Santa Monica, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Awaiting marriage-based i751+citizenship approvals. Lost job yesterday. Should I avoid asking for EDD/Foodstamps/else?

I rather not take any risk, and I also don't want my wife liable (even though we file taxes seperately).

I tried reading here: https://www.uscis.gov/archive/public-charge-fact-sheet and also here https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-highlights-legal-responsibilities-of-sponsors-of-aliens but not sure what is the safest route to take?

QUESTION UPDATE:

I do live with my wife but we file separately. So I should not ask for unemployment payments? Or just not for other things? Also, what if I seek unemployment for a limited time?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Stanley Dale Radtke
Stanley Dale Radtke
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • San Leandro, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, if you accept public assistance as an immigrant, you may be held inadmissible at the time you seek to adjust status.

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: The issue is different at this point, but can create complications. Are you living with your wife? Are you having a relationship? If your wife is employed, then the issue is whether you actually qualify to accept benefits. Are you committing fraud by accepting benefits that you are not lawfully entitled to, which if proven may be criminal?

If you accept means tested benefits that you are not entitled to, then you may lack good moral character. Your actions may also suggest that you are not being supported by your employed wife.

If you are now physically separated from your wife, then you should seek advice from a competent and experienced immigration attorney before there are any other complications. Good luck.

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