April 9, 2021

Strict public charge rule removed for immigrant applicants

While living in America may have always been your dream, your journey as an immigrant may not have been easy. Following immigration laws, finding work, raising your family and many other obligations have likely left you feeling spent at times. Additionally, changes in immigration laws and procedures over the years have likely left your head spinning any time you thought about making adjustments to your immigration status.

Recently, you may have been thinking about taking steps to become a permanent resident of the United States. However, under the previous presidential administration, you may have worried that your low-income status would have prevented you from gaining approval due to the strict public charge rule. Fortunately, that may no longer be the case.

More changes

You and many other Michigan residents may be interested to know that if you are applying for a green card after March 9, 2021, the public charge rule set forth by the previous presidential administration will no longer apply. The current presidential administration and Department of Homeland Security brought this rule to an end. Previously, applicants would be at a greater risk of rejection when it comes to permanent residency applications if they relied on or could need to rely on government benefits in the future.

Now, self-sufficiency forms and associated supporting documents are no longer required for individuals seeking an adjustment of status from within the United States. If you have recently applied for a green card and included this form and documentation, then United States Customs and Immigration Services will not review that form or its related documents when reviewing applications after March 9.

Is this a good change?

Many opponents to the public charge rule believed that it limited the ability of low-income individuals, especially those who have used government benefits, to apply for and obtain a green card. Now, the restrictions for those individuals are not as tight, and the new change may allow those concerned about their income to apply with more confidence.

Of course, changes to immigration law can be complicated, and you may have more questions about whether this change or other aspects of public charge rules could affect you. If so, you may want to take the time to gain more information and ensure that the knowledge you gain is reliable and applicable to your particular situation.