The New Public Charge Rule: What Every Visa Applicant Must Know

If you or your employee are seeking to remain or come to the United States either temporarily or permanently, the new public charge rule will apply to you if you sent an application on or after February 24, 2020.

That means you will need to provide additional information and documents to USCIS as part of your application. For non-immigrant visa applicants,  you must provide information about your health, family, education, income, assets, liabilities, and receipt of any public benefits.  In some cases, you will need an Affidavit of Support from a financial sponsor.

For adjustment of status (green card) applicants, you must complete an 18 page form I-944 that demands extensive financial history and information including your credit score and health insurance.  If you are sponsored by a relative, you must submit an affidavit of support from your sponsor.

If you fail to persuade the immigration officer that you will not become a public charge, you will be found to be inadmissible.  Your application may be denied or  you may be able to pay a bond and still adjust, change or extend your status.

Not everyone is subject to the public charge rule. The most common exceptions are the following:

• Asylees and Refugees
• Applicants for U or T Nonimmigrant Status
• VAWA Self-Petitioners
• Special Immigrant Juveniles
• Applicants seeking Temporary Protected Status
• Applicants under the Cuban Adjustment Act
• U.S. citizens, including naturalized citizens
• Lawful Permanent Residents (note: if you plan to be abroad for more than 180 days, please talk to your attorney)

For more information about the public charge rule, see this public charge flyer.

This information is provided as an educational service. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration options, you are invited to call me at 214-494-8033, complete my contact form, or visit my websites at and

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