Tills Visa Law

Stephen K. Tills, Attorney at LAW

New Regulations to discourage Immigrants’ use of public benefits


The Trump administration intends to implement new rules aimed at the use of public benefits by Immigrants and visitors to the U.S..  Historically, U.S. Immigration law has required that Immigrants and visitors show that they have private financial means for their support in the U.S..  Both must provide “Affidavit of  Support” forms prior to being admitted to the U.S..  In the case of visitors, they must provide form I-134, signed by the U.S. sponsor along with supporting documents to show the source of the funding.  For Immigrants, the sponsor must file form I-864, and show more extensive financial records.  The sponsor signing the I-864 pledges to support the intending immigrant to at least 125% of the poverty level for their household size for a ten-year period.

The new regulations require the filing of a form called “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency” (Form I-944) and requires additional information and documentation relating to public charge considerations.  This form will be used in conjunction with DHS proposed amendments to its regulations to interpret the minimum statutory factors for determining whether an alien is inadmissible as a public charge. For those in the U.S. seeking permanent resident status, their history of receipt of public benefits will be reviewed.  DHS will be providing a list of public benefits to be considered when making a public charge determination, including common tax credits.  The current rules provide that non-cash, supplemental and certain limited cash, special purpose benefits should not be considered for public charge purposes.


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