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Application for Medicaid for a K-1 visa immigrant

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Hi all,


My wife entered the US in late 2016, and we got married. She adjusted her status in March 2018, and I was her sponsor. My son was born in late June 2018.


In late September, 2018, I left my work in South Dakota and moved my family back to California in search of a new job. I am yet to find the new job, but I want my family to be medically insured, especially for my 4-month-old son. I was told that because we currently have no income, we can either choose to get an insurance policy from the insurance market place and pay for it in full or get Medi-Cal, California version of medicaid. It is too expensive for us to pay for a policy from the market place in full at this time. Are we allowed to apply for Medi-Cal? Medicaid is considered one of the federal means-tested public benefits.


In my interpretation of Part 8 of Form I-864, a sponsored immigrant is not banned from applying for means-tested public benefits. However, the part specifies that when the sponsored immigrant applies for means-tested public benefits, the sponsor's income and assets are considered available to the immigrant. If we apply for Medi-Cal, we will be applying as a family, and my income and assets will be described in  the application. So, it seems to me that we are OK to apply for Medi-Cal. Please let me know, if I understand the situation incorrectly.


A related concern regarding the above question arises from my reading of Par8 of Form I-864. According to the part, as a sponsor, I need to "provide the intending immigrant any support necessary to maintain him or her at an income that is at least 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for his or her household size." I have enough income for the tax year to meet that requirement, but currently I have income of zero, and it will continue to be so until I have a job. For how long can I be without an income without violating that requirement?



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Thread is moved from the Off Topic forum to the Moving to the US forum, to be among similar-themed threads.

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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State and local programs that are similar to the federal programs listed above are also generally not considered for public charge purposes. Please be aware that states may adopt different names for the same or similar publicly funded programs. It is the underlying nature of the program, not the name adopted in a particular state, which determines whether or not it should be considered for public charge purposes. In California, for example, Medicaid is called "Medi-Cal" and CHIP is called "Healthy Families." These benefits are not considered for public charge purposes.



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