Want to know what’s GOOD about the new public charge rules? 

**The new rules look at the IMMIGRANT’s earning potential, not just the U.S. Citizen petitioner’s.**

The new “Affidavit of Self Sufficiency” will examine the applicant’s work history and earning potential and provide applicants with the opportunity to show what they can contribute to our economy. If you are like most of our clients, you are super hard-working and a good earner for your family, so this is a welcome change as far as we’re concerned.

However, if you’re worried about how the new public charge rules will affect your immigration case, here are five steps you could take to make your “Affidavit of Self Sufficiency” stronger. Please note that all of these options are open to you even if you’re undocumented.

1. Get your Diploma or GED. The new rules consider a high school diploma and/or GED as “positive factors” in the public charge analysis. Free classes and programs are available (regardless of your immigration status) at The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas and at the Goodwill Excel Center.

2. Take business classes. The City of Austin Small Business Program provides FREE classes, both online and in person, to help city residents open and launch small businesses. Immigration status is not a barrier to registration. Check out all the classes here: http://www.austintexas.gov/smallbiz. Make sure and keep documentation for all of the classes you take.

3. Start a small business. Dozens of our clients are small business owners and we’ve seen many of them achieve incredible success with restaurants, cleaning businesses, food trailers, retail stores, automotive repairs, and more, in spite of being undocumented. If you have a small business already, make sure it is registered with the Texas Secretary of State and make sure you file and keep your official registration and tax documents.

4. Get a professional certificationAustin Community College offers classes to all Central Texas residents, regardless of immigration status. They offer certifications in dozens of professions where our clients are already working including Culinary, Hospitality, Automotive, Construction, Welding, Heating and AC Services, etc. Check out their academic and career programs at here.

5. Take English classes. English proficiency is considered a “positive factor” under the new rules. Central Texas  is home to several FREE programs for individuals who want to improve their English skills. To learn more, go to: https://library.austintexas.gov/nip/english-classes.

As we’ve already stated, all of these resources is available to you regardless of immigration status. And not only does this kind of effort strengthen your “Affidavit of Self-Sufficiency.” It will also fortify your personal, professional, and financial success in the United States.

In the meantime, if you have questions about how the new rules affect you and your case, please call us at (512) 633-1785 or email us at [email protected]