IMPORTANT UPDATE — MARCH 9, 2021: Both the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule and the Department of State (DOS) public charge policy are currently not in effect. The DHS rule was halted on March 9, 2021, while the DOS policy was paused indefinitely on July 29, 2020. This page reflects those policies, which initially took effect on Feb. 24, 2020, and will not be immediately updated according to the previous, longstanding guidance issued in 1999. Learn more.

You may remember back in the second half of 2019, DHS published its final public charge rule. The rule outlines stricter requirements including disqualifying nonimmigrants who used certain public benefits, and also disclosing an “income safe zone” which is above 250% the HHS poverty guidelines. 

Several courts filed injunctions on this rule, which delayed its implementation. 

Well, the Supreme Court has reversed all but one of these injunctions and the rule will go into effect Feb. 24, 2020.

What this means for RapidVisa customers: If you are applying for adjustment of status or a spousal visa after February 24, and you live anywhere other than Illinois [BREAKING UPDATE: Illinois is now also subject to the same rule], you will be subject to the new standards.

Officers will have new criteria in determining whether or not an alien is a public charge, or likely to become a public charge.

Factors that will be taken into consideration in the determination include the applicant’s age, health, family status, assets & financial status, education and skills, and more.

Heavily weighted negative factors include:

  • Use of certain public benefits after Feb 24, 2020
  • The alien is authorized to work but hasn’t been employed
  • The alien was diagnosed with a condition that could have an effect on the ability to provide for themselves
  • Aliens who were previously deported.

If you have any of these heavily weighted negative factors, you are likely to become a public charge

Heavily weighted positive factors include:

  • Alien’s household income is over 250% above the poverty level
  • The alien is authorized to work and is currently employed
  • The alien has private health insurance.

If you have any of these heavily weighted positive factors, you are unlikely to become a public charge.

If you don’t have any of the heavily weighted factors, negative or positive, you will just want to build the best possible case with your application, and that’s one reason you should hire RapidVisa. You will face more scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome the scrutiny.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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