US Immigration News

Will Filing for Unemployment Affect My US Immigration Status?

1.5 minute read
"Many immigrants are confused about whether to obtain public assistance and how it might affect their immigration status. Especially since the global pandemic has led to a staggering increase in unemployment, many immigrants fear that availing of unemployment benefits may drastically affect their immigration status."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 7, 2021
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Many immigrants are confused about whether to obtain public assistance and how it might affect their immigration status. Especially since the global pandemic has led to a staggering increase in unemployment, many immigrants fear that availing of unemployment benefits may drastically affect their immigration status.

More than 40 million people in the United States have lost their jobs since the global pandemic began, leading to a lot of worry and uncertainty among immigrants. This post will help you understand if obtaining social benefits will affect your status as an immigrant.

Will Filing for Unemployment Affect Your Immigration Status?

The US Supreme Court approved the “public charge” rule in early 2020 to allow immigration officers to assess whether Green Card holders, visa extensions and other immigrant permissions were at the risk of becoming dependent on social benefits provided by the government. This rule, introduced under the Trump administration, makes it harder for immigrants to maintain their status if they end up needing welfare benefits. 

However, the key point is that unemployment benefits are not considered welfare benefits. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) confirmed that unemployment benefits are not a part of this particular rule. 

The USCIS informed that unemployment benefits are earned benefits and will not be considered by immigration officers when they are performing public charge reviews. Therefore, there is no reason to fear losing your status.

We understand due to Covid-19, many immigrants have had to face lay-offs and unemployment and were worried about being deported due to loss of status. It is understandable if you are worried about availing social benefits since the law can be confusing. 

However, you do not need to be worried about obtaining unemployment benefits to help your situation. If you need any further help, it's always best to contact an experienced immigration lawyer.

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