Changes to the Public Charge Rule in Immigration

As you may have heard, the Trump administration is trying to change immigration rules to make it harder to immigrate to the United States through a family member. One of these changes has to do with being a public charge.

A law was passed in 1996 that prevents anyone from immigrating to the United States if they are going to live off of the government once they become permanent residents. For the last 23 years, everyone who wanted to become a permanent resident through a family member needed that family member and sometimes a joint sponsor to sign a contract with the government guaranteeing that the immigrant that they sponsored would not received public assistance. This system worked well for the last 23 years, but Trump has been trying to make it harder for sponsors and joint sponsors to qualify to be sponsors. Trump tried to double the earning requirement for sponsors, and this law was supposed to take effect on October 15, 2019.

However, a federal judge temporarily blocked the new rules from taking effect, and the rule that has existed for the last 23 years continues to be the rule. But the same federal judge that blocked the rule will make a ruling in the next few months about whether Trump’s new law will take effect. So anyone that is considering applying for permanent residence in the United States should do so as soon as possible in case the law becomes stricter.

You may have also heard that Trump is requiring immigrants to have health insurance or be able to obtain it within 30 days in order to enter the United States as permanent residents. This law is supposed to take effect on November 4, 2019, but it is also being challenged in the courts, and as of right now it is not clear how this requirement will take effect. I will post an update to this health insurance requirement soon. Please note that the health insurance requirement does not apply to people that are already in the United States, it is only for people outside the United States who are trying to obtain immigrant visas to enter the USA.

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