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New Public Charge Rule



(Effective February 24, 2020)
What is Public Charge Rule?
Who are Covered by the New Public Charge Rule?
Is the New Public Charge Rule Stricter than the Old Rule?
Who are Exempt from the New Public Charge Rule?
  • U.S. citizens, even if the U.S. citizen is related to a noncitizen who is subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility;
  • Aliens whom Congress exempted from the public charge ground of inadmissibility, such as, but not limited to: Refugees, Asylees, Afghans and Iraqis with special immigrant visas, Certain nonimmigrants who are trafficking and crime victims, Individuals applying under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Special immigrant juveniles, and those to whom DHS has granted a waiver of public charge inadmissibility (see USCIS Website).
  • Any federal, state, local or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    • Federal, State, local, or tribal cash benefit programs for income maintenance (often called General Assistance in the state context, but which may exist under other names)  
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called Food Stamps)
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program 
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (including Moderate Rehabilitation)
  • Public Housing under section 9 the Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq. 
  • Most forms of federally funded Medicaid (with certain exclusions) and Medi-CAL benefits
Public Benefits that USCIS will NOT Consider in Determining Public Charge
  • For the treatment of an “emergency medical condition;”
  • As services or benefits under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  • As school-based services or benefits provided to individuals who are at or below the oldest age eligible for secondary education as determined under State or local law;
  • By aliens under the age of 21; and
  • By pregnant women and by women within the 60-day period beginning on the last day of the pregnancy. 
Remedy if Applicant is Considered a Public Charge
  • An LPR for at least five (5) years;
  • Become a US citizen
  • Permanently departed from the U.S.; and
  • Obtained an immigrant status not subject to public charge inadmissibility or died
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