Public Charge Rule Update
By Jeremy B. Love, Immigration Attorney
February 7, 2020
The Public Charge rule has been part of Immigration law for many years. However, the Trump administration has broadened the definition of public charge to include immigrants who receive such benefits as Medicaid. This rule only affects those who are applying for permanent residence and certain nonimmigrant visas. In our opinion, the real issue is that officers have been given wide discretion to decide who they think is likely to become a public charge in the future.
Therefore, if you are in the process of becoming a permanent resident or likely will be in the near future, here are our recommendations during tax season:
1. Work under your name using your social security number or ITIN.
2. Have proof of income (paystubs, paychecks, etc.).
3. Have your W-2 or 1099.
4. If you are married, file taxes as married filing jointly or married filing separately. Not as single or head of household.
5. Do not add family members as dependents on your taxes unless you are actually providing for them.
6. Consider obtaining private health insurance.
We've been advising our clients on this issue since the Trump administration made their policy change in 2019. Please contact us with any questions. Thank you. 205-323-8727