Public charge

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.

Educational resources

Find more information about public charge from Protecting Immigrant Families and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.

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



Last updated Oct 5, 2020



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