There are hundreds of thousands of immigrants currently living in the U.S. for work, school, health care, or other personal reasons. While some may wish to keep their visit short and one day return home, a large percentage of those residing in the U.S. want one thing—and that is to obtain citizenship. However, since President Trump has taken office, immigrants have been faced with additional hurdles they must overcome in order to become a citizen of the U.S.

A few months ago, the Trump administration implemented a policy referred to as the “public charge” rule that says an alien may become inadmissible to the U.S. or ineligible to become a lawful permanent resident if they are likely to become a public charge. To clarify, a public charge is defined as “an alien who has received one or more public benefits, as defined in the rule, for more than 12 months within any 36-month period.” It is because of this public charge rule that many immigrants today fear that if they were to apply for and receive unemployment insurance, they would jeopardize their chances of becoming a U.S. citizen.


Permanent Resident Says She Won’t be Applying for Unemployment Despite Being Out of Work Due to COVID-19


After coming to America to study film and acting, Rita, whose last name has been kept confidential, told NPR that she one day hopes to apply for citizenship. Like many others, Rita and her spouse recently lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While most have turned to their state for financial help (i.e. unemployment), Rita says she won’t be applying for unemployment. Although the couple would likely benefit from the income right now, she says she is “worried that collecting unemployment will look bad—like she’s asking America for money.”

Rather than put her chances of obtaining citizenship in jeopardy, Rita is choosing to forgo her right to collect unemployment.


Are you a legal immigrant who recently lost your job in Atlanta, GA due to COVID-19?


If you recently lost your job but worry that collecting unemployment could harm your chances of obtaining your green card, you should consider consulting with an Atlanta, GA immigration attorney. Unlike other public benefits, unemployment insurance is something you earn. In order to set up a claim and get paid, you must have earned enough money within a certain period of time.

Therefore, if you would like to have an experienced Atlanta, GA immigration attorney assess your situation and determine if filing for unemployment would harm your chances of obtaining a green card, contact Kuck | Baxter Immigration today.


Kuck | Baxter Immigration can be reached at:


365 Northridge Road, Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Phone: 404-816-8611


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