Public Charge: A Quick Legal Background

Community Resources
Public Charge
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This overview of public charge and immigration law summarizes what public charge is and how it affects noncitizens, provides a glossary of key public charge and immigration law terms, and explains the public charge rules and legal challenges. 

On September 9, 2022, DHS published a new rule on public charge that is set to take effect on December 23, 2022. Until then, USCIS is following longstanding guidance from 1999. If litigation is filed against the rule, the effective date may change. Please check the ILRC’s public charge page at for updates. Notwithstanding announcement of the new rule, the information in this resource is current and continues to apply.