Trump tightens Green Card Rules

US President Trump has once again addressed the US immigration policy and issued a new regulation regarding Green Card applications and US citizenship. The new regulation is intended to prevent low-income immigrants from obtaining a permanent US residence and work permit or even US citizenship.

What does the new regulation imply?

The new regulation will be effective from October and will mainly affect low-income US immigrants. According to the new rule, permanent immigration will become more difficult for numerous Green Card applicants that have already received public benefits in the US in the past. These include in particular:

  • Medicaid health insurance & children's health insurance
  • housing vouchers
  • food stamps

The US authorities want to examine Green Card and US passport candidates even more closely in the future. Their aim is to rule out the possibility that they might become a "public charge" someday. The term public charge is used to describe immigrants who receive one or more public benefits for more than 12 months within any 36-month period.

Picture of 3 different colored hands on a US flag

In addition, other criteria such as health status, education or English skills are also included in the assessment. It is already well known that US President Trump only wants financially independent and successful immigrants.

Who is affected?

The new immigration rule will affect approximately 400,000 legal immigrants per year who already live in the USA and are applying for a Green Card, especially those in the context of family reunification, such as spouses and their possible children. However, it also affects those who already have a Green Card and would like to become US citizens. All those who are dependent on state support and are still waiting for the approval are likely to have a hard time getting it in the future.

Even people with chronic medical conditions must prove more precisely that they have sufficient financial resources to provide for themselves and need no public help. At the same time, the US authorities make it clear that the mere presence of a chronic disease will not lead to the exclusion of a Green Card in the future.

Picture of Immigrant Protests

Instead, other circumstances of the candidate are then included in the assessment, such as income and the ability to continue working, or the likelihood of extensive medical treatment and hospitalisation. Those who can afford treatment without state support, e.g. through private health insurance, have nothing to worry about.

Exceptions to the regulation

Asylum seekers and refugees as well as pregnant women and children are excluded from the new regulation. Even immigrants who already have a Green Card do not have to be concerned, because the Green Card cannot be withdrawn subsequently due to this regulation. In the future, not every financially weak Green Card holder will be able to apply for US citizenship, but since the Green Card is indefinitely valid anyway, the right of residence in the USA is not endangered.

Does anything change for TAD customers?

Customers who participate in the Green Card Lottery via The American Dream luckily hardly have to worry about the new rules. If you have never been to the USA before, or if you have only been there for vacation, you have had no opportunity to receive public benefits for a longer period of time. As already mentioned, applicants who already live in the USA and want to apply for a Green Card as part of a family reunion are more likely to be affected - but not those who apply via the Green Card Lottery.

Picture of Green Card Lottery Winners

In addition, we give our clients comprehensive advice anyway and inform them about the necessary financial proofs in the event of a win, while there is always a certain leeway and alternatives. For financial reasons alone, none of our Green Card winners has been turned down, and this is likely to continue in the future. So you can be reassured and follow your American dream with confidence. If you're not yet participating in the upcoming lottery, you should sign up now!

Is the regulation final?

The regulation is final and will come into force in October. However, numerous organisations and politicians have already announced appeals against it. Critics fear that this will further exacerbate social inequality in the USA. They mainly see it as another attempt by Trump to exclude migrants from low-income regions such as Africa or Central America from permanent immigration or at least to deny them the right to vote in the form of US citizenship.

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