New Delhi: The Donald Trump administration recently released a draft proposal that would make it extremely difficult for many immigrants (specifically low-income immigrants) to come to US or receive green cards if they are likely to use benefits provided by the US governments like food stamps or Medicaid.
According to a report in the Times of India, the US Department of Homeland Security has released a draft proposal that says that immigration applications can be denied if the applicant is ‘likely at any time to be a public charge”. Public charge in the US refers to certain benefits provided by the US government (as mentioned above) above the defined quantum of duration.
The draft proposal, which was released on September 22, is expected to overhaul how the US government evaluates whether an immigration applicant is “not likely to be a public charge”
However, H-1B visa holders, a significant part of which are Indians are unlikely to get affected by this but the proposal requires them to submit attested self-sufficiency declaration at the time of seeking an extension or change in status like from student visa to H-1B or from H-1B to Green card.
The US immigration department will now consider many factors like age of the applicant, his/her medical conditions, lack of resources for treatment, financial liabilities, lack of higher education an proficiency in English to determine if an applicant could be a public charge, the daily said.
According to the ToI report, H-1B visa holders, as such are not a public charge. However, for visa extensions, the H-1B holder will have to attest that he has not received and is not likely to receive public benefits above the specified thresholds, the ToI report quoted Snehal Batra, managing attorney with NPZ Law Group as saying.
“The employer of an H-1B visa holder has to pay the required wage which is at least equal to the actual wages paid to others (with similar experience and qualification for the same job), or the prevailing wage for the occupation, whichever is higher,” she further added.