Victory! The Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule is Permanently Blocked, Nationwide.

On March 9, 2021 the Biden Administration decided to stop defending lawsuits challenging the Trump-era public charge regulations. Federal courts reacted immediately, dismissing the government’s appeals. We applaud and celebrate with all of the litigators and plaintiffs, advocates and community members who worked to overturn this harmful rule.


The "public charge" inadmissibility test has been part of federal immigration law for over a hundred years. It is designed to identify people who may depend on the government as their main source of support for the future. If an immigration consultant fetermines someone is likely to become a "public charge," the government can deny the person's application for admission to the United States or lawful permanent resident status.


For up-to-date information, please refer to this fact sheet.


Key Updates:


  • Now that federal courts have dismissed the government’s appeals, the Trump public charge policy is no longer in effect.

  • The long-standing 1999 “field guidance” will apply effectively immediately, making it safe for immigrants and their families to use health, nutrition, and housing programs they qualify for.

  • It’s safe and smart to see the doctor if you need care, or if you’re worried that you may be sick.

  • You have rights.

  • Your doctor is required to honor your right to privacy.

  • You do not need to share any information about your immigration status unless you apply for Medicaid or other health coverage for yourself.

  • You can still see a doctor without medical insurance.

  • This includes care you receive in the emergency room, at community and migrant health centers, free clinics, and public hospitals.

  • The public charge test only applies to some programs and some immigrants.

  • It never applies to U.S. citizens, including the children of immigrants.

  • It doesn’t apply to people with a green card either, or asylees, refugees, or special domestic violence survivor visas.

  • A family member’s use of public programs cannot affect your future immigration applications.

  • Testing, treatment, and preventative services for COVID-19 — including vaccines — are not part of public charge. Pandemic relief payment (stimulus checks) are also not part of public charge.

  • The use of health, nutrition, and housing programs cannot be considered in the public charge test.

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