Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the suggestions column that addresses immigration-related questions about operating at technology companies.

“Your concerns are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you remain in people ops, a creator or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

“Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Additional Crunch subscribers; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie: I have an H-4 visa and work permission. I currently work that’s considered unnecessary during the coronavirus emergency situation. If I get laid off, I would require joblessness assistance while I look for another job.

Would getting unemployment benefits injure my or my spouse’s permit petition under the new public charge guideline?

— Nonessential in NorCal

Dear Nonessential:

Thanks for your timely question. The brief response is no, getting unemployment benefits alone right now won’t endanger your or your spouse’s green card. This is because getting welfare, getting tested for coronavirus and seeking emergency situation medical treatment (even if it’s covered by Medicaid) are all exempt from factor to consider as government advantages under the new public charge guideline.

Immigration officials have long had the authority to reject people a visa or green card if they are likely to be depending on public advantages. The brand-new public charge rule, which went into result on February 24, expands the elements immigration authorities will think about. An additional form looking for health and monetary info must now be sent with many visa and green card applications. Immigration authorities will utilize that details to determine whether candidates are or are most likely to end up being depending on government advantages.

If you have gotten a public benefit in the past, your application will not always be denied, but given what’s at stake, it is necessary to consult a skilled immigration attorney.

Individuals who will go through the increased examination of the broadened public charge rule are:

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.