The final rule applies to adjustment of status applications postmarked on or after December 23, 2022.
The new public charge rule was issued in response to President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, entitled, “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans.”
As you might recall, in 2018 former President Trump expanded the public charge rule making it more difficult for green card applicants to immigrate to the United States. Later in 2021, the Biden administration rescinded the Trump administration’s public charge rule and restored the original public charge of inadmissibility guidance that was in place before Donald Trump became President.
To help green card applicants prepare for the change, the Biden administration released a new edition of Form I-485 to better implement the regulations.
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How can the public charge rule impact me?
Biden’s public charge rule will impact all those who are filing Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status on or after December 23, 2022, with few exceptions.
Although new policy updates are being implemented by the Biden administration, it is important to understand that the “public charge” concept has been around since 1999 when Congress made it a matter of law for a noncitizen’s application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status to be denied if the applicant is “likely at any time to become a public charge,” on the United States government.
We would like to highlight that in our practice, we have rarely seen an applicant denied solely on public charge grounds, however it is still important to understand what the public charge rule is about and what factors USCIS considers when analyzing whether a green card applicant is currently or likely to become a public charge.