The “public charge rule:” What you need to know
You may have heard that this week, the Supreme Court ruled that the “public charge rule” can go into effect. The rule will prevent some immigrants from getting a green card or visa if they use certain public benefits, or if the federal government believes they are likely to use public benefits in the future. Here is what you need to know:
- As of January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that the “public charge rule” can go into effect.
- The rule is still being challenged by New York City and others. At some point, the courts may decide that the rule cannot be put into effect.
- According to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant affairs, “New Yorkers should not stop using public benefits unnecessarily. Many immigrants do not face a “public charge” test in their immigration applications.”
- There is no “public charge” test for green card holders applying for citizenship.
- Immigrants who are sponsoring a family member abroad, or will be traveling abroad to apply for a green card or visa, should know there is a different “public charge” policy at U.S. consulates.
- Please note that this information comes from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and is not the same as professional legal advice. If you need legal help in New York City, call the ActionNYC hotline at 1-800-354-0365 or call 311 and say “public charge”. In the Mid-Hudson Valley, call New York State’s “New Americans Hotline” at 1-800-566-7636. You can also visit an Institute health center and ask to speak to a case manager who can help you get legal help.
- Links to more information: