Immigrants are subject to a lot of restrictions and requirements if they want to enter or stay in the United States. They have to pass background checks and even medical examinations. As if that weren’t hard enough, their finances are also subject to scrutiny.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has historically looked at income and public benefits when reviewing new applications from immigrants. In recent years, the so-called “public charge” rule began to affect those trying to stay in the country or adjust their status to become permanent residents.
Applicants would have to file a Declaration of Self-Sufficiency as part of that process. Now, that form is no longer required for those who want to adjust their status and secure a Green Card.
The USCIS no longer enforces the public charge rule
In recent years, the public charge rule has played a larger-than-normal role in immigration proceedings. Not just new applicants but also those immigrants who have already lived in the United States were subject to a careful review of whatever state benefits they may have received in the past.
Benefits like housing subsidies, welfare or even Medicaid might result in someone not being able to stay in the United States. The public charge rule and its strict enforcement in recent years may have prevented some people from applying for visas or for asking the USCIS to adjust their status. Thankfully, the USCIS is no longer applying the rule in the same way.
If you have wanted a Green Card but worried that the public benefits you needed would prevent you from getting to stay in the country, things have changed. Knowing the current immigration rules about adjusting your status can help you take the necessary steps to become a permanent resident.