U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials are notorious for taking their time in reviewing visa applications and petitions for permanent residency and citizenship.
Historically, it has taken USCIS officials a long time to vet individuals looking to advance their immigration status here in the U.S. for a few different reasons. They’ve needed to interview applicants, investigate their backgrounds and determine if their admission aligns with the public charge rule.
USCIS officials announced that they are no longer enforcing the public charge rule effective March 2021. The end of this rule will remove an added layer of scrutiny that has affected many immigrants’ abilities to secure visas or advance their immigration in the U.S. over the past few years since this rule went into effect.
How did the USCIS’s public charge rule work?
The public charge rule used to be cited by immigration officials as the reason for denying a resident a right to pursue permanent residency or citizenship. Immigration officials would deny their request if a visa applicant or resident had previously received public benefits, such as food stamps. It wasn’t uncommon for the impact on an individual’s immigration status to be greater the longer or more varied the public benefits they received.
Which rules apply to prospective immigrants now?
There are still many rules that prospective immigrants to the U.S. must meet. One is that they must show that they have the financial means to take care of themselves. Another includes remaining compliant on their taxes. Immigrants should also maintain a clean background devoid of criminal convictions.
What is stopping you from advancing your immigration status?
The prospect of coming here and capitalizing on the many opportunities the U.S. offers could be motivating you to seek a U.S. visa. If you’re already a resident, then you probably think of America as your forever home. There are some rules that you have to meet to ensure that you can accomplish your dreams here. You’ll definitely want to learn more so you’ll have a better idea about your prospects.