A final rule released by the US Department of Homeland Security will make it more difficult for foreign nationals who use public benefits to adjust or extend their immigration status in the United States based on their likelihood of becoming a “public charge” in the future. The rule also expands the list of programs that can lead to a public charge determination to those that provide healthcare and social services to vulnerable populations including Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, TANF, and federal housing benefits.
Nearly 20% of healthcare workers are immigrants according to the results of a June 2019 study that underscores the major contributions immigrants make to the US healthcare system. To learn more about how the US Department of State is regulating immigrant visa availability and adjusting the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals, please see our recent alert on the August 2019 visa bulletin.
The US Department of State has released its May 2019 Visa Bulletin with important information for US healthcare entities employing non-US nationals. The bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals. In a recent LawFlash, Morgan Lewis partner James Vázquez-Azpiri discusses what’s in the bulletin, including dates and actions for filing applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted.
US healthcare entities employing non-US nationals will want to keep abreast of important developments regarding the elimination of the H-4 spouse work authorization and the upcoming effective date for revised Form I-539 used by certain nonimmigrants—including H-4 and L-2 dependents—seeking to change their nonimmigrant status or extend their stay in the United States. Our global employment and immigration team breaks down what these changes mean and how these employees and their families may be impacted.