• Matthew W. Peterson

What is Trump's New "Public Charge" Rule?


Trump's new "public charge" rule makes it much more difficult for immigrants with limited income or who have received public assistance to obtain immigration benefits.

Effective February 2020, President Donald Trump has implemented a new rule that makes it much more difficult for immigrants with limited means and who have received public assistance to receive immigration benefits. This is known as the inadmissibility on public charge grounds rule.


The public charge rule means that immigration officials must consider whether the beneficiary has ever received public assistance before. Public assistance includes any time the government has given you aid directly, such as Medicaid, welfare, or other such government programs.


Many immigration forms now include questions related to public assistance. Ensure that you are using the newest immigration forms when applying. There are exceptions, though.


Not only that, but there is a new form for adjustment of status applicants, I-944, that requires you to disclose your income, assets, debts, education, and public benefits. This is in addition to the other forms required for adjustment of status.


The I-944 makes the adjustment of status process much more burdensome - you now must disclose a host of other documents, such as bank statements, credit score reports, statements for student loans and other debts, education certifications, and many other documents.


The public charge rule does not apply to certain kinds of immigrants, such VAWA self petitioners.


If you have received public assistance in the past, you will now need to explain the circumstances and demonstrate that you can be self-sufficient. An immigration attorney may be needed to help prepare your application.



If you need help with your application for adjustment of status or the new public assistance rules, the Law Office of Matthew Peterson can help. We are an immigration firm in Boston serving all of Massachusetts. Call or text us today at 617-356-8217, and let's get started on your case!

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