Health and Immigration: Can your health condition affect your admission as a permanent resident of the United States?

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Recently, the so-called public charge rule came into full force, which defines the criteria for determining whether an individual is susceptible to becoming a public charge, and therefore the denial of admission as an immigrant (if applying for a green card) or non-immigrant (if applying for a temporary visa) to the United States.

This rule establishes seven (7) factors that will be considered by the competent authority to decide the likelihood of the visa applicant to receive public benefits, considering all the circumstances. In summary, the fact that your family member (sponsor), generates income above 125% of the poverty rate (, is not enough, and you as a beneficiary and applicant for permanent residence, must demonstrate that you are self-sufficient and not likely to become a public charge.

One of those 7 factors is precisely your health condition, the immigration officer will be able to determine if your health condition interferes with your ability to provide and care for yourself, to go to school or to work once you are admitted or approved for adjustment of status. It is important that you speak with your immigration attorney if you have a medical condition that requires prolonged treatment or hospitalization, and that you request a copy of your medical examinations so that you can plan ahead for the tests necessary to challenge a negative determination on this basis, such as a letter from your doctor, or insurance plan coverage. Also, your immigration attorney can include arguments as to how the positive factors outweigh the negative ones so that the immigration officer can make a determination based on the totality of the circumstances.

There are several exemptions to the application of this rule and not all public benefits are penalized. At Alma Chacon Esq P.A. we can answer all your questions regarding the application of this rule and solidly prepare your case.  Visit our website: and follow us through the social media Facebook and Instagram @emigralegalusa, to keep informed of the most important changes in immigration matters.

Alma Chacón

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