Chapter 16 - Waivers of Inadmissibility Based on Public Charge Ground

ALERT: This policy guidance applies to all applicants and petitioners as of February 24, 2020. (The Supreme Court of the United States stayed the last nationwide injunction of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule on January 27, 2020 and stayed the statewide injunction in Illinois on February 21, 2020.) Certain classes of aliens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility (such as refugees, asylees, certain VAWA self-petitioners, U petitioners, and T applicants) and therefore, are not subject to the final rule. For more information about the classes of aliens who are exempt from the Final Rule, click here.

The availability of a waiver of an inadmissibility ground depends on the immigration benefit the applicant is seeking.

A. Immigrant Waivers

In general, the public charge ground of inadmissibility cannot be waived for aliens seeking lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. However, the law may provide certain aliens seeking LPR status a waiver of the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The following aliens seeking LPR status may overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility if they apply for and USCIS grants a waiver of the public charge ground of inadmissibility: 

  • Applicants seeking adjustment of status on account of their witness or informant status.[1]

  • Certain aged, blind, or disabled applicants for adjustment of status under INA 245A.[2]

B. Nonimmigrant Waivers

The following nonimmigrants seeking admission may overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility if the alien applies for and is granted a waiver of the public charge ground of inadmissibility:

  • Nonimmigrants seeking admission to the United States. An alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa or seeking temporary admission as a nonimmigrant may seek a temporary waiver of inadmissibility.[3] This application for a temporary waiver of inadmissibility is adjudicated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as part of either an alien’s application for admission at a port of entry or an alien’s application for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.[4] If granted, the waiver generally only applies to the nonimmigrant classification for which it was granted.

  • Applicants for admission as nonimmigrant witnesses or informants (S nonimmigrants).[5] The application to seek nonimmigrant status as a witness or informant, including the request for a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility, is made on the Inter-Agency Alien Witness and Informant Record (Form I-854A). The waiver is discretionary, and USCIS may grant the waiver if it considers it to be in the national interest.

Footnotes


1. [^] See INA 245(j). See 8 CFR 245.11. According to 8 CFR 245.11(c), grounds of inadmissibility that were waived at the time of obtaining S nonimmigrant status are considered waived for purposes of the adjustment.

2. [^] See INA 245A(d)(2)(B). Aged, blind, or disabled applicants, as defined in Section 1614(a)(1) of the Social Security Act, as codified in 42 U.S.C. 1382c(a)(1), for adjustment of status under INA 245A may apply for a waiver of the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The waiver is filed on the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-690) according to the form’s instructions.

3. [^] See INA 212(d)(3)(A).

4. [^] For more information on applying for a waiver as a nonimmigrant under INA 212(d)(3), visit CBP.gov.

5. [^] See INA 101(a)(15)(S). See INA 212(d)(1). See 8 CFR 214.2(t)(5)(i). See 8 CFR 212.4(j)(1). The waiver is granted by USCIS.

10 U.S.C. 504(b) - Citizenship or residency

15 U.S.C. 1681 - Congressional findings and statement of purpose

21 U.S.C. 802 - Definitions

21 U.S.C. 841 - Prohibited acts A

22 CFR 40.51 - Labor certification

29 CFR 570 - Child labor regulations, orders and statements of interpretation

29 U.S.C. 213(c) - Child labor requirements

31 U.S.C. 9304-9308 - Sureties and surety bonds

31 U.S.C. 9305 - Authority and revocation of authority of surety corporations

38 U.S.C 1965 - Definitions

42 CFR 34.4 - Medical notifications

42 U.S.C. 1382c - Definitions

42 U.S.C. 413 - Quarter and quarter of coverage

42 U.S.C. 416(l) - Retirement age

7 CFR 273 - Certification of eligible households

8 CFR 1.2 - Definitions

8 CFR 1.3 - Lawfully present aliens for purposes of applying for Social Security benefits

8 CFR 1003.14 - Jurisdiction and commencement of proceedings

8 CFR 1003.1 - Organization, jurisdiction, and powers of the Board of Immigration Appeals

8 CFR 103.6 - Surety bonds

8 CFR 204.5 - Petitions for employment-based immigrants

8 CFR 212.20-212.23 - Applicability of public charge inadmissibility; Definitions; Public charge determination; Exemptions and waivers for the public charge ground of inadmissibility

8 CFR 212.21(b) - Public Benefits

8 CFR 212.4 - Applications for the exercise of discretion under section 212(d)(1) and 212(d)(3)

8 CFR 213.1 - Admission under bond or cash deposit

8 CFR 213a - Affidavits of support on behalf of immigrants

8 CFR 214.2 - Special requirements for admission, extension, and maintenance of status

8 CFR 214.2 - Special requirements for admission, extension, and maintenance of status

8 CFR 235 - Inspection of persons applying for admission

8 CFR 245.11 - Adjustment of aliens in S nonimmigrant classification

8 CFR 292 - Representation and appearances

8 CFR 293.1 - Computation of interest

8 U.S.C. 1363 - Deposit of and interest on cash received to secure immigration bonds

8 U.S.C. 1601-1646 - Restricting welfare and public benefits for aliens

8 U.S.C. 1611 - Aliens who are not qualified aliens ineligible for Federal public benefits

8 U.S.C. 1612 - Limited eligibility of qualified aliens for certain Federal programs

8 U.S.C. 1613 - Five-year limited eligibility of qualified aliens for Federal means-tested public benefit

8 U.S.C. 1641 - Definitions

INA 101 - Definitions

INA 101(a)(15) - Nonimmigrant classifications

INA 201 - Worldwide level of immigration

INA 203 - Allocation of immigrant visas

INA 208 - Asylum

INA 212(a)(4) - Public charge

INA 212(d) - Temporary admission of nonimmigrants

INA 213 - Admission of certain aliens on giving bond or undertaking; return upon permanent departure

INA 235 - Inspection by immigration officers; expedited removal of inadmissible arriving aliens; referral for hearing

INA 237(a)(5) - Public charge (deportable aliens)

INA 239, 8 CFR 239 - Initiation of removal proceedings

INA 245(j) - Adjustment to permanent resident status

INA 2488 CFR 248 - Change of nonimmigrant classification

INA 289 - Application to American Indians born in Canada

Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds, 84 FR 41292 (Aug. 14, 2019) (Final rule)

Pub. L. 104-193 - Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

Pub. L. 104-208 - Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996

Pub. L. 106-395 - Child Citizenship Act of 2000

Pub. L. 111-293 - Help Haitian Adoptees Immediately to Integrate Act of 2010

Pub. L. 111-8 - Section 602(b), Title VI of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009

Pub. L. 113-4 - 127 Stat 54 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

Pub. L. 89-732 - Cuban Refugees Adjustment of Status

Section 11, 26 Stat 1084 of the Immigration Act of 1891

Section 212(a)(15), 66 Stat 163, 183 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

Sections 1-2, 22 Stat 214 of the Immigration Act of 1882

Appendices

Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Family-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Family-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Family-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Other Applicants

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Other Applicants

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Other Applicants

Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Refugee, Asylee, and Parolee Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Refugee, Asylee, and Parolee Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Refugee, Asylee, and Parolee Adjustment of Status Applications

Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Special Immigrant Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Special Immigrant Adjustment of Status Applications

Appendix: Applicability of INA 212(a)(4) to Special Immigrant Adjustment of Status Applications

Eligibility for Public Benefits

Appendix: Eligibility for Public Benefits

Appendix: Eligibility for Public Benefits

Totality of the Circumstances Framework

Appendix: Totality of the Circumstances Framework

Appendix: Totality of the Circumstances Framework

Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

May 21, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 

POLICY ALERT - Implementation of Guidance on Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds

February 24, 2020

This update incorporates into Volumes 2, 8, and 12 policy guidance that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced February 5, 2020, implementing the Inadmissibility of Public Charge Grounds Final Rule. This guidance is in effect as of February 24, 2020 and applies to all applications and petitions postmarked on or after that date, including in Illinois. (On February 21, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States stayed the last remaining injunction in the State of Illinois, allowing DHS to implement the final rule nationwide.) Certain classes of aliens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility (such as refugees, asylees, certain VAWA self-petitioners, U petitioners, and T applicants) and therefore, are not subject to the Final Rule. For more information about the classes of aliens who are exempt from the Final Rule, click here.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 

POLICY ALERT - Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility

February 05, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address the final rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility. This policy guidance is effective on February 24, 2020, and will apply to all applicants and petitioners filing applications and petitions for adjustment of status, extension of stay, and change of status, except for applicants and petitioners in the State of Illinois, whose cases will be adjudicated under prior policy, including the 1999 Interim Field Guidance and AFM Ch. 61.1. For additional information, see Public Charge Inadmissibility Determinations in Illinois. Certain classes of aliens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility (such as refugees, asylees, certain VAWA self-petitioners, U petitioners, and T applicants) and therefore, are not subject to the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. For more information about the classes of aliens who are exempt from the final rule, click here.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

October 08, 2019

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 
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