New Public Charge law effective October 15, 2019

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

The new rule broadens the definition to apply to those who are determined to be more likely than not to receive a broader list of benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.

Also the new rule added 5 New Benefit Programs to be covered.   The new rule expands the list of state and federal programs that can be considered when applying the public charge test.

Previously, the DHS only considered the following 4 programs:

  1. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  2. Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  3. State General Relief or Assistance
  4. A Medicaid program that covers institutionalization for long-term care

The new public charge rule adds the following 5 additional programs to the list:

  1. Non-Emergency Medicaid
  2. Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)
  3. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program
  4. Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance
  5. Public Housing

In addition, USCIS will focus on the following 5 Statutory Factors

Under the new public charge rule, USCIS officers will shift attention away from the petitioning sponsor’s income and focus instead on the following 5 factors:

  1. Age: Applicants younger than 18 or older than the minimum early retirement age for Social Security will need to demonstrate why their age will not impact their ability to work.
  2. Health: Applicants will need to show whether their medical conditions will affect their ability to work and care for themselves.
  3. Family status: Applicant’s household include dependents and persons providing the applicant with more than 50 percent of support.
  4. Asset, resources and financial status: Whether the annual household income is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline, given the new household definition. Financial status will be measured by civil liabilities, credit history and credit score, past applications for or receipt of public benefits, an  application for or receipt of a fee waiver for an immigration benefit after the effective date.
  5. Education and skills: Whether the applicant has adequate education and skills to obtain lawful employment with an income sufficient to avoid becoming a public charge. Factors include employment history, education level, occupational skills and licenses, English proficiency and the status of the applicant as a primary caregiver to another individual in the household.

Posting of Public Charge Bonds may be required

The new rule allows for the posting of a bond in situations where the applicant needs to assure USCIS that h e or she will not become a public charge. If it is determined that an applicant is likely to become a public charge, he may be offered to opportunity to post a bond of at least $8,100. The bond is considered breached if the applicant receives benefits from any of the 9 programs identified above for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.


  1. For the month of August, 2019, we received approval from Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a client who has committed marriage fraud. We also received approval from USCIS of two naturalization applications and two fiancé visa petition.
  2. For the month of July 2019, we received approvals of two N-400 application for Naturalization, one I-751 Petition to remove condition of residence with interview and two I-90 renewal of green card.
  3. For June 2019, we received approvals of four adjustment of status, six naturalization applications and two certificate of citizenship applications, and one Removal of condition on resident.
  4. On May 6, 2019, we received approvals of three adjustment of status applications and two Naturalization applications.
  5. On April 24, 2019, we received approval from USCIS for three naturalization applications and one adjustment of status.
  6. On March 29, 2019, we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client whose petitioner and primary beneficiary has died under INA 204(l)
  7. On March 28, 2019, we received an approval of renewal of green card for a client who was in the Philippines under medical treatment for one and a half years.
  8. From March 4 to 26, 2019, we received six adjustment of status approvals.
  9. For the month of February, 2019, we received tow approvals of renewal of green card and one approval of removal of condition on residence.
  10. On January 16, 2019, we received an approval of naturalization for a client who received a waiver of misrepresentation in Immigration Court.
  11. On January 28, 2019 we received an approval of adjustment of status for a client who entered on a visa waiver.

If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers.  He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999.  His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email:

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment