Back in 1882, Congress first introduced the concept of the public charge to deny a United States visa to anyone likely to become dependent on the government for subsistence. The current administration expanded on the concept, recently adopting the public charge rule, which gives the government power to deny visa and green card applicants based on the likelihood they will turn to the government for financial aid. Now, the government created the Public Charge Rule 20-Factor Test to evaluate applicants on 20 different factors designed to determine a person’s ability to sustain themselves financially.
Last August, the Trump administration announced the public charge rule, giving the government sweeping power to deny visa applicants who were likely to utilize public benefits, such as food stamps or Medicaid, at some point. Five federal judges blocked the rule from being implemented. Yet, the Supreme Court recently lifted that injunction, making it more difficult for individuals in the United States to receive visas and green cards.
Public Charge Rule 20-Factor Test
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will review green card applications with more scrutiny than ever before. Applicants will be evaluated using a 20-factor test. Knowing what the test involves will help you evaluate your risk of being denied a green card. Some of the questions on the 20-factor test involve:
- Age: Seniors may be less likely to be approved.
- Overall health: Conditions that require hospitalization or extensive medical care can be considered a negative factor.
- Insurability: Uninsured applications without any prospects of obtaining insurance in the future are more likely to be denied, especially if they have serious pre-existing medical conditions.
- Family size: Larger families mean a greater likelihood of turning to the government for food stamps or other assistance.
- Employment history: Job history or primary caregiver status over the previous three-year period can be a positive or negative factor depending on the applicant’s track record and future employment prospects.
- Education: A lack of high school diploma or higher education degree will be considered a negative factor.
- English proficiency: The applicant’s proficiency in English and other languages will be evaluated with the inability to speak English being a detriment.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients with All Types of Immigration Matters
With the Public Charge Rule 20-Factor Test, this is just one more obstacle stalling the green card process. The Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can help you understand these changes and how they can impact your immigration matter. We will help resolve your immigration issue as quickly and effectively as possible. To learn more about our legal services, call 215-925-4435 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.