Public Charge Final Rule Released

On August 14, the Department of Homeland Security will publish a final rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” The advance copy of the final rule published in the Public Inspection of the Federal Register can be found here.

According to the law, any individual who is applying for a visa or for admission to the United States is inadmissible if he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Currently, however, public charge is not defined. The final rule would define a “public charge” based on the receipt of financial support from the general public through government funding (i.e. public benefits).” This includes individuals that receive federal rental assistance. The individual would need to receive one or more designated public benefits, including but not limited to federal rental assistance, for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period to meet the threshold.

The final rule goes into effect 60 days after being published in the Federal RegisterNAHRO is currently reading through and analyzing the final “Public Charge” rule, and will provide more information to our members in the coming week. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) received over 265,000 comments on the proposed rule, issued back in October of 2018. NAHRO’s comments made two primary arguments in opposition to the proposed rule – first that very few noncitizens use housing benefits, and second that the proposed rule causes unnecessary confusion while an inefficient use of resources. NAHRO’s comments on the proposed rule can be found here (members only).

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