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Public Charge


USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) issued a public charge final rule on September 9, 2022, effective December 23, 2022. Under current and new policies, immigrants and their families can safely access health care, nutrition benefits, and housing assistance.
Only individuals anticipated to predominantly depend on financial aid for income maintenance or government-funded long-term care could be denied a public charge.

Know that the public charge test only applies to certain programs and immigrants.

  • It never applies to American citizens.
  • It also does not apply to most green card holders, asylees, refugees, persons on U visas, T visas, VAWA, etc.
  • The new rule provides a handy list of noncitizens exempt from public charge determinations, such as those requesting asylum, refugee status, or TPS, special immigrant juveniles, and Afghan or Iraqi special immigrant visa holders.
  • VAWA self-petitioners and survivors who have sought or been given T or U status are normally excluded from a public charge assessment, regardless of whether they eventually obtain a green card.
  • A family member’s use of public programs will not impact your future immigration applications.
  • COVID-19 testing, treatment, and prevention services, including immunizations, are not provided at public expense.
  • Pandemic relief payments (stimulus checks) are also not included in the public charge.
  • The public charge test does not examine the utilization of health, nutrition, or housing programs.

This information is an excerpt from and available at Please find more details and resources at
Updated on May 21, 2024