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e-CFR data is current as of August 6, 2020

Title 8Chapter ISubchapter BPart 212 → §212.22


Title 8: Aliens and Nationality
PART 212—DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS: NONIMMIGRANTS; WAIVERS; ADMISSION OF CERTAIN INADMISSIBLE ALIENS; PAROLE


§212.22   Public charge inadmissibility determination.

This section relates to the public charge ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(4) of the Act.

(a) Prospective determination based on the totality of circumstances. The determination of an alien's likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future must be based on the totality of the alien's circumstances by weighing all factors that are relevant to whether the alien is more likely than not at any time in the future to receive one or more public benefits, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(b), for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months). Except as necessary to fully evaluate evidence provided in paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(E)(3) of this section, DHS will not specifically assess whether an alien qualifies or would qualify for any public benefit, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(b).

(b) Minimum factors to consider. A public charge inadmissibility determination must at least entail consideration of the alien's age; health; family status; education and skills; and assets, resources, and financial status, as follows:

(1) The alien's age—(i) Standard. When considering an alien's age, DHS will consider whether the alien's age makes the alien more likely than not to become a public charge at any time in the future, such as by impacting the alien's ability to work, including whether the alien is between the age of 18 and the minimum “early retirement age” for Social Security set forth in 42 U.S.C. 416(l)(2).

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) The alien's health—(i) Standard. DHS will consider whether the alien's health makes the alien more likely than not to become a public charge at any time in the future, including whether the alien has been diagnosed with a medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment or institutionalization or that will interfere with the alien's ability to provide and care for himself or herself, to attend school, or to work upon admission or adjustment of status.

(ii) Evidence. USCIS' consideration includes but is not limited to the following:

(A) A report of an immigration medical examination performed by a civil surgeon or panel physician where such examination is required (to which USCIS will generally defer absent evidence that such report is incomplete); or

(B) Evidence of a medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment or institutionalization or that will interfere with the alien's ability to provide and care for himself or herself, to attend school, or to work upon admission or adjustment of status.

(3) The alien's family status—(i) Standard. When considering an alien's family status, DHS will consider the alien's household size, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(d), and whether the alien's household size makes the alien more likely than not to become a public charge at any time in the future.

(ii) [Reserved]

(4) The alien's assets, resources, and financial status—(i) Standard. When considering an alien's assets, resources, and financial status, DHS will consider whether such assets, resources, and financial status excluding any income from illegal activities or sources (e.g., proceeds from illegal gambling or drug sales, and income from public benefits listed in 8 CFR 212.21(b)), make the alien more likely than not to become a public charge at any time in the future, including whether:

(A) The alien's household's annual gross income is at least 125 percent of the most recent Federal Poverty Guideline (100 percent for an alien on active duty, other than training, in the U.S. Armed Forces) based on the alien's household size as defined by section 212.21(d);

(B) If the alien's household's annual gross income is less than 125 percent of the most recent Federal Poverty Guideline (100 percent for an alien on active duty, other than training, in the U.S. Armed Forces), the alien may submit evidence of ownership of significant assets. For purposes of this paragraph, an alien may establish ownership of significant assets, such as savings accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, real estate or other assets, in which the combined cash value of all the assets (the total value of the assets less any offsetting liabilities) exceeds:

(1) If the intending immigrant is the spouse or child of a United States citizen (and the child has reached his or her 18th birthday), three times the difference between the alien's household income and 125 percent of the FPG (100 percent for those on active duty, other than training, in the U.S. Armed Forces) for the alien's household size;

(2) If the intending immigrant is an orphan who will be adopted in the United States after the alien orphan acquires permanent residence (or in whose case the parents will need to seek a formal recognition of a foreign adoption under the law of the State of the intending immigrant's proposed residence because at least one of the parents did not see the child before or during the adoption), and who will, as a result of the adoption or formal recognition of the foreign adoption, acquire citizenship under section 320 of the Act, the difference between the alien's household income and 125 percent of the FPG (100 percent for those on active duty, other than training, in the U.S. Armed Forces) for the alien's household size; or

(3) In all other cases, five times the difference between the alien's household income and 125 percent of the FPG (100 percent for those on active duty, other than training, in the U.S. Armed Forces) for the alien's household size.

(C) The alien has sufficient household assets and resources to cover any reasonably foreseeable medical costs, including as related to a medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment or institutionalization or that will interfere with the alien's ability to provide care for himself or herself, to attend school, or to work;

(D) The alien has any financial liabilities; and

(E) The alien has applied for, been certified to receive, or received public benefits, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(b), on or after October 15, 2019.

(ii) Evidence. USCIS' consideration includes, but is not limited to the following:

(A) The alien's annual gross household income including, but not limited to:

(1) For each member of the household whose income will be considered, the most recent tax-year transcript from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of such household member's IRS Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return; or

(2) If the evidence in paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(A)(1) of this section is unavailable for a household member, other credible and probative evidence of such household member's income, including an explanation of why such transcript is not available, such as if the household member is not subject to taxation in the United States.

(B) Any additional income from individuals not included in the alien's household provided to the alien's household on a continuing monthly or yearly basis for the most recent calendar year and on which the alien relies or will rely to meet the standard at 8 CFR 212.22(b)(4)(i);

(C) The household's cash assets and resources. Evidence of such cash assets and resources may include checking and savings account statements covering 12 months prior to filing the application;

(D) The household's non-cash assets and resources, that can be converted into cash within 12 months, such as net cash value of real estate holdings minus the sum of all loans secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other lien on the home; annuities; securities; retirement and educational accounts; and any other assets that can easily be converted into cash;

(E) Evidence that the alien has:

(1) Applied for or received any public benefit, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(b), on or after October 15, 2019 or disenrolled or requested to be disenrolled from such benefit(s); or

(2) Been certified or approved to receive any public benefit, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(b), on or after October 15, 2019 or withdrew his or her application or disenrolled or requested to be to disenrolled from such benefit(s);

(3) Submitted evidence from a Federal, State, local, or tribal agency administering a public benefit, as defined in 212.21(b), that the alien has specifically identified as showing that the alien does not qualify or would not qualify for such public benefit by virtue of, for instance, the alien's annual gross household income or prospective immigration status or length of stay;

(F) Whether the alien has applied for or has received a USCIS fee waiver for an immigration benefit request on or after October 15, 2019, unless the fee waiver was applied for or granted as part of an application for which a public charge inadmissibility determination under section 212(a)(4) of the Act was not required.

(G) The alien's credit history and credit score in the United States, and other evidence of the alien's liabilities not reflected in the credit history and credit score (e.g., any mortgages, car loans, unpaid child or spousal support, unpaid taxes, and credit card debt); and

(H) Whether the alien has sufficient household assets and resources (including, for instance, health insurance not designated as a public benefit under 8 CFR 212.21(b)) to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs, such as costs related to a medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment or institutionalization or that will interfere with the alien's ability to provide care for himself or herself, to attend school, or to work;

(5) The alien's education and skills—(i) Standard. When considering an alien's education and skills, DHS will consider whether the alien has adequate education and skills to either obtain or maintain lawful employment with an income sufficient to avoid being more likely than not to become a public charge.

(ii) Evidence. USCIS' consideration includes but is not limited to the following:

(A) The alien's history of employment, excluding employment involving illegal activities, e.g., illegal gambling or drug sales. The alien must provide the following:

(1) The last 3 years of the alien's tax transcripts from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the alien's IRS Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return; or

(2) If the evidence in paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(A)(1) of this section is unavailable, other credible and probative evidence of the alien's history of employment for the last 3 years, including an explanation of why such transcripts are not available, such as if the alien is not subject to taxation in the United States;

(B) Whether the alien has a high school diploma (or its equivalent) or has a higher education degree;

(C) Whether the alien has any occupational skills, certifications, or licenses;

(D) Whether the alien is proficient in English or proficient in other languages in addition to English; and

(E) Whether the alien is a primary caregiver as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(f), such that the alien lacks an employment history, is not currently employed, or is not employed full time. Only one alien within a household can be considered a primary caregiver of the same individual within the household. USCIS' consideration with respect this paragraph includes but is not limited to evidence that an individual the alien is caring for resides in the alien's household, evidence of the individual's age, and evidence of the individual's medical condition, including disability, if any.

(6) The alien's prospective immigration status and expected period of admission—(i) Standard. DHS will consider the immigration status that the alien seeks and the expected period of admission as it relates to the alien's ability to financially support himself or herself during the duration of the alien's stay, including:

(A) Whether the alien is applying for adjustment of status or admission in a nonimmigrant or immigrant classification; and

(B) If the alien is seeking admission as a nonimmigrant, the nonimmigrant classification and the anticipated period of temporary stay.

(ii) [Reserved]

(7) An affidavit of support under section 213A of the Act, when required under section 212(a)(4) of the Act, that meets the requirements of section 213A of the Act and 8 CFR 213a—(i) Standard. If the alien is required under sections 212(a)(4)(C) or (D) to submit an affidavit of support under section 213A of the Act and 8 CFR part 213a, and submits such a sufficient affidavit of support, DHS will consider the likelihood that the sponsor would actually provide the statutorily-required amount of financial support to the alien, and any other related considerations.

(A) Evidence. USCIS consideration includes but is not limited to the following:

(1) The sponsor's annual income, assets, and resources;

(2) The sponsor's relationship to the applicant, including but not limited to whether the sponsor lives with the alien; and

(3) Whether the sponsor has submitted an affidavit of support with respect to other individuals.

(c) Heavily weighted factors. The factors below will weigh heavily in a public charge inadmissibility determination. The mere presence of any one heavily weighted factor does not, alone, make the alien more or less likely than not to become a public charge.

(1) Heavily weighted negative factors. The following factors will weigh heavily in favor of a finding that an alien is likely at any time in the future to become a public charge:

(i) The alien is not a full-time student and is authorized to work, but is unable to demonstrate current employment, recent employment history, or a reasonable prospect of future employment;

(ii) The alien has received or has been certified or approved to receive one or more public benefits, as defined in §212.21(b), for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months), beginning no earlier than 36 months prior to the alien's application for admission or adjustment of status on or after October 15, 2019;

(iii)(A) The alien has been diagnosed with a medical condition that is likely to require extensive medical treatment or institutionalization or that will interfere with the alien's ability to provide for himself or herself, attend school, or work; and

(B) The alien is uninsured and has neither the prospect of obtaining private health insurance, nor the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs related to such medical condition; or

(iv) The alien was previously found inadmissible or deportable on public charge grounds by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.

(2) Heavily weighted positive factors. The following factors will weigh heavily in favor of a finding that an alien is not likely to become a public charge:

(i) The alien's household has income, assets, or resources, and support (excluding any income from illegal activities, e.g., proceeds from illegal gambling or drug sales, and any income from public benefits as defined in §212.21(b)) of at least 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the alien's household size;

(ii) The alien is authorized to work and is currently employed in a legal industry with an annual income, excluding any income from illegal activities such as proceeds from illegal gambling or drug sales, of at least 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the alien's household size; or

(iii) The alien has private health insurance, except that for purposes of this paragraph (c)(2)(iii), private health insurance must be appropriate for the expected period of admission, and does not include health insurance for which the alien receives subsidies in the form of premium tax credits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended.

(d) Treatment of benefits received before October 15, 2019. For purposes of this regulation, DHS will consider, as a negative factor, but not as a heavily weighted negative factor as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, any amount of cash assistance for income maintenance, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), State and local cash assistance programs that provide benefits for income maintenance (often called “General Assistance” programs), and programs (including Medicaid) supporting aliens who are institutionalized for long-term care, received, or certified for receipt, before October 15, 2019, as provided under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, also known as the 1999 Field Guidance on Deportability and Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds. DHS will not consider as a negative factor any other public benefits received, or certified for receipt, before October 15, 2019.

[84 FR 41501, Aug. 14, 2019; 84 FR 52362, Oct. 2, 2019]

Editorial Note: At 84 FR 52362, Oct. 2, 2019, the amendments to §212.22(b)(4)(ii)(A)(2), (b)(4)(ii)(F), and (b)(7) at 84 FR 41501, Aug. 14, 2019 were corrected; however, the correcting amendments could not be incorporated due to inaccurate amendatory instruction.

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