USCIS to Implement Public Charge Rule Starting February 24, 2020

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By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka; Gladys Gervacio; Jacqueline Valle


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will implement the “public charge” rule beginning February 24, 2020. This announcement came after the US Supreme Court stayed the injunction on the “public charge” rule, allowing it to take effect nationwide except in Illinois, where a state-specific injunction remains.


On August 14, 2019, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule which defines which individuals are inadmissible for using public benefits under the “public charge” provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The final rule was due to take effect on October 13, 2019. On October 11, 2019, US District Courts  for the Southern District of New York, Northern District of California, and Eastern District of Washington issued an injunction to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS from moving forward on the new “public charge” rule. On January 27, 2020, the US Supreme Court voted to allow the DHS and USCIS to implement the “public charge” rule temporarily while litigation continues.


The DHS final rule will directly impact noncitizens who have obtained certain public benefits for a total of 12 months within a 36-month period, and who also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Seeking admission into the United States
  • Adjusting status within the United States
  • Changing or extending nonimmigrant status within the United States

Stay Updated

For more details on how DHS will determine Public Charge for purposes of inadmissibility and the benefits that are included in the final rule, please see our Final Rule on Public Charge and Inadmissibility alert from August 2019 or email us at We also encourage you to share this alert with others who might benefit from its contents.

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