What is Public Charge?

As a permanent resident, there is no problem as long as you, your children, or other family members receive the benefits below.

Cash Aid Benefit Program (CalWORKs), Cash Aid Program for Immigrants (CAPI), Supplemental Living Expenses (SSI) or General Assistance (GR); Health Benefits Medi-Cal, Family Health Insurance Program (Healthy Families); Food programs Food Stamp, Maternal and Child Health Benefits (WIC); long-term care assistance provided by the government; Government subsidized housing, other programs such as childcare or vocational training.

If you are a permanent resident, the first thing you may have a problem with is if you have been out of the United States for 6 months or more and you are getting cash or long-term care assistance. The second is, in very rare cases, when you received cash aid or long-term care assistance within 5 years of starting to live in the US due to an illness or disability you had before coming to the US.

Receiving government benefits has no effect on citizenship or inviting relatives. However, if you are invited to a relative and receive government benefits or have low income, you will need to find a co-financer who can sign a document stating that you can support the relative because the financial guarantee is not available.

If you do not have a green card yet, it will not affect your ability to obtain a green card even if you, your children, or family members receive the following government benefits. Health benefits such as Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Prenatal care, or other free or low-cost health care benefits; Food programs such as Food Stamp, Maternal and Child Health Benefits (WIC), school meals and other food assistance benefits, non-cash aid programs such as government subsidized housing, disaster relief, child care services, vocational training, transportation Voucher), etc.

You may have problems getting a permanent resident in the future when you get the Cash Aid Benefits Program (CalWORKs), the Cash Aid Program for Immigrants (CAPI), Supplemental Living Income (SSI) or General Assistance (GR), and when your family’s only income is When you get cash aid benefits for your children or other family members, or when you get nursing home or long-term care benefits from Medi-Cal or other government funds.

This can be problematic because the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) decides when applying for permanent residency whether the applicant is a person who will only rely on Public Charge or government cash aid benefits.

The Immigration Department determines whether or not to obtain permanent residency, which will determine whether the permanent residency applicant will become a burden to the government in the future. Even if you have received government benefits in the past, you will not be considered a recipient of government aid if you no longer receive or rely on government cash aid or long-term care programs.

The criteria for judging public assistance, which act as a factor in rejecting permanent residency, are limited to cash equivalents of welfare benefits that were applied before the 2019 revision, such as Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Cash Assistance for the Poor (TANF), and State and County General Cash Assistance (GA). are limiting.

In addition, disaster assistance, tax credits, and tax credits received from the federal and state governments during the COVID-19 pandemic are not included in the denial of the permanent residency review.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Children’s Health Insurance Program, most Medicaid benefits (except for long-term hospitalization at government expense), housing benefits, and transportation. epidemic support; Benefits received through tax credits or deductions or social security, government pensions, or other work benefits. DHS also has no problem with disaster assistance received under the Stafford Act.

By law, many categories of non-citizens are exempt from, and not covered by, grounds for inadmissibility. None of these categories apply to refugees, asylum seekers, noncitizens applying for or re-enrolling for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), special immigrant juveniles, T and U nonimmigrants, and self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

If you are a victim of domestic violence and have applied for permanent residency through the VAWA program, or if you are a refugee or asylum seeker, cash aid or other government benefits will not affect your green card status.

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff