News, analysis and resources about the public charge screening rule that Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a part of the Department of Homeland Security, uses when reviewing some immigration applications. More topics>>
The Department of Homeland Security uses the term "public charge" to mean a person who primarily depends on the government for financial support. In some cases, a person deemed a public charge may be ineligible to get permanent residence. Immigration Services (USCIS), screens some immigration applications to figure out if an applicant will be a public charge. Learn more about public charge here.
Many people are not subject to the public charge test at all. The public charge test does NOT apply to applicants for US citizenship, people who hold asylum or refugee status, Special Immigrant Juveniles, TPS, VAWA, U or T visas, or green cards based upon these kinds of immigration status.
You can call Mid Minnesota Legal Aid's public charge hotline at 1-800-292-4150 for a free, confidential consultation if you have questions about how this screening may affect you.
Volunteer Lawyers Network has put out a helpful flyer with additional details on public charge in English and Spanish. This factsheet explains who is and is not impacted by the new public charge rule, and what benefits are at issue.
The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs is committed to ensuring that community members have up to date and accurate information so that they can make informed decisions for themselves and their families. Please contact OIRA at 612-357-1875 or [email protected] for additional information and outreach opportunities on this subject.
Presentations or speaking events from OIRA related to this topic
- On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, the federal government issued a immigration agency rule which expanded the criteria and types of government benefits that the government could consider when deciding whether someone would be a "public charge" if granted a green card. Several states, including the State of Minnesota, joined a federal lawsuit to prevent this rule from taking effect.
- On Friday, October 11, 2019, federal courts in multiple states granted injunctions preventing implementation of the public charge rule nationwide while the legality of the rule is decided in the courts.
- On January 27, 2020, a Supreme Court decision allowed implementation of public charge rule in every state but Illinois, where a statewide injunction remained in place.
- On July 29, 2020, the new public charge screening was stopped again after a new federal court injunction.
Last updated Oct 5, 2020