How Does COVID-19 Affect Public Charge Determinations? | Illinois Immigration Attorneys
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

How Does COVID-19 Affect Public Charge Determinations?

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

Illinois immigration attorneysFor many years, immigrants seeking admission to the United States or an adjustment of status have needed to demonstrate that they will be self-sufficient, or in other words, that they will not be a “public charge” reliant on tax-funded public benefits. This issue has been under much debate over the last two years, with the Trump administration’s Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule taking effect in February 2020 and subsequently being challenged multiple times in federal courts.

Most recently, the question of the public charge rule’s constitutionality is being taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. However, at least for the time being, the rule remains in effect and can have significant implications on visa and green card proceedings. Further complicating matters is the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential effects on immigrants’ health and employment. As such, it is important for immigrants to work with an attorney who can help them understand how the public charge rule may affect their case.

When is an Immigrant Considered to Be a Public Charge?

When an immigrant applies for admission to the U.S., extension of their stay, or adjustment of their status to lawful permanent residence, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers a variety of factors to determine whether or not the immigrant is likely to rely on public benefits. Some of the most important factors include the person’s age, health, financial resources, education and skills, and family status.

Under the recently instituted public charge inadmissibility rule, an applicant may be denied if they are expected to rely on public benefits including Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, certain forms of food and housing assistance, and most Medicaid benefits.

COVID-19 Protections

The process of determining public charge inadmissibility could appear to force some immigrants into the difficult position of avoiding federally funded preventive care or treatment for COVID-19 out of fear that receiving it could affect their immigration status. However, it is important to note that under the current rule, Medicaid benefits for emergency treatment are not considered in admissibility decisions. USCIS has also clarified that Medicaid benefits for testing, treatment, or vaccinations for COVID-19 will not negatively impact an immigrant’s determination.

Health precautions and economic impacts of COVID-19 have also affected many immigrants’ employment status and pursuit of education, potentially making it more likely that they will need to rely temporarily on public assistance. However, USCIS has stated that an immigrant’s explanation for their unexpected hardship will be considered as part of the determination process.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Lawyer

In these unique and uncertain times, a knowledgeable and experienced attorney is especially important for immigrants pursuing a visa or adjustment of status. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we can help you prepare your application and advise you on questions related to the public charge determination. Contact an Illinois immigration attorney for a free consultation at 630-932-9100.

 

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge/inadmissibility-on-public-charge-grounds-final-rule-litigation

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-immigration-idUSKBN2AM1QW

Latest Blog Posts

Archives

  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted