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Security Point


February 24, 2019

The controversial Public Charge rule finally goes into effect on February 24, 2020.

The publicity given to it in the last few months made some people felt that it was a new rule but it has been in existence over a century. It is a test in certain immigration application to see if someone is likely to become dependent or a burden on the government in the future.

Public Charge immigration test became law in 1882, the same year as the Chinese Exclusion Act. In August 2109, the Trump administration tried to add to the existing rule but multiple law suits stopped it from going into effect.

On January 27, 2020 the Supreme Court granted Trump administration’s request while the litigation still continues. The USCIS has therefore announced that the rule will go into effect on February 24, 2020. It is of importance to note that Public Charge test happens when one is applying for a green card or some kind of visas but not everyone will be subjected to this test. Below are list of Categories not affected:

  1. Anyone applying for Citizenship

  2. Refugee & Asylees

  3. Victim of trafficking (T Visa)

  4. Victim of domestic violence or other serious crime (U Visas VAWA Self-petitioners)

  5. Special Immigrant Juveniles

  6. Some other immigrants

A green card holder will not be affected because he/she already passed the stage but may be subjected to the test if he/she travels abroad for a period of over 180 days.

Therefore, anyone applying for green card and not under the categories (1-6) above will be subjected to the test.

Under this new rule, certain factors will be looked into in order to determine if someone is likely to be dependent on government support in the future. These factors are:

  1. Health

  2. Income

  3. Family size

  4. Employment

  5. Education & Skills

  6. Certain Past Public benefit used

Before the new rule, Public benefits that falls under the long standing rule are:

  1. Cash assistance e.g Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families (TANF), Safety Net Assistance.

  2. Institutionalization for long term paid by Medicaid – e.g Living in nursing home

With the new rule passed into law, Public benefits will now be categorized under the followings:

  1.  Cash assistance e.g Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families (TANF), Safety Net Assistance.

  2. Federally Funded Non-Emergency Medicaid

  3. SNAP (Food Stamps)

  4. Section 8 and 9 Housing Programs e.g NYCHA

We also wish to inform the general public that certain benefits are not part of this new rule and that people should not be afraid in assessing them. These are:

  1. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC)

  2. Health Insurance for pregnant women and children.

  3. Medicare, Essential Plan, Emergency Medicaid, State funded Medicaid

  4. School Programs (Lunches, buses, after school etc)

  5. Seeing a doctor at hospital or clinic  ( Sliding fee scales of H+H options)

  6. Many, many more programs.

It is also worthy to note that benefits used by U.S citizen children will not affect their parent’s application when applying for green card.

For more inquiries, please contact us through email: or Tel: 347-257-4244



January 31, 2019

Based on what we are reading, the category affected are those filing for family members abroad. It does not seem to affect those coming on temporary visas (which is strange if you ask me). 
We will confirm if it is retro active and what categories this covers as there are different levels. 

We are working on the depth of the implications of this travel ban as well as possible actions to take and will keep you informed.

Please CLICK THIS LINK to read the Expanded Travel Ban Fact Sheet.

Thank you. 

Crowd Cheering



Working Towards a Brighter Future

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