After rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 27, 2020 and February 21, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was able to implement its new rule relating to the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility nationwide. The DHS rule went into effect on February 24, 2020. 

**Adjustment of status applications that were postmarked before February 24, 2020 will be adjudicated under policies in place before the new DHS rule.**

On February 24, 2020, the Department of State (DOS) also implemented a new rule relating to public charge inadmissibility. The DOS rule generally follows the same provisions in the new DHS rule. Consular processing applications with interviews on or after February 24, 2020 may be asked to complete the new public charge questionnaire form, DS-5540, and will be evaluated under the new DOS rule.

Keep in mind that the new DHS and DOS rules do not affect many immigrants—they only apply to those seeking a green card through a family member and those applying to enter the United States. Many others are not affected.

The new public charge rules have created confusion and fear in our communities. Because it is difficult to understand who might be impacted, many immigrant families have disenrolled or decided not to enroll in programs that are necessary to survive and thrive. Many immigrants are not impacted by public charge and many immigrants continue to be eligible for various programs. 

This is a packet of information to assist education and outreach workers presenting information to community members. Our goal is to spread accurate information about what the law is and who is impacted. We hope that these resources will enable community organizations to provide information in community forums and at community events so that families can make good decisions for their families.

We are working rapidly to update our community resources given the new DHS and DOS public charge rules. Resources on this page reflect the dates on which they were last updated. For other community resources, please visit the “Know Your Rights” webpage of the national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign, at

For California providers, we also recommend two resources created by the California Protecting Immigrant Families campaign. The first resource, available at, is an online screening tool that allows you to see how a person’s use of public benefits could affect their immigration options based on a series of anonymous questions and answers; this resource is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The second resource, a similar tool, is available via text message. You can access the resource by texting one of the following to 650-376-8006:

  • “benefit” (English)
  • “libre” (Spanish)
  • “福利” (Chinese)
  • “lợiích” (Vietnamese)