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Changes to public charge

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 On Oct. 10, 2018, USCIS published its proposed rule, Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds. The public comment period is open for 60 days from Oct. 10, 2018, to Dec. 10, 2018.

Read our press release from Sep. 24 when the text of the proposed rule was posted on the DHS website. 

The administration published a proposed rule that would make it much more difficult for immigrants to apply for legal immigration status in the United States. The proposed rule would drastically expand the definition of what it means to be a public charge, which could prevent an immigrant from maintaining or obtaining legal immigration status. The rule is open to public comment from Oct. 10, 2018, to Dec. 10, 2018.

Current policy regarding public charge will remain unchanged until the public comments are collected and reviewed and a final rule published. That, at a minimum, will take several months.

Currently, the government prohibits immigrants on public charge grounds if there is a finding that they would likely depend on public cash assistance or need long term medical care at the government’s expense. Under the proposed rule, the list of public benefits that count against an immigrant would greatly expand. The benefits that the administration proposes be added to the public charge list are benefits that support mixed-immigration status families and protect public health, ensuring that children can thrive.  

CLINIC encourages all of the agencies in our network and our partners to submit a comment in opposition of this proposal. We will update this page with additional information to help you write and submit a comment.

Use this website to better understand the proposed changes and take action to stop them from happening.

Please note that the proposed public charge rule has been issued by USCIS, and is a separate matter from the recent change in DOS Public Charge guidance in the Foreign Affairs Manual, which impacts intending immigrants from abroad. For more information on the DOS FAM Public Charge changes, see our analysis and webinar.


Inform CLINIC When You Have Submitted a Comment on Public Charge!

Follow these link to report your individual public charge comment or multiple comments you collected by organizing an event!


Reporting form for individuals/organizational comments

Reporting form for public comment organizers


Trainings and Webinars

In this webinar, CLINIC presenters will review what the proposed changes are and what steps everyone can take once these proposed changes are published in the Federal Register.

Updated date: 09/27/2018


Advocacy Tools

Use this toolkit to learn more about the public comment process and to organize your own public comment event! It’s easy to do and you can make a difference.

Updated date: 10/17/2018

Share this flyer to help people understand how the proposed changes to public charge will hurt immigrants and what steps they can take to make a difference.

Updated date: 10/11/2018

This guide provides an overview of the federal rulemaking process and information about how you can participate. Engaging in administrative advocacy ensures that we are using all avenues to fight for immigrants and will more effectively amplify our collective voice.

Updated date: 08/08/2018


Legal Analysis

On Saturday, DHS posted on its website the text of its much-anticipated proposed rule re-defining public charge.

Updated date: 09/26/2018

A leaked executive order has many wondering if immigrants can take advantage of public benefits, and if doing so will lead to the public charge grounds of inadmissibility and deportability. This history of public charge, and analysis of how it is used today, can help attorneys and practitioners understand the issue and give proper advice to their clients.

Updated date: 08/04/2018

The administration is expected to publish a proposed regulation soon that would radically alter the way USCIS officers screen applicants for lawful permanent residence for inadmissibility due to public charge. Rather than focusing on the petitioning sponsor’s income as reported on the affidavit of support, the agency would turn its attention to the adjustment of status applicant and any dependent family members.

Updated date: 04/19/2018