On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released new regulations reinterpreting how the agency will determine whether a foreign national is eligible for admission under the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility found under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The new rule becomes effective on October 15, 2019, and will apply to applications and petitions postmarked or electronically submitted on or after that date.

Under the new rules, individuals can be found inadmissible based on their likelihood to receive one or more “public benefits” for an aggregate of 12 months within any 36-month period. A public benefit can include:

  • Any Federal, State, local, or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance (other than tax credits), including:
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
    • Federal, State, or local cash benefit programs for income maintenance (“General Assistance”).
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (including Moderate Rehabilitation).
  • Public Housing.
  • Medicaid, except for:
    • Benefits received for an emergency medical condition.
    • Services or benefits funded by Medicaid but provided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
    • School-based services or benefits provided to individuals who are at or below the oldest age eligible for secondary education as determined under State or local law.
    • Benefits received by an alien under 21 years of age, or a woman during pregnancy and 60 days after pregnancy.

We will have more information on this rule in the coming weeks.  If you would like to discuss whether you are impacted by this rule, please schedule a consultation: https://millermayer.com/immigration-consultation/