USCIS exempts pandemic aid from immigration public charge rule

File photo shows Calfifornia Governor Gaving Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Beccera challenging Trump administration’s immigration public charge rule. AP FILE PHOTO

On March 13, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a public alert stating that seeking treatment for COVID-19 related health issues would not negatively affect any alien as part of a future public charge determination.

In a March 27 alert, the agency further clarified:  “The Public Charge rule does not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. In addition, the rule does not restrict access to vaccines for children or adults to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.”

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The March 27 advisory also stated that there might be an exception with regard to receipt of certain cash and non-cash public benefits.  “The rule requires USCIS to consider the receipt of certain cash and non-cash public benefits, including those that may be used to obtain testing or treatment for COVID-19 in a public charge inadmissibility determination, and for purposes of a public benefit  condition applicable to certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status.”

The alert can be read here in its entirety: https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge

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