'Public Charge' Test for Immigrants

Authored By: Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
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Alert What is 'Public Charge'?


'Public Charge' Test for Immigrants (Current - Oct 10, 2018)

What is 'Public Charge'?

‘Public charge’ is a test for immigrants coming to the US and for some immigrants in the US who are applying for a green card for the first time. It is a test to see if they will need public benefits in the future. The government wants to make the test harder.

Public charge does not apply to all immigrants. It does not apply to LPRs (green card holders) in the US or LPRs applying for US citizenship.  It does not apply to refugees, asylees, U-visa, T-visa, VAWA and others. Find out if public charge applies to you before you act!

Legal Aid and other lawyers have joined to say the changes are bad. We will fight changes to the public charge test. 

Under the law, a new policy can’t go into effect until it becomes ‘final.’ This takes time. New policies cannot be retroactive. This means they only count benefits you get after the new policy becomes final.

Ask a lawyer about your immigration status, what benefits you or your family can get, and if public charge applies to you. Legal Aid is confidential and free.

Mid-MN Legal Aid:  (800) 292-4150 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)


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