Notes from DOS Call on Public Charge

Last Updated

October 2, 2018

After the State Department modified the language in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) regarding the public charge ground of inadmissibility, some consulates began taking a harder look at low income applicants’ eligibility for an immigrant visa. In particular, some consulates rejected affidavits of support filed by joint sponsor who were not family members. They also issued refusals based on a formal finding of public charge when they should have simply requested additional supporting documentation. The applicants in these cases had filed and been granted a provisional waiver for the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility, but the consulates revoked those approvals when they issued the public charge finding. Applicants who were then able to overcome the public charge finding were not able to have their provisional waiver approval reinstated. The following notes reveal the outcome of advocacy efforts to overturn these I-601A revocations and remedy misapplication of the FAM changes.