United States: New Public Charge Rule, updated 1/23/2020

Proposed effective date October 15, 2019, https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge.

  • Under a new regulation, applicants for adjustment of status will undergo a closer review of their personal circumstances to determine whether they have used “or” are likely to need certain federal public benefits in the future.
  • Nonimmigrants (i.e., F-1, J-1, H-1B, O-1, TN, etc.) who have used certain federal public benefits after their admission to the United States may be denied an extension of stay or change of status. 
  • At this point, we understand that it may not impact those with pending applications for adjustment of status, change of status or extensions of stay filed before the above-mentioned effective date.  But you should check with an attorney to review the particulars of your  situation to evaluate potential risks.
  • Some of the benefit programs that are impacted are (SSI, TANF, SNAP, and section 8 vouchers and rental assistance, among others).
  • Feel free to consult with an attorney for more detailed guidance, https://www.uml.edu/Immigration-Resources/legal-help.aspx.   You may also want to check these websites https://www.masslegalservices.org/publiccharge and https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/overview_of_public_charge-20181214.pdf.  This type of information changes regulary, so the best course of action is always to check in with an attorney as per above.
  • The ISSO does not provide official advice on Public Charge matters.