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State Department acts on 'Public Charge' changes, including issuing Interim Final Rule

  1. Date Announced

    Oct. 11, 2019

    State Department interim final rule prescribes how consular officers should make public charge ineligibility determinations by adding more expansive definitions of public charge, public benefit, noncitizen's household, and receipt of public benefit. The Department had previously published changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) on this issue. [ID #772]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Feb. 24, 2020
  3. Subsequent Action

    October 24, 2019

    The Department of State seeks comment on a new form, the Public Charge Questionnaire.

    60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Public Charge Questionnaire
  4. Subsequent Action

    February 12, 2020

    DOS announces plans to seek emergency processing of proposed form DS–5540, Public Charge Questionnaire from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by February 24, 2020, in order to quickly implement its interim final rule on public charge.

    State Department Seeks Emergency Processing to Implement Public Charge Rule
  5. Subsequent Action

    February 21, 2020

    Revision to public charge provisions in FAM subsequent to publication of the regulation. This provision was changed after the New York State v. Trump injunction, and may be re-instituted following the stay of that injunction.

    Public Charge Revisions to Foreign Affairs Manual
  6. Subsequent Action

    July 29, 2020

    In Make the Road New York v. Pompeo, SDNY District Court enjoins implementation of public charge rule and FAM changes.

    District Court enjoins DOS FAM changes on public charge
  7. Subsequent Action

    August 5, 2020

    As a result of the preliminary injunction in Make the Road New York v. Pompeo/State of New York v. DHS, the Department of State has rescinded the FAM guidance previously in 9 FAM 302.8 and replaced it with a revised version.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Revised Foreign Affairs Manual Guidance on Public Charge
  8. Biden Administration Action

    January 27, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On Jan. 27, 2021, the State Department issued the following notice:

    "When the Department of State's and Department of Homeland Security's public charge rules went into effect on February 24, 2020, Form I-864W was eliminated from U.S. government use. Those applicants who were previously required to file form I-864W are no longer required to do so, and as such, are not required to pay the affidavit of support fee to NVC. Individuals who were not required to submit an affidavit of support but who paid the affidavit of support fee on or after February 24, 2020, may be eligible for a refund of that fee."

    [See Related Policy, below, for information on Form I-864W.]

    DOS Notice on Affidavit of Support Fee Refund
  9. Biden Administration Action

    June 13, 2021

    This Biden administration action announced the intention to solicit further public comment on the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    In Spring of 2021, OMB announced that DOS intends solicit information on the interim final rule (IFR) from the public as it was based on a rule that is no longer DHS policy. DOS plans to publish notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on whether the IFR should be rescinded or modified.

    Visas: Ineligibility Based on Public Charge Grounds
Type of Action: Rule
Agencies Affected: USCIS Bureau of Consular Affairs

Prior Policies

Subsequent Actions

Biden Administration Actions

  1. Associated or Derivative Policies


Politico: Public Charge Denials for Mexicans skyrockets

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AILA Featured Issue: Public Charge Changes at USCIS, DOJ, and DOS

Compilation of materials and documents regarding Public Charge Rule.

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