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The 2019 Public Charge Rule and the Health Insurance Requirements for Immigrants

Three federal courts have stopped the current administration from implementing the “Public Charge Rule” that was due to take effect October 15, 2019. The rule would have required those applying for immigrant status to prove that they will not be “likely to become a public charge” meaning that they will not request income-based public assistance once they get a green card. This change increases significantly the documentation required and the length of the information to be provided to the government.

The Public Charge Rule considers things such as: the credit score of the applicant, the education level and earning potential, the financial situation in terms of income and assets, any prior use of a needs-based government benefit (such as food stamps, section 8 or federally subsidized housing, or Medicaid), English proficiency or lack thereof, medical conditions, and use of fee waivers for immigration applications,

None of the court orders stopped the rule from taking effect abroad, therefore it still affects those applying for immigrant visas at consulates abroad.

Our Firm has been incredibly busy trying to file as many applications as possible before the deadline; this injunction is allowing us to help more clients who want to get ahead of this change. Due to financial constraints, some clients may not be able to qualify to petition for a loved one if they file under the Public Charge Rule.

Another change taking effect November 3, 2019 is the requirement to have health insurance. This is also a new rule, for which there is no guidance so we do not know how it will be applied. To start, showing a plan to purchase health insurance along with the available funds should be sufficient to prove that insurance will be available within 30 days.

Through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or Marketplace), private health insurance in the United States, is available to immigrants such as:

  • Lawful Permanent Resident (CPR/LPR/Green Card holder)
  • Asylee/refugee, or Paroled into the U.S.
  • Cuban/Haitian Entrant
  • Battered Spouse, Child and Parent
  • Victim of Trafficking and his/her Spouse, Child, Sibling or Parent
  • Granted Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under CAT, or granted DHS stay of removal
  • Those is non-immigrant visa status such as work visas, student visas, U-visa, T-visa,
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
  • Deferred Action Status, except DACA

Some, but not all, of these qualify as soon as they receive the receipt for the applications. Others with employment authorization qualify if they have the following status:

  • Registry Applicants
  • Order of Supervision
  • Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
  • Applicant for Legalization under Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) or under the LIFE Act.

If you have any questions about whether these changes apply to your case, contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as possible to see if strategic planning of your case might help you avoid a negative decision.

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The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan, P.A. offer aggressive and experienced legal representation for immigration cases, with a focus on family immigration and investor visas.

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