Kerry Bretz Says Public Charge Rule Will Make It More Difficult for Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain Green Cards

New York, New York — As of February 24, 2020, the Public Charge Rule is in effect for all 50 states. Kerry Bretz, Partner, Bretz & Coven, LLP, says the new rule will make for a more difficult path to green cards for all applicants, especially those that are struggling financially, senior citizens, children, students, those with medical conditions and those who have collected public assistance.  He also says the new application forms are burdensome and lengthy and seem like they require more information than a mortgage application.   


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has determined a series of negative factors that may result in the undocumented immigrant not receiving a green card. This includes their ability to work but are not self-sufficient; their receipt of public assistance on or after February 24, 2020; a significant medical condition, but no private health insurance; and previously being found inadmissible or deportable based on the public charge ground in removal proceedings.


Undocumented immigrants can receive a green card from USCIS if they earn an income and hold financial assets that are 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, and they are able to carry private health insurance without receiving tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. These positive factors heavily weigh into an undocumented immigrant’s path to citizenship.


“If the negative factors outweigh the positives, then they will not be eligible for citizenship,” Mr. Bretz says. “Petitioning for senior citizens and young children has now become more difficult. Those with medical conditions will have to show that they already have private insurance. If you believe you are eligible for a green card, seek the help of an immigration law attorney immediately.”


For more information, call (212) 267-2555 or visit




About Bretz & Coven, LLP

Bretz & Coven, LLP is an immigration law firm located in New York, New York; Bronx, New York and Clark, New Jersey. The firm serves clients in and around the tri-state area, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens, as well as Kings County and Richmond County. Its team of dedicated attorneys is known for taking on cases that other lawyers turn down. Bretz & Coven assists individuals and their families understand the process of obtaining citizenship, New York residency or a green card and offer them a full range of options, including adjustment of status, asylum, available types of visas, waivers, removal defense, and special programs and treaties. The attorneys can also help immigrants avoid deportation. For more information, call (212) 267-2555 or visit