DHS Proposes New, Mostly Unchanged Public Charge Rule

Practice Areas

By: Angelita Chavez

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed an updated rule for the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The new policy is essentially the same as the prior policy and will be published in the Federal Register in the next few days.

Under the Public Charge rule, if a foreign national is likely to become a public charge, they will be ineligible for legal permanent residency. The public charge rule applies to individuals who may become primarily dependent on government assistance including receipt of cash assistance for income maintenance or long-term institutionalization paid for by the government.


The previous guidance was issued in 1999 and replaced by the Trump Administration’s policy that made applicants inadmissible under public charge if they received certain benefits within the last 12 months. In March 2021, the Biden Administration returned to the 1999 policy. 

the proposed policy

Under the new proposed policy, the government would consider the foreign national’s receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash assistance under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or any other cash assistance at the state or local level. The policy would also consider other factors like reliance on long-term institutionalization.

next steps

Once the policy has been published in the Federal Register, DHS will allow public comments for 60 days. The agency will then issue a final rule, however there is currently no set date for the publication of the final policy.


The immigration team at Chugh, LLP will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. For more information on the new rule or for help filing an immigration application, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP attorney.


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