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Latest Public Charge Rule Now in Effect
On February 24, 2020 the NEW public charge policy adopted by USCIS went into effect across the US. This policy update threatens to change immigration as we know it in the US in a MASSIVE way. In this video, immigration attorney, Andres Mejer provides an in-depth explanation of the new REQUIRED form I-944 and what documents you will need to
Andres Mejer :Welcome. My name is Andres Mejer, and today we’re continuing the conversation of the public charge. I want to talk about what documents do you need in order to apply? How do you apply? And I want to talk about certain factors that can affect you.
Andres Mejer :We’ve already just talked in prior videos. Who does the public charge affect and who doesn’t? How is the public charge defined define? What is it? And three, we gave you three examples of how the test is applied. So if you want more information about that. Look at the comments below. You’ll see a link to that video in to that information. So let’s jump right into it. Documents, keep in mind, this is general information and it shouldn’t replace legal advice in your specific situation. Prior to this rule, the focus on public charges really been on form i864 affidavit of support that’s filed by the person applying for you and a joint sponsor. The focus now is gone from whether that individual and how much that individual makes to the immigrant.
Andres Mejer :Green Card applicants are now required to file a new form and I 9 4 4. It’s a 19 page behemoth. It’s very detailed and it focus on things that are different than the past. So work history. Plenty of firms have asked about your work history, but really they don’t. They haven’t really focused upon your work skills or about your educational history. Super important. What’s your level of English mastery now?
Andres Mejer :If you’re a Green Card holder and you’re applying for your citizenship, you have a requirement to speak English. But there was never a requirement for your Green Card. Now it’s a factor as to whether you’re going to be inadmissible because of the public charge. So it’s kind of backed candidates. So understand the focus of the public charge really is about your ability to work. Your ability to support yourself in simple terms with the government is saying is. I don’t know. I don’t disagree with the principle. It’s the following. If I’m the U.S. government, can you immigrate?
Andres Mejer :Are applying to live in my country. I want to make sure that I don’t have to support you. So you immigrant must show me that you can support yourself so that I don’t have to. Now, in principle, that’s fine, too. I am prior videos we discussed. What does it mean to be a public charge? What’s the definition? My issue is the rules. The way they’ve created are very subjective.
Andres Mejer :It gives the officer a lot of room to say not you are inadmissible because you are a public charge, but because of certain factors you might be in the future.
Andres Mejer :That’s my problem. And when they talk about your level of English language, you know, the statute does not say you have to speak English in order to become a lawful permanent resident. If that was the case, my mom never would have become one. I wouldn’t have become one. I was 6 years old and neither would fight with my father. So it’s a real problem. And how do you prove what your English fluency is? Now, let’s say I’m 5, right? I now imagine I came here when I was 6. I’ve grown up here my entire life, my entire education. Imagine has been an English. English is my native language. How do I prove my fluency? Tell me you have to go take a test to prove it.
Andres Mejer :Why should I have to do that? So it’s unclear how that’s going to happen, but they are now requiring it. Where in the past they never did. So work history, work skills, educational history, English fluency, financial information, including both assets and liabilities. Even prior bankruptcies. Yet, folks, you could be undocumented. You could be illegal, but you could still file for bankruptcy. Most people don’t know that. Have you received or have you ever been certified in order to receive public benefits? So we’re talking about food stamps, whic things like that. What’s your health insurance? You have health insurance. Have you ever had health insurance? All right. How do you apply medical history? Do you. Have you been diagnosed with a serious condition? Or are you. Do you have a clean bill of health?
Andres Mejer :So if you don’t submit your form, I 9:44 with your initial submission. The public homeland security can deny your petition and put you into removal. They do not need to give you a request for evidence or a notice of intent. Not they do not to give you a friendly one and say, hey, you know, I know this is a new form. You forgot to fill it out. You forgot to include it. They don’t have to do that. They could just deny you put you into removal. And then maybe you fix it the next time when what could have been a civil process that becomes really complicated.
Andres Mejer :So you’re gonna need a lot of additional documents, including IRS tax transcript for your most recent tax here. They’re going to ask you for a year for your for your income for the past three years. But it isn’t just for you. It’s for everyone in your household. To you. Your wife. Your parents, your kids, whoever is included as a dependent on an on your on your income taxes. And yes, I’m saying. Transcript.
Andres Mejer :I’m not saying your actual taxes you can fill out form forty five or six teeth on the IRS website. And you can request a copy form W-2 or a Social Security statement. If the transcript isn’t available, credit report, you imagine this. This is most immigrants don’t even have a credit. So if you don’t have a Social Security number, if you don’t have work authorization, chances are you have zero credit, but you still need to apply and get a key. I got nothing on you. Report proof of any untaxed income. So what on earth is untaxed income? Let’s say you’re involved in a personal motor vehicle accident and you settled your case and you got $1000. Maybe was one hundred thousand. It’s not taxable income because it was a personal injury that’s not taxable. Let’s say you receive child support. You have two kids, you have full custody of those kids. Your spouse is ordered by the court to pay you child support to help support those kids. By law. Well, that’s untaxed income. So any untaxed income, you need to prove it. Proof of asset ownership. If it’s a property, you’re going to need the recent real estate appraisal from a licensed appraiser. Perfect example. I bought a new house two years ago. I sold my old one. I bought a new one. I moved from Long Branch to a different tack.
Andres Mejer :Now I put money down. And I got a mortgage from the bank. It’s just a loan that the bank gave me in order to buy the house. Now two years go by. What’s I got an appraisal then? But that’s not recent. So now I need to contact a license appraiser and they need to come and evaluate what my house is worth. They want to know my assets. Crazy. Now, in the past, I only need you to do that if and only if I was using assets for my affidavit of support. And I didn’t really need a license appraiser.
Andres Mejer :I could just provide you know, I could have used an old appraisal like I to be able to use Zillow or Trulia or or my tax assessment. Any of those would have been sufficient or I probably attach all three of those to determine the value of my home. Now the rules say, no, I need a licensed appraiser. So your expenses go up and it takes more time to get copies of any health insurance policies or proof that you enrolled. Any evidence to counter any medical condition? Again, the focus is on your ability to work.
Andres Mejer :If you have an ability to maintain yourself, if you, the immigrant, have a serious medical condition, well, maybe you need to have more assets on hand to show that you’re not going to need benefits from from the government child-support orders or custody agreements for any children being supported by you who don’t reside in your household.
Andres Mejer :All of this is new stuff that they’ve that they’ve never asked before. But the most important part is how you put all of this together. When you put the account, the context, and when you explain to immigration that you’re not going to be a public charge, it’s not just providing documents.
Andres Mejer :You need to weave a story that is compelling. That’s where a good immigration attorney comes in, because public charge is just one of the most recent ways that immigration has to deny your petition. It’s always about a context. So what if you are a public charge for purpose of conversation? Let’s assume that immigration is going to decide. Yes. You are going to be a public charge. Now, in other videos I talked about how that affects you. There’s going to be a link below. You’re going to have to review those videos. But for today, let’s assume you are a public charge. Now, it’s important to keep in mind strategy incredibly important. Again, this is where a good attorney comes into effect. There are many things that you could do before you file for your Green Card to avoid becoming inadmissible. If you just go and you follow it, you don’t you know, you don’t speak to your attorney. Just fill it out and send it out. You’re going to have problems. It’s how you put everything together. Returning to public charge. Let’s say you werent employed
Andres Mejer :Well, you could you could find a job. Let’s say you buy insurance or you find a job, a new job that gives you health insurance. Maybe you can’t find a job and you apply to school and you become a full time student. So now you’re not required to work. If you had public benefits, you disenroll.
Andres Mejer :Maybe you have to wait until three years have passed from the last time you received the benefit so that when they do the analysis, you don’t have more than twelve months of benefits. The point is you have to make a strategic decision and you can’t do that if you don’t know if you don’t know the contours of the rule.
Andres Mejer :So if you have a question, give us a call. Ask for a no cost consultation. If you qualify, we’ll go over your specific situation at no cost to you. In that consult, there are three issues that I consider for every single potential client. Number one, does the immigrant have a path to legal status? Now, today we’re talking about Green Card.
Andres Mejer :But it could also be u visa could have been cancelation removal, asylum, employment based petition, VAWA parole in place DACA, T.P.S.. There’s all sorts of things that we do. We potentially could do for in this conversation though, we’re talking about Green Card. And for the most part it’s a marriage based petition, but it could also be parents applying for minor children, could be adult kids applying for their parents, or it could be siblings, albeit sibling petitions take 40 to 20 years. So again, three questions. One. Do you have a path to legal status right now? Let’s assume it’s a Green Card based on marriage. Second, is there something in the past that makes you inadmissible? And there are many of them public charges, the most recent. Maybe you have multiple entries. Maybe after 1997 you came to United States. You were here for more than 180 days without permission. You left and then came back without waiting three or 10 years and without applying for a waiver. We did this law that. Maybe you have a prior order of removal, expedited removal. Maybe you’re in removal proceedings. Maybe you you got voluntary departure, but never left. And therefore, on departure became an order of removal. Maybe you were committed prior fraud. You came to United States with a fake passport. Perhaps you been convicted of a crime and that could disqualify you. Maybe you have a health problem. Public charge is the focus of today and it’s the most recent one. Three. Can we do something to fix it? Maybe we file a motion to reopen. Maybe we file a waiver. Maybe we wait until, you know, a year or two years of pass. You should not become a public charge.
Andres Mejer :Or maybe you can file for a public bond of immigration. She’s under law have been able to request a bond to overcome a public charge finding for years, but there was never a procedure to do so.
Andres Mejer :Now there is. So immigrants were found to be admissible because of the public charge will now be able to overcome that finding by posting a bond, but only if the department found security. Immigration invites you to do so. So here’s how it works. First, it’s completely in DHS discretion to invite you to post a bond. You can’t just go and do it.
Andres Mejer :You don’t have a right to it. They have to invite you to do so. Secondly. If you have a factor that what’s considered a heavily weighted factor, it’s unlikely that DHS will invite you. Let me give you an example. There’s really four of them. One, you’re not a full time student. You have employment authorization, but you’re not working and you have no history of working. That’s a problem. Unless you’re a stay at home mom uni and you’re of working age and you have work authorization, you need to be working, too. You’ve been saying you’re an immigrant and you’ve been certified or approved to receive a public benefit. 3 You’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition that is likely to prevent you from supporting yourself and you have no insurance or you had no chance of getting insurance or you have no ability to pay for an expected cost of the medical condition.
Andres Mejer :If you won the lottery and you just won 200 million dollars, I don’t care what your medical condition is. I don’t care if you’re working or not. You’re not going to be a public charge because you have more than enough assets to overcome that. But most people don’t have that. If you’ve been free and now before, you’ve been previously found inadmissible on public charge Grant. So those are four factors that will significantly weigh against you receiving or I guess you’re being invited too far for the bar.
Andres Mejer :Now, how much is the bar going to be? It’ll be at least eight thousand one hundred dollars. And immigration is going to decide what kind of bar. There’s three or four common ones. They’re gonna decide. Now, we don’t know what kind yet again, this is. This is brand new. It’ll be months until we know because these are cases filed after February 24th. And since is the first week of March. Guess what? There’s no case that’s been filed after February 24th and already has had an interview in the first week of March. Didn’t happen. It’s likely to happen six months in the future or more.
Andres Mejer :So stay tuned. When we know more, we’ll let you know. How do you apply for the bar? Another four. Oh, yes. Ladies and gentlemen, immigration loves their forms. Its form. I know. Forty five. And it’s a twenty five dollar filing fee. When do you get your bond back? Well, the bond remains in effect until you get it canceled so you can request to cancel the bond. And how do you do that? Yet another form I 3:56. And it also has a twenty five dollar filing fee. It can be. So you can file this form. 3:56 to cancel a bond when one the immigrant is been a green card holder for five years or more to immigrate is now a U.S. citizen, not an immigrant anymore. Three permanently departed the US as shown by filling out forms. I all said it. So you barely said, you know what the hell with this? I don’t. I don’t need this anymore. The tax benefits are up. There aren’t any benefits. It’s just a pain in the ass.
Andres Mejer :I’m leaving for you’ve obtained an immigration status that’s not subject to the public charge like asylum. Special Immigrant Juvenile U. Visa VAWA. Those are the most common ones. 5 The immigrant died. Obviously doesn’t need to worry about being a public charge if he’s dead. So under those circumstances, you know, the wait five years, you have to weigh anything you just file the i-356, 25 dollar filing fee and a death certificate. Now, we’ve in the past talked about the totality of the circumstances. That’s the test that immigration is going to use to determine. Are you a public charge or are you likely to be a public judge? What is totality of the circumstances?
Andres Mejer :Simply put, it’s where immigration looks at all of your positive factors and all of your negative factors and says in in in the main, you’ve got more positive than good approved in the main. You have more bad than good. Denied. That’s really what we’re talking about in totality. Just means when you consider everything. Is there more good than bad? But now I want to talk specifically about one factor. I’ll talk about. Others in other videos. But today, when it came your age, make you a public charge?
Andres Mejer :In case you. It’s not clear by watching my program, this rule and the public charge clearly discriminates in favor of working age applicants. That is immigrants between the ages of 18 and 67. DHS immigration problem is, security considers your age principally in the context of your ability to work.
Andres Mejer :Because if you can work, you can’t support yourself if you support yourself. The government won’t have to. If someone is underage and thus can’t work or someone is over age and also can’t work, it could be a significant negative factor. But remember, context matters. If you’re seven years old, your children are applying for your Green Card.
Andres Mejer :The fact that you’re over 70 is irrelevant if you’re a multimillionaire. If you’ve had multiple businesses, you have multiple properties. You’ve been in and out of the US for many years. You have business ties here and abroad. You know, you’re a doctor, you’re a dentist. You know, you’re well to do it in your country. You be well to do here, too. So the fact that you’re over sixty seven in of itself may not be dispositive, but it is a significant negative factor and you need to show that your other circumstances have to be that much better. Similarly, your son is under 18, will automatically acquire citizenship when you do. They may also be exempted. So context is important.
Andres Mejer :Now. Conversely, it’s a positive factor if you are between the ages of 18. Sixty one had employment authorization and are working.
Andres Mejer :So conversely, negative factor under 17 or over 62, but you could be over 60 to over 67. And with employment authorization and working and making a good living. And you’re okay.
Andres Mejer :Context matters. The last point on this is DHS reviews all of your factors. No one alone will be determinative. It’s about looking at the entire situation. Again, what is your path to legal status? Is there something that makes it admissible? 3. How do we overcome it? For this video we were talking about family based immigration Green Card petition inadmissible because of a public charge and 3 how do we fix that? We could fix it with it with a public bond, or we could fix it by changing the circumstances in number 2.
Andres Mejer :That might make you inadmissible if we fix that admissibility because we change you. We present your story in a different way. We overcome something. You have employment, you get health insurance, you’re cured of your medical condition or you’re a student again. If we change the factors, we take away the negative negatives. So only left the positive. That’s the strategy. That’s what a good attorney brings to the table.
Andres Mejer :Thank you for listening. My name is Andrés Mejer. Please subscribe to our channel. Thank you for your time. Until next time.