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Public Charge Rule to Go into Effect While Litigation is Pending

February 4, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on January 30, 2020 that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can implement the controversial new “public charge” rule while litigation challenging the rule proceeds in the lower courts. (The rule will not be implemented in the State of Illinois, due to a separate federal injunction.)

In all other states, applications for permanent residency filed on or after February 24, 2020 will be subject to a more stringent balancing test to determine whether the applicant is likely to become a “public charge.” USCIS will scrutinize each applicant’s age, health, education, employment status, assets and liabilities, and receipt of public benefits, which is likely to result in a much higher percentage of green card denials on public charge grounds.

Nevertheless, the rule does not apply to nonimmigrants, applicants for naturalization, or applicants for humanitarian statuses including asylum, U visas, and Temporary Protected Status. Updated application forms will be posted on USCIS’ website this week. If you have any questions about how this new rule may impact your case, please contact us.