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What is 'Public Charge'?

Authored By
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid

‘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. New changes to the rules make the test harder.

Unemployment benefits do not count for ‘public charge.’ See the COVID-19 Unemployment fact sheet or our Unemployment fact sheet to learn more.