As anticipated for months, this morning DHS published in the Federal Register a proposed change to federal regulations pertaining to the “public charge” grounds of inadmissibility. The Federal Register notice is 837 pages long and details the changes to the existing Federal guidance on the issue. More information will be forthcoming once the document has been fully reviewed, but in general, the major takeaways appear to be that DHS will now consider the totality of circumstances surrounding whether an intending immigrant is likely to need to rely on public benefits — i.e., it will now consider factors like age, education, ability to speak English, and ability to be employed. Many fear that this broadening of discretion is simply a thinly veiled excuse for the Administration to deny visas and green cards to a larger category of intending immigrants.
The rule will not take effect for 60 days and will not be applied retroactively. So, it would be in your best interest if you intend to file for a green card, to do so as quickly as possible.