Public charges: A problem for the immigrant community

On Behalf of | May 29, 2020 | Family Immigration

As an immigrant, something you should know is that U.S. immigration law has long been focused on self-sufficiency. The ideal immigrant is a person who comes to the United States to fulfill a role as a worker or who comes to the United States to open more positions for others.

An immigrant who cannot take care of themselves is at risk of becoming a public charge. Congress has had a rule that aliens are not admissible to the United States if they can’t take care of themselves without later becoming public charges. Essentially, you need to be self-sufficient if you intend to live in the United States.

To determine if an immigrant may become a public charge, the consular office or Attorney General can look at factors such as the person’s health, age, assets and resources, financial status, education, family status and skills. If you intend to come to the United States but have no way to care for yourself or are in poor health, then you may find that it is much more difficult to get approval for admission.

I don’t have a job, but my spouse does. Am I inadmissible?

It is hard to speak to specific cases unless you take your information to your attorney, but for people with a spouse who is already working in the United States or has a large amount of assets, there is an opportunity to become admissible even if they would not be admissible otherwise. This generally requires a sponsor who can then give suitable, proper bond and support the other party.

Your attorney can give you more information if you are concerned about becoming or hosting someone who could become a public charge.