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What is the Public Charge Inadmissibility Test?

The “public charge” inadmissibility test has been part of federal immigration law for more than 100 years. It is designed to identify people who may depend on government benefits as their main source of support. If the test determines that someone is likely to become a “public charge,” the government can deny admission to the United States or refuse an application for lawful permanent resident status (a “green card”). Recently, the Trump Administration has proposed changes to the public charge policy.

This document includes key messages about where this stands and more details about current public charge policy, which depends on whether an immigrant’s application is processed inside or outside the U.S. Please ​stay tuned​ for any updates on how to fight back if this moves forward.

Key Messages

  • Courts have blocked the Trump Administration from using rules that make it harder for

low-income immigrants in the U.S. to get green cards.

  • Immigrants can continue to receive the key health care, nutrition, and housing programs that help them and their families thrive.

  • Different rules may apply to immigrants seeking visas from outside the U.S. or who need to go abroad for their green card interview

The information provided is for general informational purposes only.

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