Obtaining US Green Card to Become Easier for Low-Income Immigrants


Aarushi Jain
Updated on Sep 12, 2022 10:59 AM IST

Under the new regulation, which goes into effect in December 2022, USCIS will only consider green card applicants a public charge if they are expected to become substantially dependent on the government for subsistence at any moment.

Obtaining US Green Card to Become Easier for Low-Income Immigrants

The Biden administration has officially repealed a Trump-era rule that barred low-income immigrants from obtaining legal residency if they used certain government services.

Using housing vouchers, food stamps, and Medicaid could be counted against US immigrants applying for US green cards under Trump's regulation.

The Trump administration also devised a new test that considered applicants' income, age, medical conditions, skills, and family size to estimate their likelihood of relying on these benefits in the future.

Also Read: Bill to Eliminate Per Country Cap on Green Card Introduced in US Senate

New regulation for the 'public charge' rule is likely to go into effect on December 23, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security said. The Biden government, however, started doing away with Trump's regulation last year.

The public charge provision prevents anyone from obtaining green cards if they would be a burden to the US. Before the Trump administration, it was regarded as predominantly reliant on monetary assistance, income maintenance, or government aid for long-term institutionalisation.

According to Homeland Security Secretary, Mr Alejandro Mayorkas, the change ensures fair and compassionate treatment. He also stressed that, in keeping with America's founding principles, the country would not penalise individuals who choose to use the health benefits and other complementary government services offered to them.

Legal battles continued, and the Biden administration announced in 2021 that it would no longer defend the rule.

Immigrant advocates welcomed the announcement on September 8, 2022, saying the Trump administration's expanded rule had created a difficult environment for individuals seeking legal residency.

Also Read: In-Person Interview Waived Off for Selected US Visa Categories

According to American Immigration Lawyers Association President, Mr Jeremy McKinney, the public charge requirement created so much dread among US immigrants seeking to legitimately apply for a green card that many chose to sacrifice health treatment and crucial economic support. Furthermore, he claimed that the improvements to simplify and demystify the rule will actually change lives across the country.

Source: Live Mint and The Economic Times

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