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Public Charge Final Rule

March 4, 2020

The final rule for Public Charge was made effective Monday, February 24th. The new rule tightens the criteria used to decide whether an applicant should be considered a public charge. Among several other factors, officers will be considering the applicant’s:

  1. Income and Assets (Salary, Mortgage, Taxes, Outstanding Loans, etc.)

  2. Health Status (Pre-existing Conditions, Family History)

  3. Age (Applicant is between 18 and “Early Retirement Age”)

  4. Education and Skills

  5. Family Status

These factors are weighed on a sliding scale by a USCIS officer determining a candidate’s likelihood to become a public charge in the future. This decision is left to the discretion of each individual officer.

While many areas are projected to be severely impacted by these measures, the State of Florida is likely to be hit hardest. Predictions show the new rule could lead to a chilling effect that leaves over 100,000 Floridian children without health insurance and an additional 82,000 to potentially lose SNAP benefits.