Immigration enforcement of Public Charge rule suspended for COVID 19

The Customs and Immigration Service has suspended the application of its new Public Charge Rule (Feb 24) with respect to public assistance delivered in response to COVID-19.

In its official statement, the USCIS says, “USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care…related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination, nor as related to the public benefit condition applicable to certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status, even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits.”

The types of public assistance involved include the following: Means-tested cash benefits like SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families); Medicaid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and subsidized housing.

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