Changes to the Public Charge Rule


Download and print the NYIC Public Charge one-pagers, which were developed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Pedagogy. For other updated resources, download them directly from the national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign. To join the campaign listserv, go here.

To request a training at your organization about public charge and the proposed rule changes, fill out this training request form.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a change to the public charge inadmissibility rule in August 2019. The changes to the rule would force low-income Immigrant families to choose between receiving vital social services and pursuing a green card or visa.

In October 2019, federal courts issued nationwide preliminary injunctions that blocked the effective date of Trump’s changes to the public charge rule. The Trump Administration sought to lift the nationwide injunctions, but in January 2020, an Appeals Court ruled that the nationwide injunction will remain in place. The Trump Administration's rule changes are NOT currently in effect, while the case is argued in court. New Yorkers who have questions about the public charge rule should contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information.

Most immigrants will continue to be exempt from the public charge determination, including:

  • Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders)
  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ)
  • T & U Visa holders
  • Victims of domestic violence (VAWA)
  • Other humanitarian statuses

Prior to the public charge rule changes, cash benefits and long-term medical care were the only public benefits considered as part of the “public charge” determination. The new rule will now include federally-funded Medicaid, SNAP and subsidized housing assistance. Public charge determinations are based on a “totality of circumstances,” which considers whether a person’s income, resources, age, family situation and health would lead to dependence on government assistance in the future. Enrolling in these benefits does not by itself make someone a public charge, and we encourage any concerned individual to consult an immigration or benefits expert before foregoing any programs. New Yorkers who have questions about the new rule can contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to receive more information and be connected to resources.

Need legal assistance?

Call the NYS Immigration Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or view our directory of service providers here