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What is considered being a public charge?

In am in the United States on an EB-5 visa. I am qualified for Wellcare. Is my Wellcare subscription considered being a public charge?

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    Answered on

    Public charge is where you take a federal benefit that is means tested based upon the fact that you do not have sufficient income to support yourself.

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    Answered on

    Yes, it may qualify as a public charge because, as an EB-5 visa holder, there is a presumption that you should be financially capable to purchase health insurance. An EB-5 immigrant is expected to invest and employ at least 10 people within two years of entry, thus it will be harder to justify applying for any Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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    Answered on

    Public charge is where you receive government subsidized benefits that are based on the means test. This kind of program is usually to help people with low income that need help to make ends meet. As an EB-5 investor, who was able to invest minimum of $500,000 to obtain the immigration benefits, it seems incredulous that you could pass the means test to get public assistance designed for poor people. The Trump administration is reportedly considering limiting the usage of public assistance by immigrants stating "that households headed by aliens (legal and illegal) are much more likely than households headed by native-born citizens to use federal means-tested public benefits." They are considering to enforce this through inadmissibility and deportability. Using a non-cash assistance, such as getting free flu shots, etc. should not be a problem.

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    Answered on

    Short answer is you are considered to be under public charge if you receive government-provided support either by federal, state or local agencies.

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