In response to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the United States federal government has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This stimulus package will allocate trillions of dollars to struggling citizens and businesses due to the economic downturn that the virus has caused. Many people all over the world may have questions regarding government services during this uncertain time, such as the immigration process. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that the Public Charge Rule will not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
According to U.S. immigration law, the Public Charge Rule outlines that immigrants to the United States who are classified as “likely” to become a Public Charge may be denied visas or lawful entrance to the country based on their disabilities or inadequate economic resources.
The new Public Charge Rule took effect in February of this year. The new rule affects individuals who are applying for green cards and visas from within the United States, known as “Adjustment of Status.” The new rule elaborates on the types of publicly funded programs that are used to assess if a person is likely to become a public charge in the future.
Certain immigrants who are residing in the United States, such as DACA recipients, may be eligible for the COVID-19 stimulus package payment that is on its way to families and individuals. However, some applicants are concerned that this payment could be considered a form of public assistance, which could impact their public charge determination later.
USCIS policies offer guidance on whether the CARES Act payments are considered public benefits. It has been determined that USCIS should not consider receipt of these stimulus payments when determining if someone is a possible Public Charge.
The USCIS announcement came after congressional leaders asked the current White House administration to rescind the new Public Charge rule in response to immigrants seeking medical treatment related to coronavirus. Government and health officials have urged worldwide lockdowns to help stop the spread of the virus. The latest studies show that they may be working to flatten the curve for the number of new cases.
The immigration process can be confusing to those who have never been through it. The distinguished Mevorah Law Offices will interpret and inform you of any pertinent immigration laws and inform you of your rights and opportunities that are relevant to your case. Our dedicated Illinois immigration lawyers have several decades of combined experience helping immigrants achieve their dreams of becoming U.S. citizens. We will assist you with any concerns you might have during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 630-875-1700.
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