Some people who apply for a green card (Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status) or a visa to enter the U.S. must pass a “public charge” test. The public charge test decides if it seems like a person will need public benefits in the future. They also look at if a family member or another person sponsored you, and what their income and resources are.
Immigration officials look at a person’s whole situation. Things like:
Education or skills
Only 2 kinds of public benefits count in the public charge test:
Cash assistance programs that provide on-going payments. Examples include MFIP, SSI, and General Assistance (GA).
Long-term institutional care, like a nursing home that is paid for by the government.