Not Be Considered Under the Public Charge Rule?
In order to make a final decision regarding the public charge inadmissibility of a visa applicant, USCIS is not going to consider any approval or certification for future receipts of public benefits.
The public benefits that would not be considered are as follows;
● Housing benefits
● All benefits related to immunizations or testing for transferable diseases
● Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
● Medicaid, except for any long-term utilization of institutional services as per section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act.
● Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other similar nutrition programs
● Other supplemental or specific benefits
Furthermore, the following public assistance programs are not included in the public charge;
● Preventative services or treatments for COVID-19, including vaccinations
● Home and community-based services (HCBS)
● Any services provided under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, also known as Stafford Act, 268 or comparable disaster assistance provided by tribal, state, local, or territorial governments
● Benefits as per TEFAP, short for the Emergency Food Assistance Act
● Cash payments provided for childcare assistance or other supplemental, specific cash assistance
● School lunch programs
● Attending public school
● Services, programs, or assistance such as soup kitchens, short-term shelter, and crisis counseling, given by local communities or by public or private non-profit organizations
● CACFP, short for Child and Adult Care Food Program
● Cash payments provided in the form of pandemic or disaster relief funds, including the American Rescue Plan Act
● Services rendered by the Indian Health Service (IHS), tribes and tribal organizations as per the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEA), P.L.93-638, and Urban Indian Organizations (UIO), as defined at 25 U.S.C. 1603(29), that have a grant or an agreement with IHS under title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), 25 U.S.C. 1603;
● FDPIR, short for Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
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