US | Public Charge Final Rule Goes into Effect on Dec. 23

The Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule will go into effect on December 23. This final rule restores the historical understanding of a “public charge” in that it does not consider supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid and nutritional assistance as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination.

The Department of Homeland Security will consider an applicant’s “age; health; family status; assets, resources, and financial status; education and skills;” a sufficient Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA (when one is required); and prior or current receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI); cash assistance for income maintenance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); State, Tribal, territorial, or local cash benefit programs for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance”); or long-term institutionalization at government expense.

DHS will not consider receipt of noncash benefits (for example, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, public housing, school lunch programs, etc.) other than long-term institutionalization at government expense.

Erickson Insights

USCIS has published the 12/23/22 edition of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for applicants to prepare their applications in advance of December 23, 2022. Applicants should NOT file the 12/23/22 edition of Form I-485 before December 23, 2022.

USCIS will reject the 07/15/22 edition of Form I-485 if it is postmarked on or after December 23, 2022, and will reject the 12/23/22 edition of Form I-485 if it is postmarked on or before December 22, 2022. Additional information is available on the Public Charge Resources page.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.