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New Public Charge Rule

About the New Federal "Public Charge" Rule

On August 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it had finalized a new public charge rule.

The new rule could make it harder for some immigrants who rely on certain government benefit programs to get lawful permanent residency if they are found to be a "public charge." The term “public charge” or "public charge test" is used by immigration officials to decide whether a person can enter the United States or get lawful permanent resident status (i.e. a green card).

March 17, 2020 Update: COVID-19

On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge determination. This includes if your care is paid for by Medicaid, also known as the Oregon Health Plan.

FAQs about COVID-19 and Public Charge


Message for health care professionals and community partners on Medicaid coverage for care related to COVID-19 for immigrants

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) released guidance on March 13 that it will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge determination. This includes if care is paid for by the Oregon Health Plan. The term “public charge” or "public charge analysis" is used by immigration officials to decide whether a person can qualify for a visa, enter the United States or get lawful permanent resident status (i.e. a green card), extend their stay, or change their status.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Individuals who are concerned about whether and how receipt of public benefits might affect their immigration status should ask for help from an immigration attorney.

February 24, 2020 Update: Rule in effect

On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the federal government’s new Public Charge rule is no longer “blocked”, and can go into effect while the lawsuits challenging the new rule work their way through the courts. 

  • The new Public Charge Rule is in effect starting on February 24, 2020, everywhere in the U.S. 
  • The rule will not be retroactive, so no one will be held to the new rule until after February 24. 

Know the Facts

This fact sheet gives the latest information on the public charge rule.

Fact Sheet - English   Español / Spanish   اللغة العربية / Arabic   简体中文 / Simplified Chinese   繁體中文 / Traditional Chinese   한국어 / Korean   Русский / Russian   Af Soomaali / Somali   Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese

Frequently Asked Questions

Read these FAQs to learn more about the new rule and how it may impact people in Oregon.

FAQ - English   Español / Spanish   اللغة العربية / Arabic   简体中文 / Simplified Chinese   繁體中文 / Traditional Chinese   한국어 / Korean   Русский / Russian   Af Soomaali / Somali   Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese

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