Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google
630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
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

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

JOLIET

58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-727-4500

CHICAGO

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

Phone: 630-932-9100

What Does it Mean to Become a Public Charge?

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 1848
  • Print

DuPage County immigration attorneys, public chargeWhen a potential immigrant wants to come to the United States, he or she must meet all requirements for the visa or status he or she wishes to obtain. Many nonimmigrant visas in particular require that a person not be (or be at risk of becoming) ‘a public charge,’ but there is some significant confusion about what that actually means.

General Information

The concept of public charge has been a part of U.S. immigration law for many years, and is governed by Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration & Nationality Act. What it means is that if someone wishes to immigrate or adjust status, he or she may be denied or ruled inadmissible if he or she is “likely to become a public charge.” If someone has an affidavit of support (that is, an affidavit from an employer or family member showing that the person will be provided for), then he or she is generally presumed not to be at risk of becoming dependent on government benefits.

Certain classes of immigrants, such as refugees, asylum applicants, T or U visa holders, and Amerasians are exempt from being labeled a public charge, because even if they become dependent on government benefits, then there are pressing public policy reasons to keep them in the United States unless they become otherwise deportable. For example, a person applying for asylum would be allowed to remain in the U.S. while his or her application was pending, even if he or she fit the definition of a public charge.

Different Types of Benefits

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) differentiates between different classes of benefits for the purpose of determining public charge. Some benefits are available to all, without any potential negative consequences, usually those which provide non-cash benefits or allow people to obtain them. A good example of this is certain types of health coverage; for example, in California, immigrants may obtain financial assistance in order to pay for insurance, and it is explicitly stated in the guidelines that doing so does not make one a public charge. It is generally in the state’s best interest to ensure that people have health insurance.

Even if a potential immigrant does require and receive cash benefits, that mere fact is not enough to render someone inadmissible. USCIS officers must consider the totality of the circumstances, which means that there are a host of other factors that may affect a decision besides the benefits. For example, if someone receives benefits at the time of his or her application, but is in the process of completing a graduate degree in a highly sought-after field, an officer may allow that person to enter the U.S., since the likelihood of his or her obtaining a well-paying job after school is high.

Seek Experienced Assistance

Sometimes, people need an extra bit of assistance. If you rely on government benefits, you should not have to worry about your immigration status. Still, sometimes, it happens. The knowledgeable DuPage County immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices, LLC are happy to answer your questions and try to guide you through what can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Sources:

http://uscis.gov/iframe/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-2006.html

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

http://coveredca.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/immigrants/

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

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 Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, 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 Law Offices LLC 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