On August 14, 2019, USCIS published a final rule that amended the regulations relating to the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The rule was scheduled to go into effect at 12 AM on October 15, 2019.
Several states and immigration advocacy groups filed federal lawsuits seeking to prevent the implementation of the new rule. On October 11, 2019, federal judges in 3 different states issued nationwide temporary injunctions blocking the implementation of the rule. This means that the rule was not implemented on October 15, and the procedures and forms that were in place prior to that date are still accepted as of the writing of this blog entry.
The rule significantly expanded the factors that are considered in determining whether a person may become a public charge, therefore, making the person inadmissible. Some of the factors that would be considered in determining whether a person was likely to become a public charge include, but are not limited to, whether the person has received benefits such as food stamps, housing subsidies, or cash assistance.
While this rule is challenged in federal court, applicants can still apply to become permanent residents. Many potential immigrants who would apply based on family relationships can still do so under the rule in place prior to October 15. The federal government is expected to appeal these injunctions, so how long the old rule is in place is a question no one can answer.
Immigrants for their family members who are concerned about the implementation of this new rule and would like information regarding their ability to apply for permanent residence based on a family relationship, give our office a call at (912) 401-8880 or you can send our Savannah, Georgia immigration attorney and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.