On December 23, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule went into effect. The previously announced final rule “provides clarity and consistency for noncitizens on how DHS will administer the public charge ground of inadmissibility. This final rule restores the historical understanding of a ‘public charge’ that had been in place for decades before the previous administration began to consider supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid and nutritional assistance as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination,” DHS said. 

When making a public charge inadmissibility determination under the final rule, DHS said it 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.”

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

Applicants must file the updated 12/23/22 edition of I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Earlier versions will be rejected, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said. 

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