Latest News on Public Charge
On March 9, 2021, the 2019 public charge rule ended as a result of several federal court rulings and the federal government declining to continue with an appeals process. On March 15, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency officially removed the 2019 public charge from the Code of Federal Regulations. The current public charge rule being applied by the US Citizenship Immigration Service based on 1999 memorandum and field guidance that clarify the meaning of the term public charge.
What is Public Charge?
“Public Charge” is a term used by U.S. immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered likely to become ‘‘primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either (1) the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or (2) institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.’’ An immigrant who is found more likely to become a “public charge” may be denied admission to the U.S. or adjustment to lawful permanent resident status.
It does not apply to humanitarian immigrants such as refugees; asylees; survivors of domestic violence, trafficking and other serious crimes; special immigrant juveniles; and certain individuals paroled into the U.S. A complete list is set forth at 8 CFR §212.23(a) as published at 84 Fed. Reg. 41504.Excluded groups from the public charge rule include refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, survivors of trafficking (T visa), domestic violence (VAWA), TPS and SIJS holders, and other serious crimes (U visa) are NOT subject to the “public charge” test nor are people applying for US citizenship.
"What is Public Charge?" Fact Sheets: Available in English(PDF, 127KB), Amharic(PDF, 198KB), Arabic(PDF, 240KB), Burmese(PDF, 229KB), Chinese (simplified)(PDF, 224KB), Dari(PDF, 642KB), Karen(PDF, 115KB), Nepali(PDF, 182KB), Russian(PDF, 219KB), Somali(PDF, 162KB), Spanish(PDF, 170KB), Swahili(PDF, 153KB) and Vietnamese(PDF, 282KB).
Key Resource Websites:
USCIS Public Charge rule information
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc
Protecting Immigrant Families
ORR Exempted Immigrant Groups from the Public Charge rule - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (PDF)
Public Charge Information - Colorado Department of Human Services