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USCIS Updates Public Charge Resources Webpage

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its public charge resources webpage to provide information more clearly to immigrants and U.S. citizens. This will help dispel any fear amongst them when it comes to accessing critical government services that are available to them.

USCIS will continue to use the public charge ground of inadmissibility (section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) in accordance with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance saying whether a noncitizen is inadmissible on the public charge ground.

The agency has updated its question-and-answer section to better address present and common concerns regarding the public charge ground of inadmissibility. USCIS gives the example that it “does not consider vaccines or public benefits specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic when making public charge determinations”. USCIS wants to ensure that all noncitizens and citizens are receiving accurate and truthful information. 

The agency also wants to clarify that relatively few noncitizens in the U.S. are subject to both the public charge ground of inadmissibility and eligible for the public benefits considered under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance. These benefits include supplemental security income, temporary assistance for needy families, and other programs that support noncitizens who are institutionalized for long-term care at government expense. 

USICS has also announced that it will be creating a new and final rule that will update and create new regulations regarding the public charge ground of inadmissibility and replace the 1999 Interim Field Guidance. This comes after the agency received feedback from a public survey that indicated that a new rule was needed. USCIS has said that this new rule will be published in either July or August 2022. 

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