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The Federal Court cases that delayed and then allowed implementation are discussed at the end of this page.
The final rule applies to two types of applicants:
Congress has exempted certain people, including:
A person who is likely at any time to become a public charge is generally inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to become a lawful permanent resident. The burden of proof to establish admissibility during the process of seeking an immigration benefit is on the applicant.
Congress did not define or otherwise explain “likely at any time to become a public charge.”
9/10/2020 USCIS announced a new Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) initiative to enable agencies that give out federal means-tested benefits to have information about sponsors in their management of programs and determinations of eligibility for public assistance. Sponsors are individuals who agree to use their income and resources to support sponsored aliens. This enhanced feature will support participating public-benefit granting agencies as they ensure consistency with current law, established sponsorship requirements and proper accountability.
This new SAVE initiative stems from the May 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens, which directed increased oversight and data collection to ensure more effective compliance in determining eligibility for benefits &reimbursement requirements. USCIS is asking these agencies to now share how they use the SAVE sponsorship information in their sponsor assessment and agency reimbursement processes.
Sponsored aliens sometimes apply for and receive means-tested public benefits from federal, state, local, or tribal agencies. However, they may be ineligible for certain means-tested public benefits because the granting agency will consider their sponsor’s income and resources when determining the immigrant’s eligibility for the benefits.
If a sponsored alien receives a means-tested public benefit, the sponsor is responsible, upon request, for reimbursing the agency providing the benefit. An agency can seek a court order for repayment if a sponsor does not issue reimbursement.