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How the U.S. Final Public Charge Rule May Affect an Application for Immigration

This is the story of an undocumented alien who fits the profile of a prospective government dependent. While she may have had some relief in the past 9 years ago, the new public rule will render her inadmissible and ineligible to change her immigration status in the U.S.

Crispin Aranda

How the U.S. Final Public Charge Rule May Affect an Application for Immigration

Feliciano was issued a tourist visa in 2006. He left immediate family members behind: his wife, Letty, and two children, both minors at the time: Tony, 17, and Maricar, 15.

While in the U.S., Feliciano divorced Letty and remarried. His U.S. citizen wife, Sandy, petitioned him. On April 8, 2008, Feliciano filed a petition for both his children after getting his green card. At the time, they were still minors under the F2A category—minor children of a lawful permanent resident.

Aware of the education and living expenses that they would have to face in the U.S.—not to mention being with a stepmother—Tony and Maricar decided to pursue their studies in the Philippines.

In 2010, Tony turned 21. His petition changed from F2A to F2B, the category for over 21 unmarried son/daughter of a lawful permanent resident. His priority date remained the same.

Due to the change of his petition's category, Tony would have to wait longer for an immigrant visa number.

Maricar remained an F2A beneficiary being younger than 21. She was also pregnant in 2010. The father of her child refused to acknowledge their relationship.

Devastated, Feliciano paid a travel agent to help Maricar with a U.S. tourist visa application. She applied under a different name and was lucky to receive a single entry annotated visa.

Maricar initially stayed with Feliciano and her stepmother, Sandy. With the help of a friend who is a Social Worker, Sandy was able to get Maricar medical healthcare coverage. Maricar gave birth in May 2010 to a baby girl, Angela, who acquired U.S. citizenship by being born in the U.S.

In July 2010, Maricar's priority date as an F2A beneficiary became current. Fearful of being discovered that she entered the U.S. under a false name, Maricar did not apply for adjustment of status.

Maricar remained an undocumented alien with a documented U.S. citizen baby girl, working as a caregiver in a nursing home. Charlie, a widower resident twice her age, offered to help Maricar with marriage. She refused but continued to be Charlie's caregiver.

Angela continues, to this day, to receive benefits as a U.S. citizen child, including enrollment in a public school. Maricar and Angela lived in the nursing home with free room and board.

If she married Charlie, the USCIS would revoke Maricar's original F2B petition, if it hasn't already. She would, however, be able to apply for adjustment of status as the spouse of a U.S. citizen

Under the Final Rule on Public Charge though, Maricar's immigration application would still be refused on at least three counts.

  • Having committed fraud for entering the U.S. under a different name
  • Receiving public benefits
  • The inabilityof the U.S. citizen widower petitioner to submit an Affidavit of Supoprt.

The new rule allows applicants to claim positive or negative factors.

  • Positive factors
    • Maricar's age–between 18 and 61
    • Having a job
    • A reasonable prospect of future employment
  • Negative factors
    • Receipt of public benefits
    • The inability of the petitioner to present the financial ability to support her and Angela

In the meantime, Maricar remains in limbo, waiting for the ax to fall on her head due to the current immigration thrust of the U.S. government.

Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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